By Juan ColeInformed Comment
December 31, 2004
The Iraqi newspaper "al-Adalah" published on Dec. 23 the platform of the United Iraqi Alliance, the mainly Shiite coalition sponsored by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. It was translated by BBC World Monitoring. Since this party very likely will dominate parliament, it is worth looking at the platform.
First, the coalition includes the following parties:
1. Supreme Assembly of Islamic Revolution in Iraq SAIRI [Or Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI]
2. Islamic Al-Da'wah Party.
3. Centrist Grouping Party.
4. Badr Organization.
5. Islamic Al-Da'wah Party/Iraq's Organization.
6. Justice and Equality Grouping.
7. Iraqi National Congress INC .
8. Islamic Virtue Party.
9. First Democratic National Party.
10. Islamic Union of Iraqi Turcomans.
11. Turcoman Al-Wafa Party.
12. Islamic [Faili] Grouping in Iraq [Shiite Kurds].
13. Islamic Action Organization.
14. Future Iraq Grouping.
15. Hizbullah Movement in Iraq.
16. Islamic Master of Martyrs Movement.
As to the platform itself, it has two parts, basic principles and vision of Iraq's polity, and then specific areas of endeavor. As for basic principles:
First, the Iraq that we want:
1. A united Iraq - land and people - with full national sovereignty.
2. A timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq.
3. A constitutional, pluralistic, democratic and federally united Iraq.
4. Iraq that respects the Islamic identity of the Iraqi people. The state religion is Islam.
5. Iraq that respects human rights, that does not discriminate on the grounds of sects, religions, or ethnicities, and that preserves the rights of religious and ethnic minorities and protects them against persecution and marginalization.
6. Iraq that provides a climate of peaceful coexistence among Iraqis without preferential treatment for any group.
7. Iraq in which the judiciary is independent and in which justice and equality prevail.
I'm not sure most Americans realize that the biggest and most important party coalition in Iraq, which will almost certainly form the next government, has explicitly stated in its platform that it wants a specific timetable announced for withdrawal of US troops from the country.
The rest of the statement promises security, fighting terrorism, a depoliticized military; a state guarantee of a job to every Iraqi, social security and workmen's compensation, state support for the building of houses for homeowners; providing health services and medicine and health insurance; supporting women's participation in politics, the economy and social life; support for youth and for families; developing industry and agriculture and the provision of basic services; education; etc.
An independent foreign policy is promised, as is membership in the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. [This plank implies non-recognition of Israel until there is a global peace settlement accepted by these two organizations).
I think we are looking at the policies of the new Iraq. They aren't what Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Wolfowitz imagined.
More Information on Iraq's Government