[Marxism] Juan Cole on platform of Shia alliance in colonial election

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Dec 31 14:38:52 MST 2004

Informed Comment 
Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion
Juan Cole is Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Platform of the United Iraqi Alliance

The Iraqi newspaper "al-Adalah" published on Dec. 23 the platform of the
United Iraqi Alliance, the mainly Shiite coalition sponsored by Grand
Ayatollah Ali Sistani. It was translated by BBC World Monitoring. Since
this party very likely will dominate parliament, it is worth looking at
the platform.

First, the coalition includes the following parties:

1. Supreme Assembly of Islamic Revolution in Iraq SAIRI [Or Supreme
Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI]

2. Islamic Al-Da'wah Party.

3. Centrist Grouping Party.

4. Badr Organization.

5. Islamic Al-Da'wah Party/Iraq's Organization.

6. Justice and Equality Grouping.

7. Iraqi National Congress INC .

8. Islamic Virtue Party.

9. First Democratic National Party.

10. Islamic Union of Iraqi Turcomans.

11. Turcoman Al-Wafa Party.

12. Islamic [Faili] Grouping in Iraq [Shiite Kurds].

13. Islamic Action Organization.

14. Future Iraq Grouping.

15. Hizbullah Movement in Iraq.

16. Islamic Master of Martyrs Movement.

As to the platform itself, it has two parts, basic principles and vision
of Iraq's polity, and then specific areas of endeavor. As for basic

First, the Iraq that we want:

1. A united Iraq - land and people - with full national sovereignty.

2. A timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq.

3. A constitutional, pluralistic, democratic and federally united Iraq.

4. Iraq that respects the Islamic identity of the Iraqi people. The
state religion is Islam.

5. Iraq that respects human rights, that does not discriminate on the
grounds of sects, religions, or ethnicities, and that preserves the
rights of religious and ethnic minorities and protects them against
persecution and marginalization.

6. Iraq that provides a climate of peaceful coexistence among Iraqis
without preferential treatment for any group.

7. Iraq in which the judiciary is independent and in which justice and
equality prevail.

I'm not sure most Americans realize that the biggest and most important
party coalition in Iraq, which will almost certainly form the next
government, has explicitly stated in its platform that it wants a
specific timetable announced for withdrawal of US troops from the

The rest of the statement promises security, fighting terrorism, a
depoliticized military; a state guarantee of a job to every Iraqi,
social security and workmen's compensation, state support for the
building of houses for homeowners; providing health services and
medicine and health insurance; supporting women's participation in
politics, the economy and social life; support for youth and for
families; developing industry and agriculture and the provision of basic
services; education; etc.

An independent foreign policy is promised, as is membership in the Arab
League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. [This plank
implies non-recognition of Israel until there is a global peace
settlement accepted by these two organizations).

I think we are looking at the policies of the new Iraq. They aren't what
Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Wolfowitz imagined.

posted by Juan @ 12/31/2004 06:23:07 AM    

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