Modern Iraq as a collection of quasi-states
Modern Iraq is a collection of three quasi-states, into which the republic risks splitting in the medium term. Other meanings of “quasi-state” are “non-state territories” (English ungoverned territory), “territories not controlled by the state”, “gray zones”, “islands of transit statehood”, etc.
The first part to be considered is the Shiite territories (territories densely populated by Shiite Arabs);
The second “gray zone” is the Sunni territories (territories under the control of the Muslims of the Sunni wing);
The third quasi-state is Kurdish-controlled territories (including the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan), with a population of about 5,5 million people (17,5% of the total population of the country);
According to the Iraqi Constitution, the country's prime minister (constitutionally key position) is Shiite, the president is Kurdish, and the chairman of parliament is Sunni. This was the US demand, based on the principle of pluralism and the consensus of three ethno-religious communities of Iraqi society: Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
The unspoken part can be called the territories controlled by the Islamic State Islamic Islamic Organization (ISIL).
The first two forces - the Sunni and Shiite wing - are in a state of a long-term fratricidal war for ensuring their political rights in Iraq and the truth of their persuasion.
Shiites of Iraq
Shiites are 10% of all Muslims in the world. The area of their residence is the “Shiite belt” , the followers of this sense determine the absolute majority of the population of Iran, more than half of Iraq, a significant part of the Muslims of Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain. Shiite Arabs in Iraq make up about 60% of the total population (about 20 million), for a long time they remained “second-rate people”, and only after the overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein (in the opinion of the author, the main Iraqi Sunni stories), the Shiites were able to feel part of the civil society of Iraq. An interesting fact: out of ten charges brought in court against Saddam Hussein, only one was chosen - the killing of 148 Shiites.
Today, Shiites can be safely called a serious political force in the Middle East. Iraqi Shiites hope and, in general, receive support from Shiite Iran (the vast majority of Iraqi Shiites receive their spiritual education in Iran). In addition, the south of Iraq, inhabited predominantly by Shiites, is adjacent to Iran, which has its own interests in the Persian Gulf (for this reason, repeated military conflicts occurred between Iraq and Iran, including the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988). Thus, Iran is playing the "Shiite card" for power in the Gulf. Another "card player" - the United States - keeps the Shiites on a leash, since their place of residence is assigned to the richest oil-bearing regions. A researcher at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, May Yamani, shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, wrote: “Now that the dust of the war in Iraq has settled, it became clear that Shiites were unexpected victors. The West has realized that the location of the main oil reserves coincide with those areas in which Shiites make up the majority - Iran, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia , Bahrain and Southern Iraq. ” Since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011, Shiites have again taken up weapon. The new Rubicon was crossed on 30 on April of this year, when, under the leadership of Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr, influential in Iraq (known as the Emir of Basra, named for the country's main port), a crowd broke into the building of the highest legislative body, beat deputies, defeated the premises, held a picnic on the Celebration Square, after which, left the “International Zone” - the very one that is officially considered the safest place in Iraq. The reason was the demand for reform. In turn, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi promised to replace some officials in the Government and carry out anti-corruption reforms, however, numerous parties continually slow down the reformation process. Currently, Shiite groups are developing a plan to create their own independent theocratic Shiite state.
The weakest link among the main groups of Iraq today are Sunnis (about 35% of the Muslim composition, 12 million people), they are localized in the “Sunni triangle” (see fig. 1, in its northern part - the city of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein) .
1 Figure - Sunni Triangle Area
An interesting Sunni saying is “kill Shiite - go to heaven”. Their oppressed position is due to several factors:
The reign of S. Hussein, which led to a negative attitude towards the Sunnis of Shiites and Kurds (against the latter, a massive genocide was carried out; as a result of the well-known operation Anfal, more than 182000 Kurds were killed).
The position of the "oppressed" people in relations with the American troops. Sunnis suffered maximum losses from the invasion of US troops, because, as mentioned above, the states adhere to the Shiite position. If during the regime of S. Hussein, the Sunnis largely ruled the country, after its overthrow they were on the other side of the barricades - in opposition.
It is the Sunnis who live in the zone of the absence of oil sources. In Iraq, oil is located in the northern and southern parts (Kurdish and Shiite, respectively), in the center - where the Sunnis are located - there are no resources.
The lack of access to the sea in the area of residence of the Sunnis.
Like the Shiites, the Sunnis intend to gain their political self-determination.
Terrorists of the "Islamic State"
Representatives of the Islamic State (ISIL) , a group of people wishing to create their own “caliphate”, partially control the “Sunni triangle” zone.
It is a terrorist international organization, numbering (according to various estimates) from 80 to 300 thousands of military personnel.
The main religion of ISIS terrorists declared Sunni Islam with radical ideas. At the same time, the group itself is absolutely “heterogeneous” and multinational. The radical organization of ISIS is recognized as a terrorist by most countries. The movement originated in 2006, on the basis of 11 Islamist organizations + 8 small groups, including an al-Qaida unit. The prerequisite was that the United States overthrew the then existing regime of Saddam Hussein, without offering anything in return. What radical groups have used, deciding to unite in the name of creating a unified theocratic state. The US troops, though they destroyed the regime that was customary at that time, they nevertheless liberated the Kurdish people from the dominant Saddam tyranny.
The purpose of creating ISIS is the absolute subordination of the territories and the elimination of the borders established as a result of the division of the Ottoman caliphate, and the creation of an orthodox Islamic state at least in Iraq and Sham (Levant) - Syria, Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, as a maximum - throughout the Islamic world. ISIS is a radical group, rallying its members based primarily on ideology. A. Chetvertak (igil.info) notes: “These are Sunnis, who adhere primarily to the Hanbali school, which is distinguished by the greatest severity among all four existing legal schools in Sunni Islam. ISIS received support from the Sunni population, not because it banned the teaching of biology, physics, music, and social sciences (especially as regards democracy), not because members of this group cut off their heads to their opponents and declared world jihad, but because they are Sunni and fight against Shiite domination . " So it is: without such support, LIH would not have received such an impressive influence. The most oppressed part of the victims of ISIS is the Yezidis (a religious society within the Kurdish ethnic group) who suffered genocide. The fact of genocide was recognized by the United Nations, the United States, the European Parliament, the Parliament of Great Britain and international organizations of world scale. Currently, according to the UN Commission, more than 3,5 thousands of Yezidi women and children are among the prisoners of Islamists.
The support of ISIS by the Sunnis is due to the fact that the Sunni units are not represented in the state power of the regions, and this makes them an “oppressed minority”. In this connection, there is an absolutely objective desire to be complicit in the life of the country.
Consider ISIS revenue line items:
Oil smuggling from the controlled deposits of Syria and Iraq (80 thousand barrels / day ~ 100 $ million per month) and the subsequent sale of Turkey and even to Iran.
Robbery (especially banking)
Extortion and medium and large businesses
Taxation of non-Muslim population
Customs duty on transportation
As you can see, these resources are completely independent from external "allies" and fully self-sufficient. A number of analysts call today ISIS the richest and most secured radical grouping and estimate its fortune at 2 billion dollars. Unlike their opponents (the Syrian and Iraqi army), who have limited opportunities for militant confrontation.
The Kurdish movement and its de facto independent homeland - Iraqi Kurdistan - are recognized as an active rival force of ISIL.
Kurds in Iraq are second only to Arabs in size (ca. 8 million people, 25% of the country's population). Iraqi Kurdistan occupies the sixth part of the entire territory of Iraq (about 40 thousand sq. Km. (70 thousand sq. Km including the so-called disputed territories - editorial note)), comparable to the territory of Holland.
Iraqi Kurdistan is a de facto independent state entity in the north of the republic, de jure enshrined as autonomy. According to an oriental researcher A. Rafaat: “Iraqi Kurdistan, even without becoming an independent state, becomes the center of regionalization and internationalization of the Kurds as a force to be reckoned ... Kurds are becoming active players in the Middle East policy” .
According to Section 1, Art. 113, of the Constitution of Iraq, Kurdistan has received the status of a federal region and very broad powers even for a subject of a federal state:
- the right to own legislation (subject to non-contradiction of the federal Constitution);
- own system of legislative, executive and judicial power;
- own security forces, their own representative offices at Iraqi embassies abroad.
Autonomy has extremely broad, in fact, state powers: in addition to its own airports, official universities, the three branches of government and the regular army, Iraqi Kurdistan also has its own oil pipeline.
The dominant economic spheres of Iraqi Kurdistan are currently energy (oil), tourism and agriculture. Three important features make the region il. Kurdistan is a more attractive region, which makes it stand out from the background of Iraq and neighboring countries:
- favorable investment conditions for foreign companies
-liberal market conditions, coupled with a macro-stable economy,
- relative security from the threat of terrorism (as far as security can be judged in an ever-burning Middle East).
Consider the growth themes of the Kurdistan economy:
In 2004, per capita income was 50% higher than in the rest of Iraq.
By the 2009 year - higher by 200%.
In 2005-2008, the highest growth rates were achieved (around 12,7%).
In 2010-2012, growth rates were 11,5%
From 2012, growth has stabilized from 7% to 8%.
From 2013, the growth rate of the autonomy's economy fell from 8% to 3%, poverty doubled.
It must be admitted that Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomy with a market economy, and for many years it has been developing on the basis of market principles, and quite successfully. The fight against ISIS, of course, led to new challenges in the region (financial crisis + provision of refugees and military forces), but before it in Kurdistan there was one of the highest economic growth rates in the world - almost 12% per year.
The social side of Iraqi Kurdistan is also at a higher level than the rest of Iraq and its neighboring countries:
- free and quality education to university level,
- free medical services (up to providing them in rural areas),
- liberal labor legislation (for example, starting a business in Ir. Kurdistan takes up to 4x),
- licensing is required only in the alcohol, defense and tobacco spheres.
Thus, we have considered the main political forces of the Iraqi state, which the republic risks in the medium term. Certainly, the caliphate of the “Islamic State” does not realize itself (it will not allow this civilized world), however, complete nationalization of Iraqi Kurdistan is quite possible. There is one big problem in Iraq - the contradictions of two Arab sects, each of which is confident in its absolute right to rule the country: Sunni Arabs intend to return the former Saddam domination in Iraq, actively cooperating with ISIL and not allowing to build a real federation, and Shiite Arabs, Guided by my own numerical majority, I consider the only true to be my exclusive participation in government. In the struggle of two Muslim forces today, Iraqi Kurdistan occupies a decent position, more than ever close to its independence. For good reason the minorities rebel against the dominant power. The World Declaration of Human Rights states: “Human rights must be protected by power so that a person is not forced to resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression as the last resort.”
Author: Jamila Kochoyan, Political Journalist
- Jamila Kochoyan, Political Journalist
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