Sunday, November 26, 2006

Iraq needs effective government, especially before too many professionals exit; current government may not be the answer

For whatever reason - sectarian differences, over 20 years of dictatorship, external meddling - Iraq's current government does not seem able to effectively govern Iraq at the national level.

Any country is going to have crises that come along, some more serious than others. The sectarian violence crisis was the first that the current Iraqi government had to face and it is failing to deal with it effectively. It has said that it needs more time. This is a valid concern, especially since the inherited insurgent-terrorist crisis also has to be resolved. But in the meantime, thousands of Iraqi civilians are dying and thousands more are fleeing the country, many of whom are the skilled professionals that Iraq will need in order to become successful. [1, 2] So the more time that passes, the less it seems Iraq will likely succeed since it will have less and less of the skilled professionals needed for success. And if the Iraqi government in its current form does not appear to be the solution, why give it more of this valuable time when other possible solutions are waiting to be tried?
news quotes
"Much of UNHCR's work in the first three years since the fall of the previous Iraqi regime was based on the assumption that the domestic situation would stabilise and hundreds of thousands of previously displaced Iraqis would soon be able to go home. In 2006, however, spiralling violence led to increasing displacement, necessitating a reassessment of UNHCR's work and its priorities throughout the region – from assisting returns and aiding some 50,000 non-Iraqi refugees in Iraq, to providing more help to the thousands who are fleeing every month.
Between 2003 and 2005, more than 253,000 Iraqis did return home, including from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries. Now, however, the returns have stopped and many more people are fleeing, including large numbers of skilled professionals crucial to Iraq's recovery." [1]

"Targeting of professionals, intellectuals, political, tribal and religious leaders, Government officials and members of the security forces continued unabated. The effect of violence is also affecting education, as many schools and universities have failed to open or have had their schedules disrupted and educators, professors and students were forced to leave the country. Increasing activity of extremist groups inside universities negatively affect access to education.
. . . Targeted assassination of professionals, such as journalists, teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors and other intellectuals, political, tribal and religious leaders, Government officials and members of the Iraqi security forces, police and military recruits continued to be recorded in an alarming number in the past two months." [2]

sources
[1] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC). Iraq: Growing needs amid continuing displacement. November 2006.
[2] United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Human Rights Report. 1 September - 31 October 2006.

posted: sunday, november 26, 2006, 12:37 PM ET
update: monday, december 25, 2006, 9:43 AM ET

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