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Carpet weaving In Iraq

Oct 07,2019 - Last updated at Oct 07,2019

I just returned from Baghdad after a three-day conference on Iraq’s security and economy. The sessions were intensive and had their moments of thrill and nerve-testing debates. The audience from Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, Oman, Turkey, the UK, Germany, France, the US, China and UN organisations were bound to run on a collision course over certain issues.

The main issue that captured the fancy of all attendees was the identity of the Iraqi system of government. While all agreed that Iraq should snap out of corruption, lawlessness and difficulty of doing business, there was a deep schism separating secularism and religiosity, religious Sunnis and Shiites and Arabs from non-Arabs.

While the pro-Iranians want a “Wilayati” regime, the existing government and its Western backers want it to be a secular government that allows everyone to practice their religion or sectorial rituals freely.

While Iraqi counter-terrorism command is accredited with the liberation of Al Mosul, Hudeetha, Al Falloujah and Tekrit, with the backing of the allies’ air support, the pro-Iranians insist that had it not been for the Popular Mobilization Force, Daesh would have occupied Iraq.

It is obvious that there are two theories that dominate the scene. Yet this intellectual mongering is neither objective nor neutral; it serves each side’s interests in Iraq.

Iranians, whose culture is of patience and uses Persian carpet weaving’s relentless precision, think that time is on their side. The Americans and their allies are obviously in a hurry to bring Iraq back on its feet, allow the process of reconstruction and production to go full throttle and replace fatigues and M4 rifles with laptops and briefcases.

Iraq is a rich country, and it is still totally dependent on oil exports. Yet, it occupies low credit rating (B-), lagging on the transparency index, ranking 156 out of 180 countries, and in the ease of doing business, 166 out of 180. It needs lots of work and must provide basic necessities, like housing, jobs, electricity and stronger currency.

Both Iran and the United States should give Iraq the breathing face to recollect itself. 

The Iraqi people deserve a warrior’s rest after half of a century of wars and internal strikes.

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