Iraq News, Politics, Economics, Society
Joel:It is rare that Americans are provided with an opportunity to hear senior Iraqi leaders discussing their own explanation of events, obstacles, and futures with such clarity.I often felt in my Iraqi assignment that too many US employees, with little understanding of the shear complexity of the problems, do not understand what is obvious from the speaker's talk: that Iraq has much to do, that what it must do will not be easy, that events from 2003 through 2006 have, in many ways, made tasks more difficult----BUT that there is within Iraq the wisdom and technical knowledge to understand the problems, and the desire of most Iraqis to find a commonly understood prosperous future, based on a path which Iraq itself must walk based on Iraq's unique population, cultures, regions, politics and economics.The 2007/2008 US civilian surge's purpose, little understood to many, was to rapidly effect the civilian transfer (US withdrawal from? Iraqi empowerment for?) so that things which only Iraqis can resolve and determine could be properly before them, and not before an interim post-occupation structure.Thanks again for your excellent service to spotlight this talk.
Steve, yes I thought Nujafi did a particularly good job explaining what developing democracy really means for Iraq. Many in the U.S. and West think it's just about elections, but there is so much more involved from creating a civil norms to institutions, etc. It's a daunting task, and hopefully the country will make it through it. Unfortunately, too many of the existing political leaders seem to be the main barrier to overcoming these problems.
It is unfortunate that the real voice is not provided and parts of the video are cut off.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usama_al-NujayfiIt is important to note that he is the speaker of parliament not because he is representing the majority of Iraqis but because by Iraqi constitution the speaker should be a Sunni Arab. He along many other politicians from Sunni minority in Iraq campaigned against the ratification of the constitution. So it seems that what he is saying is the position of many Sunni politicians who have seen their power got severely limited when Saddam regime fall. He is representing the opinion and views of minority Sunni Arabs more than general Iraqis. One should take these into account when listening to what he is saying and not interpret them as apolitical statements.
Anon, I didn't mind the interpreter during the first part where Nujafi is just giving his speech. Where I did mind it was during the Q&A because they didn't have the questions so you couldn't tell whether Nujafi was answering them or just going off his own agenda. As for Nujafi, he is trying to make himself into a Sunni leader since Allawi has proven a total failure.
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