Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Word of Truth by Karim Hatif Sabur

A Word of Truth
by Karim Hatif Sabur

Will the political parties try to heal Iraqis' wounds? Or will they rub salt in them instead? The former regime left us a heavy legacy of social illnesses and scars in our hearts which are so difficult to be rid of.
We see a woman who lost her husband during one of the wars pulling behind her a bunch of hungry children; a student whose future is ruined because he wasn’t accepted in college after he refused to join the Ba'ath Party; a citizen who was forbidden from working in the military because he was a Shia from the south; another who spent years behind bars because he cursed the regime in his dream, leaving his kids to sell plastic bags in the grocery market.
I thought of these people while sitting in an old Baghdadi coffee shop with some friends.
One of my friends said that a person he knows submitted a request to join the new police force and was asked to bring a letter of approval from the _____ party. Another friend said that his friend wanted to go back to his job as a teacher. When he submitted a request he was told that he must first join the _____ party.
Did the cancerous disease of the Ba'ath infect our patriotic parties? If the answer is yes then this is really a disaster for both people and parties. Parties will end up with members who don’t truly belong. They will become a thin string that can be cut at any moment during a crisis. This is what happened to the Ba’ath.
As for the people, this will encourage the rebirth of the opportunistic spirit that was first planted by the Ba'ath Party.
We hope all the parties will deal transparently with the people to develop the patriotic spirit inside them and - more importantly - trust.
Our parties were woefully inactive on several occasions. And I ask them: why didn’t you take any action after the assassination of Mrs. Aqeela Al-Hashemi, one of the Governing Council members? Or after the assassination of Mr. Mohammed Bakir Al-Hakim, who was one of Iraq's most prominent religious figures and had a broad base of followers?
The Iraqi citizenship law has been issued which gives the Iraqi nationality to those who stay in Iraq for only three years. Did any of our parties think of protesting or submitting a common condemnation to the authorities? Why should we offer Iraqi citizenship to people coming from countries that would never even give us visas?
We in our democratic nation are developing our institutions. We ask our brothers in other parties to join us, share their opinions, and work as one hand to protect our state and our people.

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