When French general Charles de Gaulle triumphantly entered Paris after its liberation at the end of World War II, everyone expected that he would go to the Arc de Triomphe where people had gathered, celebrating the victory, and chanting his name. However, he took a different route to stop in front of two statues.
The first statue was of Georges Clémenceau, who signed the victory Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, while the second was of Napoleon Bonaparte, who sat down with a look of dismay on his face as he signed treaties of abdication and defeat. When de Gaulle saw how his companions were confused, he promptly said:
“The future is for the victor, but we must not forget the lessons of defeat.” For the army commanders, this was a surprise. They wished to tell the veteran general that they had fought liberation battles in order to forget the past, but the general was well aware that wars create grief and distress in the soul.
Recently, a phenomenon that only exists in countries drowned in rhetoric and slogans has reemerged. This phenomenon is showcased by the attempt of some people to undermine the role of Iraqi soldiers in liberating Iraq from ISIS. Since the liberation of Mosul, we have been hearing it over and over that eliminating ISIS was all thanks to Iran.
Our criticism of the performance of security services and calls for protecting the value of the army and security forces emanated from our desire to have a national army for Iraq and all Iraqis, away from party affiliations. We do not need an army that defends the failures of Lieutenant General Mahdi al-Gharrawi, speaks highly of General Abboud Qanbar, and fears the armed groups that claim ownership over the country.
From now on, we shall raise the slogan: "Protect the Iraqi army from the lackies of losers and failed politicians, whose dream is for these forces to support them in order to control state institutions. Protect the army from those who imagine that their problems will be only solved when those who disagree with them are arrested."
Today, we have the right to demand that the army plays a central role in putting an end to the chaos that some people wish would take over the country. We salute and appreciate every soldier to whom Iraq comes first and above all else.
Amid the chaos that some people seek to spread in Iraq, we see some defending the right of Turkey to bomb Iraq, and falsely claiming that Ankara will save Baghdad from bankruptcy, and that “Sultan Erdogan” will pay billions for the sake of the Iraqis.
Only the naive and almost amnesiac Iraqis believe that Turkey seeks to save their country from bankruptcy, and that Tehran gives priority to the interests of Iraqis over the interests of the Iranian people. People are well aware that some politicians have played a role in offering Iraq to other countries on a silver platter, and that many politicians have a foot in Baghdad and another in Tehran or Ankara.
This piece was originally published in, and translated from, Iraqi outlet al-Mada.