CAIRO: As the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion descends upon us, the war-torn country is still bogged down with no solution in sight. What was sold as a swift victory which would be the basis of the democratization of the region can now be seen as the heart of the region’s troubles.
President George Bush declared a victory in dramatic fashion, but promised that Iraq would be better than it was under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Whether it is or isn’t is for history to judge, but what is certain is that things did not go according to plan.
“Initially, I think they misread the situation either because of the Iraqis informing them or due to the administration’s willingness to be misinformed in the rush to occupy Iraq, Walid Kazziha, professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, told Daily News Egypt.
Proof of the quagmire is that on Tuesday a conference aimed to reconcile warring factions in Iraq descended into farce before it started because Sunni representatives felt they were not properly invited. And the violence continues.
Spokesman for the main Sunni bloc the Accordance Front Salim Al-Jubouri said, “The Front will not attend the conference, not because it does not believe in reconciliation … but because the invitations were sent to members of the Front and not formally to the Accordance Front.
“Certainly, there were so many elements that have led to the misunderstanding of the situation, Kazziha said, “but the biggest fault committed upon entering Iraq was looking at it as a mosaic and [adopting] a policy of divide and rule.
“As a result they have ended with the Iranians taking advantage of the situation and the Americans defeating their own purpose. They also reinforced the divisions of the country. Instead of going into Iraq with the perception of unifying it. It became divided and the Americans are in the midst of all this and it is very difficult to change that after five years, he added.
The head US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus told the Washington Post that neither the Iraqi nor American governments feel “that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation.
And yet the US seems adamant on pushing through with the current plan, at least until the current administration is in power. Vice President Dick Cheney told US troops Tuesday, while on a surprise two-day visit to Iraq, that Iraqis “know we’re a nation that accepts a hard job and keeps at it even if others may tire of the effort.
“We intend to complete the mission, so that another generation of Americans doesn’t have to come back here and do it again, he added.Kazziha said, “We are very close to a division in Iraq, the Americans got what they initially wanted but the country is divided. All it will take now is for the neighbors of Iraq to join in and reinforce that division.
“What is promising is that none of the neighbors are in a position to of actively taking a part of Iraq, Kazziha added, “but if one of them jockeys for position the others will follow.
“It would be a mistake now to be so eager to draw down the force that we risk putting the outcome in jeopardy, and I don’t think we’ll do that, Cheney said in Iraq.
Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion with the future of Iraq uncertain at the present time.
“There isn’t much to be optimistic about, Kazziha said.