Iraq

Click on title 'The Baghdad Bugle ... ' for full article(s).

Contributed from Iraq, April, 2012;

The US military’s withdrawal did not have the positive impact that many had hoped with claims that Iran had simply replaced the US military. As a result, violence has increased sharply in Iraq in recent months. To distract the international community from their internal affairs, Syria and Iran have continued to supply logistical and financial support to terrorist organizations within Iraq in an attempt to destabilize the country., Hard evidence has been difficult to come by but has, and does continue to surface. Weapons and material uncovered to date point to obvious involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IEDs in the form of shaped charges, an Iranian speciality since at least 2006, RKG-EFP home made grenades, modified silencers, and rocket launchers for indirect fire capability stamped with Iranian symbols and serial numbers). Most of this equipment has been smuggled through Shia dominated Iraqi territory bordering with (Shia dominated) Iran. In addition to material aid, training has been provided in camps on the Iranian side of the border with Iraqi mediators being used to avoid direct contact with insurgent elements. Syrian elements operate in a similar manner to Iraq’s North West.

Internally, constant political maneuvering and infighting for the most important positions of power has had a negative effect on the ground and on the development process. Mistrust between key political figures is having a very real impact on both relations between Iraqi citizens and their view of the government. The loss of faith in elected representatives is expected to contribute to reduced participation in the next round of elections. In Iraq there is a very real fear that this problem will push the country closer to civil war. Baghdad is seen as increasingly autocratic and not interested in the concerns of minor, yet significant portions of Iraqi society such as the Kurds, Sunni Arabs and even other Shia parties that do not belong to the party of President Nuri Al-Maliki. The minor parties are not looking to trade accusations. They simply want to address the factors leading to the increase in violence in order to avoid the citizens of Iraq becoming victims of the destabilization efforts of foreign elements. The ongoing violence requires serious attempts at compromise and power sharing to redress the damage, prevent Iraq from hemorrhaging, dividing and descending into civil war.

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