Commenting on the tensions raised by the “Popular Mobilization” after the arrest of one of its leaders, Qassem Mosleh, on charges of terrorism, Iraqi researcher Talha Abdul Razzaq said that Baghdad finds itself a hostage again, years after the expulsion of the “ISIS” organization from Iraq. Unlike in 2014, those who surrounded it are the same ones who participated in defeating the terrorist organization, and now they threaten the existence of the Iraqi state.
In an article in the American newspaper “Washington Post”, Abdul Razzaq wrote that the pro-Iranian Shiite militias are besieging the Green Zone, calling on the federal authorities to release Mosleh.
He added that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is under tremendous pressure to surrender to these demands, in a clear indication that Iraq is being “held hostage” by a transnational Shiite jihadist network led and controlled by Iran.
disintegration of the state
The disintegration of the state has become more visible since Iraqi protesters launched a protest movement in 2019, which has been renewed again in recent days after years of corruption, disastrous governance, and subservience to foreign interests.
Abdul Razzaq added: “What makes matters worse this time is that the Shiite militias, including the Hezbollah Brigades, which Washington has designated a terrorist organization, are involved in dozens of politically motivated murder and assassination attempts.”
The family of a prominent activist in the Iraqi movement, Ihab al-Wazani, who was killed outside his home on May 11, accused a reformist, a senior commander in the Popular Mobilization Forces, linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, of being behind the crime.
The Iraqi authorities arrested Musleh, but he may be released soon after the “Popular Mobilization” fighters surrounded the Green Zone, demanding his release and threatening dire consequences.
Al-Kazemi failed to control the militias
Once again, Al-Kadhimi has shown that he cannot control these armed groups, just as he was unable to bring to justice the killers of his friend, the famous terrorism expert Hisham Al-Hashemi. In a similar incident last year, gunmen were arrested, and a judge close to the “Popular Mobilization” soon ordered their release due to “lack of evidence”, and Al-Kazemi was unable to stop him.
Abdul Razzaq considered this not surprising, as Iran’s proxies in Iraq are at the heart of its transnational network, which extends from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus, and all the way to Beirut, adding that their activities include sex trafficking, black market arms trade, and the Illicit drugs, which seep through Iraq’s porous border with Iran and which have links to drug dealers in Afghanistan.
“This is the extent of their spread that they were an integral part of the criminal activities of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, which smuggled cocaine into the United States during the administration of former President Barack Obama,” he said.
Despite all this criminal activity and the continued bombing of military bases housing US and allied forces by these Shiite militias, the authorities in Baghdad were utterly powerless to stop them.
“They are an Iraqi version of the untouchables, except that instead of being on the side of Iraqi law enforcement, they instead act as agents serving chaos, violence, and Iran’s ambitions to become the pre-eminent regional hegemon,” Abdul Razzaq said.
Washington is a city for the Iraqis
In the face of these rampant gangs, it is not surprising that ordinary Iraqis who want a chance at a normal life are willing to risk their lives for freedom.
The United States and its allies in the international community owe it to the Iraqi people to fulfill the promise they made before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, to bring democracy. Instead, as one Iraqi best known for helping US forces destroy a statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003 said, Iraqis now have to deal with a thousand Saddams.
Abdul-Razzaq considered that Washington would be considered morally remiss if it played the role of a bystander to the merciless slaughter of Iraqis, who are fighting for democracy, at the hands of Shiite fundamentalists backed by Iran, a country still considered one of the largest state sponsors of terrorism.
Abdul Razzaq concluded that “it is doubtful that the United States will step up to fulfill its historical responsibility towards the Iraqis, but it is good to dream of that!”