Iraqis have long repeatedly said that political decisions are taken outside the country, and that regional and international agreements specify the trajectory of new governments. As soon as the results of last month’s elections were announced, all attention was channeled to outside powers to know the real result.
Political events are not isolated but instead are highly interrelated. One cannot disregard the influence of Iran on major Shiite powers, that of Turkey on Iraqi Kurdistan and some Sunni factions and that of Saudi Arabia on some Sunni powers. Certainly, one also cannot talk about an Iraqi policy away from the role and influence of Washington.
The scenarios of the 2006 and 2010 elections are expected to repeat again this year. Iraqi political forces will likely push the crisis deeper and cling to their positions, while refusing to make concessions. Without hesitation, they will push the political process to the brink, thus creating a perfect environment for foreign interference, as these powers will not hesitate to call for this intervention.
Iraqi political culture still gives foreign powers roles that these powers did not even think about playing. Political conflicts include foreign influences as part of a game, according to which Iraqi parties empower themselves and weaken their rivals.
For example, some political and media circles talked about Washington not supporting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s quest for a third mandate or of a “political majority” forming the government. Other circles said that Iran supports a third term, while others believed that Iran and Washington support Maliki. Another group, however, said that neither country supported Maliki.
These leaks are aimed at entrenching the culture that promotes the making of decisions by foreign countries. It could also be an attempt by Iraqi political powers to get rid of their responsibilities and throw the burden of liability on foreign countries.
One cannot imagine a future for a country where political elites care about the opinion of foreign countries at the expense of their own people, and before evaluating if the Iraqi decision can possibly be applied within Iraq.
The question is the following: Why do Iraqi political forces wait for a foreign intervention to start making concessions? Why don’t they analyze the political map first, and then act upon it?
This question can only be answered if we take into consideration the vision of the powers toward the country's rule and the role of political parties, and the concept of peaceful rotation of power.
Amid the absence of consensual principles in terms of the state, its form, the distribution of wealth and the competence of each institution, it is normal to assume that government formation is in fact a restructuring of the state. This process requires a re-creation of conflicts about the government and the future.