DISCLAIMER: all opinions in this column reflect view of the autor(s), not of Vocal Europe
by Iyad Al-Dalimi
The ruling elite in Baghdad has suddenly realised that they are ruling a country called Iraq and that every country is supposed to have sovereignty over their land, airspace, and water. This caused the Iraqis jealousy and pride levels to rise to unprecedented levels since 2003 when the US invaded the country, occupied it, dismantled its institutions, and looted its wealth and allowed other thieves to loot it as well.
Suddenly, these elites have realised that they have a duty to protect their land and that they have an army that must uphold the task of protecting their borders. They have also realised that they have a foreign ministry that must use all diplomatic means and methods if the sanctity of Iraqi territory is violated and that they have a media capable of mobilising and provoking international and local public opinion.
All those who dominate the Green Zone in Baghdad and govern through its microphones have remembered that sovereignty is a red line and that a state that disregards its sovereignty cannot be called a state and does not have the right to raise its head up high among the other nations. They have remembered that a state with no sovereignty is like a house with no doors or windows; it cannot withhold its private details from others.
All of this Iraqi awareness and pride that has coursed through the blood of these people has come to light in response to Turkey’s recent replacement of the forces it stationed near Mosul a year and a half ago, with the full knowledge of the Baghdad government. These troops were also stationed with the knowledge and facilitation of the government in the Iraqi Kurdish region, which is considered the true ruler of those areas – not those in the Green Zone who sit in front of television cameras and give longwinded meaningless speechec.
This situation may seem strange. How can a few hundred soldiers whose entry was supposedly agreed upon earlier between Ankara and Baghdad now provoke the sensibilities of those who were silent in the face of the American invaders and occupiers? It does indeed seem strange. How can those who were silent in the face of half a million Iranians violating the Iraqi-Iranian border only days before the Turkish entry now loudly oppose the entry of Turkish soldiers in accordance, at least, with the Kurdish region in Iraq, which is considered (or should be) part of the federal government in Baghdad?
However, those who know the truth behind what has happened and continues to happen in Iraq since 2003 knows very well that those located in the Green Zone are only pawns. They saluted the hordes of invaders in 2003 and even helped and supported those forces. They are also the ones who allowed for the entry of Iran’s politicians and military into Baghdad and allowed pictures of Khomeini, who fought Iraq for eight years before tasting the poison of defeat, to be held up high in Baghdad, Najaf and Basra. They are also the ones who granted Iraq’s complete sovereignty to Iran, allowing it to roam freely in the Green Zone.
Everyone knows that Iran is the real ruler in Iraq and that the prevalent language now in Baghdad is Persian. Everyone knows that the protests, objections, and threats that echoed loudly in Baghdad due to the Turkish presence would not have been heard if the Iranian shepherd was not guiding the herd in the Green Zone.
Otherwise, would it be logical for this Iraqi pride and jealously over its sovereignty to be silent in the face of half a million Iranians storming the border but scream when the Turks approach their border? It is possible for the eyes that witnessed the entry of Turkish forces into Iraqi territories to be blinded by the painful and blatant scene of half a million Iranians forcing their way through the Iraqi border and overlooked the presence of General Qasem Soleimani on the battlefront?
The jealousy that swelled in those who had no jealously on the day that the invaders entered their country is Iranian jealously, and they believe that they are in their own land, an extension of their old empire that they seek to restore.
Sovereignty cannot be divided; either you have complete sovereignty, which protects Iraq’ s land, water, skies and soil, or you have silence, which has pushed Iraq into the abyss. Those without honour cannot trade with honour. Those who opened their arms to welcome the occupier cannot posses an ounce of honour or jealousy in the face of another occupier.
- This article first appeared on Middle East Monitor