Iraqi Crisis Highlights Need for Dialogue

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

After 10 years of difficulty in managing political and security crises, Iraq is in need of a new vision for the concept of political dialogue.

The management of dialogue is not only carried out through official outlets, and it is surely not healthy to manage it through media outlets. The state has, in fact, the capacity to manage a dialogue even with its enemies.

This is not just a mere political rule but is the reasoning used in crises and even wars, and the reasoning for political relations at various levels.

Maybe it should be explicitly said that the Iraqi political establishment has failed to produce strong traditions capable of opening channels for dialogue outside the political and media crossfire. Thus, messages between political opponents in Iraq have always been made public through media outlets rather than official channels.

Given the dangerous security situation in Iraq — with the presence of dozens of armed forces and militias and in light of a social and economic environment prone to accept violence — it is imperative to always have undeclared communication channels outside the framework of the ongoing confrontations.

During the seven months of violence in Anbar and the protests that broke out in Sunni cities a year earlier, not to mention the many years during which various armed groups emerged while others disintegrated, the Iraqi state was very distant from this milieu and did not interfere.

This paved the way for violence and led to the announcement of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS), allowing it and other extremist organizations to become entrenched in Iraqi territories.

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