Ayad Allawi

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Ya pasaron diez años desde el derrocamiento de Saddam Hussein, que se produjo después de más de tres décadas de tiranía. Tras la caída de Saddam, los iraquíes soñaron construir un nuevo Irak, próspero y democrático. Había un deseo casi unánime de un país en paz consigo mismo y con sus vecinos, y de una constitución que defendiera los derechos humanos básicos y el estado de derecho.

Pero Estados Unidos y sus aliados, sin una visión coherente del futuro de Irak, y mucho menos una política razonable para la etapa posterior a Saddam, declararon a Irak país ocupado y encargaron su conducción a un administrador designado por Estados Unidos, que al poco tiempo decidió desmantelar todas las instituciones de seguridad, militares y de prensa existentes.…  Seguir leyendo »

It has been nine years since U.S. forces removed a brutal tyrant in Iraq at a huge cost in lives and treasure, but already the country is slipping back into the clutches of a dangerous new one-man rule, which inevitably will lead to full dictatorship, and already it is dashing hopes for a prosperous, stable, federal and democratic Iraq. Exploiting the unconditional support of Tehran and the indifference of Washington, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has violated the constitution to consolidate his own power by using security and military forces to intimidate and oppress political rivals and, indeed, the general population, as manifested in his suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iraq today stands on the brink of disaster. President Obama kept his campaign pledge to end the war here, but it has not ended the way anyone in Washington wanted. The prize, for which so many American soldiers believed they were fighting, was a functioning democratic and nonsectarian state. But Iraq is now moving in the opposite direction — toward a sectarian autocracy that carries with it the threat of devastating civil war.

Since Iraq’s 2010 election, we have witnessed the subordination of the state to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s Dawa party, the erosion of judicial independence, the intimidation of opponents and the dismantling of independent institutions intended to promote clean elections and combat corruption.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the Arab Spring drives change across our region, bringing the hope of democracy and reform to millions of Arabs, less attention is being paid to the plight of Iraq and its people. We were the first to transition from dictatorship to democracy, but the outcome in Iraq remains uncertain. Our transition could be a positive agent for progress, and against the forces of extremism, or a dangerous precedent that bodes ill for the region and the international community.

Debate rages in Baghdad and Washington around conditions for a U.S. troop extension beyond the end of this year. While such an extension may be necessary, that alone will not address the fundamental problems festering in Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

Millions of Iraqis risked their lives in March to exercise their fundamental democratic right to vote. Turnout was high -- exceeding 60 percent -- across the regions, ethnicities and sects that form our diverse nation. Iraqis are eager to put violence and strife behind them. Yet three months later, Iraq has no functional or stable government. This uncertainty threatens not just Iraqi society and democracy but also the region.

Our political alliance, Iraqiya, won the most votes and parliamentary seats in March. Iraqis from all sides and walks of life responded to our platform of democratic inclusion of all groups in the political process; of national reconciliation based on secularism and moving away from political, ethnic and sectarian religious divides; of law and order to create the conditions for a stable and prosperous nation, in harmony with its neighbors.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Sunday Iraqis will go to the polls with the hope of freely electing a new government that will improve their lives and make their country safer. The conduct and results of these elections will have huge ramifications, not just for Iraq but for the whole Middle East and indeed the entire world.

As Ryan Crocker, the former US Ambassador to Iraq, pointed out, it is the second election that matters most in a fledgeling democracy such as Iraq: so it must be free and fair, and it must result in a peaceful transfer of power to the chosen representatives of the voters.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the six weeks since Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker delivered their report to Congress on the situation in Iraq, there has been much criticism over the lack of progress made by the Baghdad government toward national reconciliation. Unfortunately, neither Washington nor the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seems to understand that reconciliation between Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups will begin only when we change the flawed electoral system that was created after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The paralysis that has afflicted the government in Baghdad, the sectarian disputes across the country and the failure to move toward reconciliation were all predictable outcomes of the senseless rush to hold national elections and put the Constitution in place.…  Seguir leyendo »

Next month, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will report to Congress on the situation in my country. I expect that the testimony of these two good men will be qualified and nuanced, as politics requires. I also expect that their assessment will not capture the totality of the tragedy -- that more than four years after its liberation from Saddam Hussein, Iraq is a failing state, not providing the most basic security and services to its people and contributing to an expanding crisis in the Middle East.

Let me be clear. Responsibility for the current mess in Iraq rests primarily with the Iraqi government, not with the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »