Imagine Iraq, one of the world's biggest oil-rich nations, home to the great Tigris and Euphrates rivers, on the verge of economic collapse. Imagine Lebanon, a country with a small, educated population, diverse landscape, and soon-to-be wealth of gas resources, with no electricity and on the verge of being without food! The poverty and imminent collapse of both Iraq and Lebanon are caused by none other than their own rulers and decision-makers. In both countries, the main party in power is made up of followers of the Iranian regime, Hashd in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
There have been several attempts to rescue the countries politically. Popular uprisings have arisen out of anger, including by Shiite citizens of Iraq and Lebanon who were the first to answer the call, and sadly, counted many fallen heroes from among their ranks. But Iran's followers still hold a destructive influence over these countries, either directly or through Christian and Sunni “gloves” in Lebanon, and Sunni and perhaps Kurdish ones in Iraq.
So where is the disconnect? During a session of the Iraqi Council of Ministers held recently, the head of the council, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, said: “Since 2003, we have suffered from the wrong establishment that threatens the political and social system with complete collapse.” He added, “It is unthinkable to perpetuate the previous corruption, either we must correct the situation or admit that we are mocking people.” Yes, the entire political structure is damaged. It must be demolished, rebuilt, or repaired, if possible, although the latter is highly doubtful.
A good bad example is the pro-Iran militias in Iraq, and likewise in Lebanon, who are taking advantage of a weakened state and corrupt officials to open and operate border crossings for their own benefit, smuggling arms, fighters and possibly drugs. This has generally led to an active smuggling trade, depriving the state of legitimate revenues and damaging its reputation internationally. In response, Al-Kazemi had directed the Joint Operations Command to close the unofficial Iraqi crossings, in cooperation with the Border Ports Authority in Iraq, in order to bring a halt to smuggling that harms the national economy and to better protect local products. This, however, was displeasing to corrupt Iranian leaders such as Qais Khazali, who pulled the patriotism card, calling for demonstrations in hopes of stirring up riots and unrest.
Today, the Iraqis and the Lebanese are paying a terrible price for the past two decades of Iranian domination.
slam is above all these imposters and their goal to mislead public sentiments.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi Arabian outlet Asharq Al-Awsat.