I laughed as I read the congratulatory messages sent by some Iraqi politicians to Mr. Joe Biden, desperately trying to sweep the slogan “America out, out of our land” under the rug, while ignoring that this is the same Biden they attacked in 2014, when he was Obama’s Vice President, demanding that he stop sticking his nose in the affairs of their country and its citizens.
I was hoping that our politicians, delighted at Biden’s assumption of US presidency, would confront him with the fact that Iraq can no longer afford to be a testing ground, and that Iraqis are no longer fooled by charades in which guardians and dictators that control their country are appointed.
People do not want to see a dictatorship that they overthrew in 2003 with US assistance, replaced by a failed regime that uses democracy as a cover up, also with US assistance.
Iraqis are well aware that their country is at its most critical phase, and that many politicians are trying to break the country up into pieces. Some even consider the mere presence of an Iraqi citizen from Anbar in Basra to be a conspiracy against Shia parties. Imagine that instead of denouncing the murder of a demonstrator from Anbar by security forces, people nowadays ask what was he doing in Basra in the first place?
Young Omar Fadhil, who went out with colleagues to protest against corruption and political expediency, paid with his life for human savagery. Yet, the case was still far from over, his personal record had to be thoroughly investigated in order to dig up the “conspiracy” of him being originally from Anbar.
The fact that his father married a woman from Basra and that Omar himself was born there were not enough to exempt him, as our sectarian customs dictate that an Iraqi citizen has no right to live in a province different in its sectarian orientation than his.
Yesterday Kamala Harris became vice president-elect, and no one objected to her Indian origins. No one in America asked how Joe Biden became president while he has Irish origins.
Henry Kissinger came to America as a young boy and did not become an American citizen until the age of 18. But this did not stop the White House from handing over the keys to its foreign policy to this short statured German. There’s no need to remind you that former French President Sarkozy was the son of a Hungarian immigrant.
Neither did hell break loose in the media or satellite television when the Kenyan Sarah Omar, former President Obama’s grandmother prayed to God to make her grandson Obama “convert to Islam.” Rachida Dati became the French Minister of Justice without being asked why she was born in Morocco.
Modern regimes abolished geographical boundaries, and origin research became an Iraqi invention par excellence. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been deprived of their citizenship rights, displaced, and had their properties sold because the “leader necessity” doubted their origins!
This piece was originally published in, and translated from, al-Mada.
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