The suggestion to hold early elections in Iraq was initially meant by the ruling clique as nothing more than a ploy to assuage the anger of demonstrators. But it seems that early elections ended up becoming a crucial and fateful necessity for both US and Iranian camps in Iraq. Both sides have found themselves forced to coexist in the country. Now everybody is just waiting to see what the post-pandemic winds are going to bring.
Iran is waiting for the fall of US President Donald Trump and the coming of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to help it rise from its depression, while America is waiting for the Iranian regime to fall in due time because of the sanctions, the coronavirus pandemic and the prospect of a new Iranian Revolution. Just place your faith in God to do his deeds.
As for us – simple Iraqis who are despised by both camps – we too have been waiting, since October of last year, for the revolution of our brave and honourable young patriots to turn the tables on the two camps and return the country to its rightful owners, free of the weapons of the armed gangs, corrupt proxies and despicable traitors.
It seems that the brilliant idea to hold early elections has ceded its place to the saga of choosing a new prime minister who is supposed to provide some form of bridge between America and Iran, and a trustworthy soul for both of them.
The rare gem should be able to assuage the angry, sullen, disgruntled and repressed Iraqi masses by putting on a show in which he appears to remove some of the militia weapons that Iran does not want anyway and liberate some areas of the homeland that America doesn’t need.
The chosen hero of this comedy will also be making some made-for -TV gestures and be taking some reform-like measures that would ease the minds of most of the protesters.
Neither Mohammed Allawi nor Adnan al-Zurfi proved to be the rare gem who could establish a safe bridge between the two camps. Then suddenly, all heads turned to Mustafa Kadhimi, the head of the Iraqi intelligence services, who is known for his dual American-Iranian loyalties and temperament – the perfect candidate, temporarily at least, for the task at hand.
Choosing Kadhimi was perhaps the lesser of all evils, as he’s the best of a bad lot, the least hypocritical among the hypocrites and the least corrupt among the corrupt.
Perhaps the person most happy with this great find is President Barham Salih, whose rhetorical talents unfolded and flowed during Kadhimi's appointment ceremony, a surreal event the likes of which have not been witnessed in a long time. Salih breathed a sigh of relief. He is comforted by his not appearing to favour the Americans, the Iranians, or the protesters. In the end, there were no winners or losers, and that’s the best scenario for all.
So you see, he who expects the upcoming Iraqi elections to be fair, or even half fair, must be both delusional and naive, or at least willingly duped. We simply have to wait, hear and see, keeping in mind that the weapons that will guard the ballot boxes are going to be for the most part Iranian, while the expected bags packed with dollars, dinars, riyals and dirhams are going to flow from America, the UK, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The whole show is going to take place in plain daylight, without fear or shame.
It is interesting to say the least that in this new democratic Iraq, anyone who professes to be a spy for a foreign power – or even a double agent – is no longer rejected, despised or condemned for high treason. He can eventually become prime minister.