Who does Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi want to fool by referring former ministers and several officials to the Integrity Commission to investigate with them in cases related to administrative and financial corruption?
Mr. Abadi cannot fool Iraqis any more, be they the tens of thousands of youth, elderly, women and men who took to the streets and squares in the hot weather to express their anger and resentment against this government, former governments, the state’s higher institutions and their chiefs and officials. The protests were due to the unprecedented corruption that has ruined the economic, social, political and cultural life of Iraqis across all of its ethnicities, religions and sects.
Mr. Abadi, for the last four years, you have caused us a headache and we have repeatedly heard your pledges and promises of reform and of confronting corruption, but there it is, ‘your roaring mountain just gave birth to a mouse!’Adnan Hussein
Fed up Iraqis
Those who protested in Basra, Nasiriyah, Amarah, Samawah, Al Diwaniyah, Najaf, Karbala, Hillah, Kut, Baghdad and the subdivided districts and villages were not only protesting against the two former ministries. They were also protesting against corrupt officials of the administrative bodies and local councils in their governorates as they are the ones who directly embezzled funds allocated for their villages, districts and governorates.
The protesters were practicing their constitutional right to express their views, but Haider al-Abadi and his military and security aides sent in armed forces; which resulted in the killing of 14 demonstrators and injured hundreds.
Those people who have demonstrated since 2010 have not only been harmed by the corruption of the education and industry ministries, but by all ministries, institutions and organizations that are involved in general and comprehensive destruction.
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Mr. Abadi, for the last four years, you have caused us a headache and we have repeatedly heard your pledges and promises of reform and of confronting corruption, but there it is, ‘your roaring mountain just gave birth to a mouse!’ Three former ministries and other three or four dozens of officials are being probed, and perhaps most of them have already stashed their illegal assets overseas!
Corruption cannot be fought in bits and pieces. It should be confronted through a clear, comprehensive and specific strategy that does not exclude anyone even if he belongs to the current government or your party. If this is not possible, then let someone else assume the task and acknowledge your incapability to combat and reform; hence, you will rest and we can rest too!
This selective and limited method of confrontation, that is perhaps politicized too, is not effective by any means and people cannot be fooled by it. Actually, it seems to make us laugh over the misery of this thinking pattern.
This article is also available in Arabic.
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.
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