Iraq’s Imagined Conflicts

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Besides the real causes behind the disputes in Iraq, there are a great number of conflicts revolving around figments of the imagination in the collective mindsets of the country’s sects. These illusions have a great impact on the ground and feed the conflict, adding fuel to the fire of the hell taking place in Iraq.

The fighters of this war resemble Don Quixote, who went out on an adventure to spread truth, justice and noble values, only to embark on a delusionary path to fight enemies who only existed in his mind.

Everyone knows that Iraqis do not agree on how the nation’s economic wealth is distributed and how politicians are running the country, among other issues. Similar disputes also exist in other nations. However, what differentiates Iraq from other countries is that so many disagreements only exist in the historical and religious memory of its sects.

Religion and history have been exploited to a large extent. The warring parties are prolonging the religious conflict by invoking historical struggles linked to ancient religious figures forgotten by many.

Thus, the ongoing clashes do not reflect the current dilemma as much as they reflect underlying hatred and sectarian animosity. In this way, a series of fabricated dualities appears that does not represent the reality of the conflict, all the while fueling and torching it. The conflict then becomes another scene of the fight between Hussein ibn Ali and Yazid, which took place 14 centuries ago and was mentioned in the Dec. 23, 2013, speech of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

This is also true of the speeches of Maliki’s opponents, such as the resigned Vice President Tariq al-Hashem, who is presenting the current situation in Iraq as a conflict between Safavid Shiites and Sunni Ottomans that ended four centuries ago, in various statements published on his official website.

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