Assaults on Iraqi Sovereignty
Since the invasion of 2003, Iraq has been subjected to terrifying terrors, the scourging of its national infrastructure and resources, and humiliating interference in its internal affairs. Corrupt politicians who have bluntly ignored national interests have been imposed on Iraq and decent and proud individuals have had no other options except to leave their beloved country.
However, in recent weeks, the menace to Iraqi sovereignty has taken a new turn. This new turn has been reinforced by four factors: terror groups led by ISIS have captured a huge swath of Iraqi territories and have threatened to capture the capital, Baghdad; militias belonging to the ethnic minority in the North, led by a seasoned warlord, Masood Barazani, have expanded their control of major cities and threatened to declare independence; Washington has pressured Iraqis to accept the current reality and act accordingly; and ZalmayKhalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, along with other neoconservatives, has initiated a fierce campaign to end Iraq as a cultural and political entity.
When Khalilzad(July 14, 2014) publically and fiercely presented his plan for partitioning Iraq, he sent a message that Washington is behind his scheme and that he and his allies are not ready to backdown.Khalilzad is an ardent neoconservative and a non-Jewish Zionist who believes that protecting Israeli interests is a divine duty. As a student at the University of Chicago he studied under Albert Wohlstetter, a strategist neoconservative, and became a friend to other neoconservative strategists, such as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl.
As a neoconservative, he wholeheartedly believes in the central doctrine that Israel is under constant existential threat from Iraq and that Iraq must be partitioned to ensure the safety of Israel and Israeli hegemony in the Arab World. Before 1991, he advocated that Iraqi power and Iraqi manpower and institutions were immediate targets that must be shattered. After the destruction of Iraq, in 1991,Khalilzad realized that a new goal had emerged.
He shifted his emphasis from attackingto occupying Iraq. In 1996, he statedthat for the “ first time in Israel's history, Israel and the United States now face the same threats -- the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, . . . and the rogue regimes of Iran and Iraq.. .. . In the meantime, Israel should be factored into regional defense plans and incorporated into CENTCOM in recognition of the very real contribution it can make to the promotion of peace and stability throughout the Middle East.” He further asserted that Iraq is the last hurdle for achieving the goal of establishing jointregional security arrangements where Israel is the indispensable actor.
As one of the architects of the invasion and occupationof Iraq, Khalilzad made it clear that the subjugation of Iraq, irrespective of means, was the immediate goal. In 2002, he stated, “The administration is now determined to disarm Iraq one way or another.” As Ambassador to Iraq, he forced Iraqis to accept a draft constitution that would intentionally lead to a division of Iraq. In fact, Peter Galbraith of the Occupational Authority and an advisor to Barazani, in an interview with the New Yorker (December, 2005),expressed surprise that Khalilzad pushed for a constitution that enabled the ethnic minority, the Kurds, to get “ everything they wanted: control of their oil, supremacy of Kurdish law over Iraqi law, and their own army, as well as limitation on the power of the central government.”
Immediately, after leaving his job as Ambassador to Iraq, Khalilzad negotiated to be a paid advisor (New York Times, July 14, 2010) to the Kurdish leader,Masood Barazani. He coached the latter on what to say and what to demand. In addition, he served on the board of directors of DNO, a Norwegian oil company that has stake in the Iraqi Kurdish region. This has broadened Khalilzad’s role in the region at the expense of the whole of Iraq.
In line with his role in the Kurdish region and his vast financial interests in the oil sector there, Khalilzadhas seized on new opportunities that have emerged since the terrorist group, ISIS, captured several Iraqi cities and overran Iraqi security and military posts. This development has created a political environment in which his plan for partitioning Iraq can be transformed into a reality. The Kurdish clan leaders and politicians have warmly espoused Khalilzad scheme for Iraq.
On his part, Khalilzadhas initiated a campaign in the Middle East and Washington to support his plan. On July 14, he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he specifically calls for the Kurdish region to declare independence if the Iraqi government fails to grant them “the right to export its own oil; integrate Kirkuk and other recently acquired areas; settle past budget issues and keep its own autonomous finances; and maintain control of the region’s Peshmerga security forces, including acquiring weapons.”
Furthermore, Khalilzad warns of bloodshed and war in Iraq if the Iraqi government does not heed his prescriptions. He states the “best-case scenario would be the establishment of a decentralized Iraq with a federal system in the Arab-majority areas, operating in confederation with Kurdistan. The alternative is civil war between Shiites and Sunnis, and the emergence of an independent Kurdistan.”
While Khalilzad, in common with rest of the neoconservatives, sharesthe commitment to spread chaos and bloodshed in Iraq, he has an advantage over them. He speaks Arabic and has a network of corrupted Iraqi tribal and religiously driven politicians. More importantly, he is a smooth talker and is gifted with a capacity to easily manipulate Iraqi politicians and present his scheme as their own.
Khalilzad is a protégé of the best of the neoconservative strategists, including Henry Kissinger, Irving Kristol, and Leo Strauss. For about thirty years he has faithfully carried out schemes to destabilize the Arab World and arrest its economic and human developments. Indeed, Khalilzad’s scheme for Iraq has led to untold misery and bloodshed. His scheme has not only incapacitated Iraqi institutions but also endangered the future of Iraqis.
There are some who might think that Khalilzad faithfully serves American interests. In fact, he is a threat to American national interests and to the principles upon which the United States was founded.The fact remains that Khalilzad’s message and actions are a menace to civilization and the very existence of the Arab nation and in particular Iraq. Khalid Sanjari is a writer on Middle East Affairs