The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI)
The ‘Inclusive Iraq’ Scheme:
The Proper Solution for Saving Iraq and the Region
Today, Iraq stands at a turning point in its contemporary history. It has been experiencing a grave situation which demands now the full awareness on current affairs, their consequences and implications and their critical impact on the present, near and distant future of Iraq and Iraqis.
Upon its legitimate responsibilities, its influence in the national effort exerted in the past few years of Iraq’s time under occupation, the significant confidence it enjoys by many Iraqis and in response to appeals received occasionally, AMSI has during the last three months communicated with the diverse powers that stand against the current political situation in Iraq and the foreign dominance. This communication meant to discuss the circumstances of the current stage and its requirements and comes within the serious and active pursuit to firmly establish the basis for concordance, for the purpose of making change in Iraq. This is in order to end the misery of its people, save the country from its tragic situation and put it back on its normal course.
AMSI has tried in the past years until 2009 to culminate its efforts by holding a conference with the aim to come out with a large-scale front. Such was a perception under which all the keen Iraqi groups could join to form the launching stage of this significant scheme. AMSI has made several requests to a number of Arab states to host this conference, and has approached the Arab League more than once for persuasion, but all its attempts were to no avail.
Although we realise how difficult it has been to establish a wide-scale national Iraqi front under those hard and gloomy circumstances experienced in Iraq in the past years and under our current circumstances - with this being the result of several thematic factors that lie beyond our control and of the realities that obstruct such an establishment; and as every act of such nature entails several requisites in order to succeed, with the foremost being the availability of suitable international and regional circumstances, it is within the belief of the AMSI that there is an opportunity today that may bring this effort back, one way or another. It also sees a potential to benefit from the current situation in the Arab and international arenas and a chance to avail itself of the opportunity of hopelessness facing the Iraqi people - combined with the current political regime’s catastrophic failure in achieving the minimum level of security, stability and welfare and in securing the necessary needs for living.
One: Having suffered for long the predominance of successive governments and their oppressive apparatus that confiscated the people’s right to demand their rights and their right to protest against the corrupt and unjust policies, the Iraqi people had to peacefully revolt against their government on 25/2/2011 in 16 out of 18 Iraqi governorates, condemning the policy of killing, arrest and corruption that infiltrated throughout the state’s entire institutions.
That was a revolution made by the Iraqi people with all their components, who were subject to grave oppression for almost a decade, under well-known types of suppression that included: excessive acts of killing, arrests, torture and rape; cleansing, exclusion, marginalisation; financial and administrative corruption; systematic and predetermined humiliation; theft of public money and the absence of services, with known and horrific statistics and figures being the tip of the iceberg.
A second round of national protests surged through demonstrations and strikes starting on 23/12/2012, also suppressed with fire and arms. Hundreds of peaceful protesters fell in strike squares including those injured and dead, forcing people to seek self-defence in an armed confrontation that shifted the protests from their course and circumvented their ends.
Today, we are witnessing the signs of a third round of national revolt which started in our southern governorates moving up to the capital city, Baghdad. This comes after a state of bankruptcy that emerged, of which the concerned parties have earlier warned, as the result of rampant corruption. It had its consequences affecting what is left of the exhausted country that has been inflicted with thefts and money laundering and where people’s fate and future was controlled by war lords. This can only show that our great nation has become bored with these situations and is no longer capable of taking that burden, looking today for salvation.
Two: The Iraqi people have been forced into a war with which they have nothing to do. Their children have shed dear blood. Their strength is waning in its flames day after day. Nobody knows why this war ever broke out or who is benefiting from it or where it is ending. [Nobody knows] why do Iraqi people send their children to die in a proxy conflict stirred by foreign international parties who wish Iraq and its people no good. [Nobody knows] for whose interest are millions of people being displaced from their homes and towns, dispersed throughout the country between the deserts, or seeking shelter in other places that can only intensify their sufferance and that of their hosts. Following all this it was necessary for the wise men to do something to stop the bloodshed, eliminate division and separation factors, restore national unity of a nation that has never divided along its history and bring home every Iraq to live safe and secure in their homes.
Three: It is unquestionable that the current political regime in Baghdad does not represent all the Iraqi people. It is designed to serve the interests of certain parties and groups far from people’s interests and far from the constitution – a constitution which has led into this political system. It stands as the cornerstone behind the grave and successive failures of this regime and its political process. This cannot but manifest the fact that changing the foundation of this current political regime in Iraq - in any satisfying format capable of guaranteeing the sustenance of Iraq’s primary constituents and preserving its unity and free sovereignty - may all but lend a true opportunity to rebuild a new Iraq that is capable of closing the circles of conflict on its soil, provide a secure living for its people and prevent its use as a passageway to inflict harm on countries of the region and the world.
Four: This is an experience that has lasted for over 13 years, during which all various aspects of the political process have failed. It has failed in its principles, figures and applications; in running the affairs of Iraq, in binging security and in preserving its powers. It has earned itself with merit the title given to it by the concerned international organisations as ‘the failed state’. Following this bitter experience it is impossible to persuade the world that those faces will achieve success this time should they be granted more international support. To retest the already tested is a futile attempt. Any patchwork solution that reinstates the rules of the current political game, as is, whilst keeping the same politicians who have committed such sins and errors in their posts will prove ineffective at all. As such, this would only push Iraq and the region into a deeper abyss while, instead, a search for a proper exit should begin to put things back on their normal course, set things right and root out corruption and [acts of] destruction.
Five: The outbreak of conflict between the components of Iraq’s political process itself, as a natural result of what was committed against Iraq and Iraqis, warns yet of further grave consequences with foreseen future for the people of Iraq that can only open for them more gates of hell. We have, time and again, alerted and warned about the consequences and risks of what has come now in the open for everyone to see, proving wrong all those who argued. This calls for [a swift action] to rectify the situation before it reaches a point of no return, and before we enter another dark tunnel that can succumb what is left of the country and the constituents of its people.
Six: All international attempts to alleviate the damage, mend the faults and reach conciliations have failed, including efforts made by the UN through its delegated SG special envoys, making no achievement that is worth-mentioning. This reached an extent where the international community was so greatly bewildered by the way to deal with the Iraqi question and its ongoing consequences. We appreciate that among the main reasons for this situation is that the competent Iraqi powers have been absent from the scene, while the country has been run by those incompetent.
Subject of Initiative:
Based on the aforementioned, it is within the perception held by the AMSI that the current stage is in dire need for a (certain) format of a joint Iraqi action based on clarity which allows for combining between joint views, orientations and thoughts for the purpose of finding effective and decisive solutions to the extent possible. Thereby, AMSI through this meeting, announces the launch of its initiative, for the purpose mentioned, under the title: “The Inclusive Iraq Scheme - The Proper Solution for Saving Iraq and the Region.”
The initiative consists of the following:
a. A call to hold extensive consultative meetings between the Iraqi powers that stand against the current political situation in Iraq, for the purpose of agreeing on and coordinating the principles and basics of the Inclusive Iraq Scheme and its activation.
b. A call to convene a series of extensive seminars between the competent members and elites of the civil society, its active groups, its opinion leaders and social fronts, to bring closer the different points of views and reach perceptions that are as convergent as possible.
c. A call on significant society groups, entities and titles to hold meetings, within their anticipated participation in any forthcoming collective Iraqi effort, and in support of and expansion of an Iraqi public opinion transforming into an active mass movement.
d. A call to hold a public conference on the establishment of an inclusive Iraqi framework, under one title that regulates the ideas and thoughts of the aforementioned Iraqi powers. This is to be reached through a joint action charter based on the foundations of unity, independence of the Iraqi decision, rejection of near and distant foreign dependency and the enhancement of civil peace. This should stop any attempts to singly influence some powers dragging them towards individual concessions or into traps set here and there. This comes in preparation for a proper solution that can prevent Iraq from falling prey to deadly vacuum.
Following the foregoing, it must be stated herein that the ultimate goal of all Iraqis is not only limited to stopping those corrupt, but goes also beyond that to build a genuine Iraqi scheme that sets a comprehensive vision for the future. This should guarantee the initiation of the free will of the Iraqi people to transform them from their current situation to another, where free and independent political activity can be exercised through free elections, under terms that guarantee their integrity and participation of all Iraqis. This is with aim to produce their real representatives in order to draft a constitution that can achieve the expectations of all the Iraqi people and to meet their aspirations. It is also to guarantee them a peaceful transfer of power away from favouritism, selfishness and exclusion, so that they can come out of the dark tunnel in which they live and reverse their unknown future.
As we adopt the aforementioned and rely on the strategy of rescue and change towards an Inclusive Iraq, we are aware that this is not such an easy task. We are also fully aware that Iraq’s current situation suffers from Iranian intervention, a growing influence and an undeclared occupation that is badly detrimental to its interests, which has confused the region and raised the concerns of its countries. This may also anticipate that any process to be worked out in order to reach a format of understanding among Iraqis and to establish a stable Iraqi state will be met with obstructions.
It is worth reminding the international community, and foremost the United States, that it is all but useless to insist on labelling the conflict in the Iraqi scene as being between the current two fighting parties, while ignoring that the real causes have emerged from the political process in Iraq, its miserable based-on constitution, the reliance on corrupt figures in running the country and the exclusion of national powers with all possible means. This has been a way that was tried for one full decade and has shown its failures with an increased bill of human and physical losses - a true reality that is beyond reason. This is a way that will lead into no result but rather keep the region in turmoil.
Countries of the world, especially regional ones, have a historic opportunity before them to become a fair and effective party, by persuading the international community and the sponsors of the political process to rectify the wrong course in Iraq – instead of insisting on it. [They have the chance to] adopt a new policy that makes its priority not to stand in the way of Iraqi powers that were previously ignored deliberately and excluded - which suggested to the world that they did not exist at a time when they were capable of saving their country, building it in the right way and achieving effective and lasting treatment after the situation had fallen deep into the abyss and hit the very bottom. In addition, the agreeing Iraqi, Arab, regional and international wills to find realistic and comprehensive solution beliefs are capable of ending Iraq’s serious problems. This can be done by putting our trust in God alone, by the sincere intentions and by making the serious action.
The emergence of such powers clearly visible within an Inclusive Iraqi framework can certainly make them a legitimate party that represents the Iraqi powers which had been forced into absence in any international effort towards resolving the Iraqi crisis.
The Inclusive Iraq Scheme that we call for is capable of terminating the conflict and its justifications in Iraq. It is capable of keeping at bay all powers and groups that do not wish for the situation in the region to calm down. This is possible by means of introducing real programs that provide equal opportunities for everyone, eliminate the chaos and enforce security. Laying the foundations for this promising scheme can achieve the following points:
1- Remove the concerns that some groups and diversities in the Iraqi society may have with regard to possible change consequences.
2- Expand the public participation in resisting foreign interference and influence detrimental to Iraq and its citizens, and to persuade them that an alternative to this is possible.
3- Attract opinion leaders, active and influential figures in the Iraqi society to take part in the real change.
4- Unite the efforts of Iraqi powers and expand the circle of participating powers in the change project, under an inclusive umbrella that bears responsibility for setting the course and distributing the tasks.
Initiative Specifics and its General Framework:
Finally, it is worth stressing that the aforementioned initiative details come within the framework of the following specifics and firm beliefs:
1. Full adherence to the independence of Iraq and its territorial integrity and the preservation of its identity. Its policies on development shall be based on the common interests of its citizens. The building of the modern state shall be in accordance with the necessary foundations, constitutionally, legally, economically, militarily, socially and culturally.
2. Commitment to the pluralistic approach and freedom of opinion, based on mechanisms that are consistent with and respect our values and traditions.
3. Exclusion of political revenge mechanisms and allowing for justice. This should be based on a consensual agreement between Iraqis in order for it to take its course in preserving the rights, the lives and dignities and to prevent the events that took place and currently taking place from happening again.
4. Being aware that our tragedy in Iraq is not a tragedy of a certain group, race, region, governorate or any particular place. It is the tragedy of the homeland and the nation. Giving instant attention to partial problems that arise here or there should not affect seeing the whole picture of this tragedy.
5. Rights are not given, but acquired by uninterrupted effective acts, arduous efforts and great sacrifices. Identity is the product of pride in position, mission and mandate. It is not a favour given by anyone nor the result of effect of an action event, effect and reaction, however this may be painful, harsh and long.
6. Inspiring the spirit of resistance, uprisings, protests and popular revolts is crucial and necessary in determining our path towards change and deliverance.
Finally, AMSI declares:
AMSI declares that its doors are open to all the Iraqi people of all components and groups for communicating. It provides all its efforts in order to achieve the objectives of this initiative, to guarantee that all effective work is put right on track again. This comes in taking its responsibilities, pledging to be an active part in any effort made and in being a productive, aiding, advising and mentoring element. Our main concern is to facilitate the ways and to give access to the wheel of action to run on its track by collective cooperation upon mutual cooperation format. We firmly believe that point of strength in the Inclusive Iraq Scheme comes from the united word of its parties, their cooperation and concord.
May God guide us to the sound way!