As Iraq launched an offensive to liberate West Mosul, General Stephen Townsend, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement published by the American embassy in Baghdad on Sunday that the coalition supporting Iraqi troops is made up of “more than 65 nations unified to defeat ISIS.”
This strengthens the Iraqis’ hope that this terrorist organization’s defeat will be certain and that their armed forces will crush ISIS - as long as it has the support of 65 countries - including all superpowers.
However, this statement also highlights a major paradox. As the world unites to support us on the military, intelligence, political and financial fronts, and to enable us to liberate ourselves and our cities and territories from this terrorist beast we, on the domestic front, which is the most important in this war like every other war, are not united. There aren’t even the lowest levels of harmony to achieve a coherent domestic front that provides strong support or at least moral support to the troops which are fighting battles and paving the way towards the peace and stability which are required post-ISIS phase that will be decisive in deciding Iraq’s fate and future.
How many politicians and members of parliament will at least control their words and abstain from sectarian incitement? How many television channels and dailies - which are funded by these parties and their leaders from mostly stolen public funds – will calm down and stop propagating hate speech?Adnan Hussein
Quarrels and propaganda wars
Today, political parties, particularly those which are influential in authority, seem to be busy with their disputes over power, influence and money – just like they’ve always been. They’re preoccupied with their quarrels and propaganda wars which are often insulting. These struggles go beyond the society’s components, Shiite, Sunnis, Kurds and others and include those who present themselves as the only legitimate representative of these “components.” There are struggles, quarrels and moral and political battles among different political Islam parties, whether Shiites or Sunnis. This is also the case among Kurdish, Turkmen and Assyrian-Chaldean groups.
These parties, groups and blocs are busy with their partisan interests and are preoccupied with their leaders’ personal concerns. They don’t look after public concerns or national interests as their entire focus is on gains and posts. They seem uninterested in the details of the national liberation war that’s currently happening in Mosul.
Follow up on this matter from now on and count how many politicians and members of parliament, including Nineveh politicians and politicians of the Sunni “components,” will bother traveling to the liberated eastern side of Mosul or neighboring areas to personally supervise the course of battles and manage the services provided to those displaced? How many politicians and members of parliament will at least control their words and abstain from sectarian incitement? How many television channels and dailies - which are funded by these parties and their leaders from mostly stolen public funds – will calm down and stop propagating hate speech?
The 65 nations working with the coalition provide military, logistical and political support to troops fighting to liberate Mosul. However if 10 or 15 influential parties quit their struggle over authority, money and power, it will be as important, if not more so, than what these 65 countries provide.
Are the Green Zone powers aware of this?
Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein