[Shamim A Siddiqi, NY]


President Bush has developed some “expertise” in developing roadmap for Palestine towards resolving the dispute between Israel and Palestinians. However, it is a different dory that it stands hijacked by Sharon and his hard-line supporters. It is unlikely to be effective due to adamancy of Zionist’s dream to dominate the world and hence it does not accept any “stumbling block” in its way to world “supremacy”. If President Bush cannot smash this “dragon” head, his roadmap for Palestine is doomed for good.  


Similarly, in collaboration with Paul Bremer, the head of Iraq’s Interim Administrative Council and under the pressure of strong demand solicited by the “hand-picked” provisional government of Iraq, President Bush has made important strategic changes in his roadmap of Iraq to “restore” democracy and soon get rid of the “allegation” of “the occupied” forces. Originally the game plan was to draft the constitution, hold the elections, transfer the power to the elected people of the land and withdraw American forces in the “background.”


But the “Iraqis” are eager to get the power “now” or never. The Iraqi Governing Council announced yesterday [November 15, 2003] that it would create a provisional government by June and full power will be transferred to this body, providing an “exit strategy” for the USA. The Bush administration has dropped its insistence to draft the constitution first, hold the elections and frame the constitution. With the return of sovereign power in June 04, military “occupancy” of Iraq will come to an end but the American forces will remain in Iraq under some “negotiated” terms and condition with the would-be Iraqi administration in power. Until the requisite constitution is adopted, some basic laws will be promulgated in February 2004, establishing a democratic and federal state that “respects” the “Islamic identity” of Iraq, guarantees the human rights and ensures the equality in diversity of different religious sects and ethnic groups, a job that is hard to attain in the midst of so much distrust and misgivings against each other.


This “roadmap” is unlikely to work for Iraq as the Bush administration is not acknowledging the realities on the ground. A “selected” democratic government dominated by the Shiite Muslims of the south will not be acceptable to Kurdish and the Sunni minorities. The would-be democratically elected government will be predominantly controlled by the Shiite Muslims, rendering the Kurdish and Sunni Muslims as permanent minorities, a condition that would never be acceptable to these minorities. So will be the case with the constitution that would be framed by the Shiite dominated majority. If the Shiite community of Iraq does insist to hold its majority, it would result in the partition of the country into three independent states, a process of Balkanization of Iraq. It would be a disservice to Iraq and the USA would deliver to the country only chaos and disestablishment in the region.


History provides a glaring example in this respect. The Muslims of India were always conscious of the fact that if British transfer the right of paramountacy to India where the Hindus were in permanent majority, Muslims will be turn into a permanent minority. Hence Muslims demanded a separate homeland and after a prolong fight and enormous sacrifices of life and resources they got it in the shape of Pakistan. Both British and the USA should learn a lesson from their own past and dare not repeat the mistake of transferring power to an “elected” or an “unelected” Shiite dominated regime and entrust it the task of framing the future constitution of the country by the few handpicked “stooges” of their liking without introducing definite guarantees for the minorities. It is incumbent upon the USA to work as “honest” brokers where the future of Iraq is at stake and their own “prestige” and words of honor to deliver peace, freedom, liberty and justice to all appears to be in jeopardy.


The honest course for President Bush is to declare his roadmap for the restoration of democracy in Iraq through adopting the following confirmed commitment:


1.  Holding general elections in the country by June 2004, even on restricted franchise;


2.  Transfer the supreme power to this elected body that would have two functions at a time to perform: 1.  Working as the Legislative Assembly with a Prime Minister and a cabinet for running day to day administrative affairs of the country; 2. also working as the Constituent Assembly of the country to frame the future constitution by December 2004 with two houses:  Lower house on the basis of universal franchise [one vote one person] and a Senate that represents equal representatives form Shiites, Sunnis and Kurdish communities with veto power to reject any measure that is prejudicial to any of the three sectors of the society, a guarantee that the rights of each will be protected by constitution and no law will be frame by anyone against anyone.    


3.  Under the constitution with aforesaid guarantees, elections could be held within 2005 at a suitable time that suits the people of the land and all the necessary formalities are completed for free, fair and transparent elections in independent Iraq.


This three steps declaration by President Bush would have stabilized the situation in Iraq. It would have categorically give a roadmap to the people of Iraq to work for it genuinely expecting that sovereignty is in sight and it would be restored to them within a reasonable time frame. It would have involved the people of the land immediately in the election process, believing in the sincerity of the “occupiers” and getting the destiny of the country settled by their own vote and on their own accord. It would have gone a long way in mitigating the bloody “skirmishes” around the country with huge reduction in the loss of human life at both the sides. It would have stopped the “terrorist” activities to few and far between.


President Bush would have been wise enough to adopt this open strategy and “come out” of Iraq with “clean” hands with no blood stain and show the “path” and the process of “democratization” to the Muslim world. He would have then become the savior of mankind but the vested interests “at hand” and “abroad” will not let him do this job, resulting in shedding more blood of our innocent soldiers and Iraqi people alike. Iraq has now become a riddle for the superpower of time to resolve honestly and justly in the best interest of the people of Iraq, the people of the USA and the world community at large.



Shamim A Siddiqi 

November 16, 2003