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Impressions and questions from my recent visit to Baghdad

During my recent visit to Baghdad and meeting individually with senior Iraqi political leaders and a group of ambassadors from foreign missions a number of questions and observations came to my mind that I would like to share with you:


  1. Dialogue:

# Political vocabularies may have distinct meanings and connotations within the different political elites which could mean that inter and intra dialogue between the parties are not strong.


# What are the requirements and objectives for political dialogue? Is it to get to the truth, or to review and recognize one’s mistake, or to find a common vocabulary meanings, or to get to a common result, or to believe the possibility of the other being right, or to reduce political tensions, or to win over the other, or to find out the needs and desires of the other?


# Is there a clear understanding between political parties towards each other? here I am talking about understand each other’s mechanisms and visions and complexities and concerns and where are their red/yellow/green lines, so we could build our country together.


# Do political parties know the real strength and power of the other party so as to plan and conduct a dialogue on the right path?


# Political parties now see the need for others and they know they can’t exclude other parties from national programs, a new and important indicators, but at the same time there is an expectation and aspiration on the other parties to waive all and compromise.


2-Alliances and Change:

# New political alliances in the latest political process of state-building is it a fact or a fiction? Is there an urgent need to redraw the internal political Chess board?


# Construction is an arduous and difficult process while demolition is  easier and faster, is the new movements within the House of Representatives to build a new culture of opposition, or is it to destroy the political system and the pillars of the State? Do parties to this new movement know that the speed of destruction might be faster than the speed of construction and that will create a dangerous vacuum?


# Do planned political alliances actually cease to exist on the day of formation of the government, or at the end of the election day? Or should we plan so that it works and evolves through the whole parliamentary four years session.


# Is it clear to political parties the associated cost of political alliances? Or what we see is short-term understandings and agreements techniques rather than long term strategies.


# Is it possible for the current political discourses to produce two  party political system with unique political and ideological orientations which is closer to ruling and opposition parties such as Democrats and Republicans or Conservatives and Labour etc.



  1. State-building:

# What are the mechanics and the arms of the State to impose a new reality? Especially with key cabinet positions being vacant, knowing that we have a centralized system in our Ministries which means decision-making authority is exclusively with the Minister.


# Do you think that political leaders consider the external dimension when they deal with the State and how it should be managed? I mean, we know that we need outsiders but do we take their interest into consideration when determining our decisions or is everything to us is local?


# Iraq after the liberation of Mosul would pass a turning point, is there clarity on what that turning point means? its duration, its men, its programs, its needs, its self-sustaining mechanisms, knowing too well that vacuums will be filled by others since this is natural law of existence.


# What is the wisdom in the pursuit of elections (Provincial and National)? is it to review one’s performance? Or to prepare for new alliances strategy, or to create new understandings or agreements?


# Regarding the crisis with Turkey, is there clarity on how to influence Turkey?


  1. Community:

# What are the criteria and sensors for moral development of Iraqi society, especially as we live the religious season of Ashura/Moharam?


# Is the increased commitment by Iraqi to follow the teaching of  Ashura as a result of cultural and social evolution, or more based on ethical or religious commitment to their communities?


# Is there agreement among most of the political parties on the prospective role of religious Marjaya in Najjef? Is there clarity on what it wants and what its role seek to be?


# Who leads the process of community-building and development? Do the ruling political party see it as their responsibilities or is their so focused on power seeking?