“Oligarchs and Parties”: An American magazine reveals the catastrophe inherent in Allawi’s resignation letter

Reports & AnalyticsbreakingMinister of FinanceResignationCorruption in Iraq

 2022-09-22 15:46A-AA+

Shafaq News/ The American magazine “The Atlantic” highlighted the meanings and secrets of the sudden resignation of Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi recently, which bears serious indications as it represents an admission of impotence on the part of this reformist figure that many have relied on, and which confirms the failure of the consensual system based on the sharing of oil money and the dominance of oil money. The oligarchy and the militias that protect them. 

The American magazine provided an account of what happened since last August 16, when government ministers met at the Republican Palace in Baghdad, where Allawi, who has been the Minister of Finance since 2020, made an exceptional request as he wanted to read the full text of his resignation letter aloud, which he agreed to. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. 

The report, which was translated by Shafak News Agency, stated; Allawi began reading his resignation with traditional bureaucratic pleasantries, as he directed a special thanks to the prime minister, but presented a comprehensive indictment of the political class, which the American magazine described as “perhaps among the most scathing resignation letters ever written.” 

The US report considered that when future historians write about Iraq’s troubled efforts to establish an American-style democracy during the early years of the 21st century, Allawi’s resignation letter will provide them with a rare insight into the internal situation in a “failed state.” 

The report noted how the resignation letter detailed a series of fraudulent activities carried out with the approval or promotion of some of the men around him, who helped create a “widespread octopus of corruption and deception” poisoning the whole country. 

Allawi said in his message that Iraq is on the verge of collapse and is facing a crisis at the level of “the state, society and even the individual,” and that the problem is not only related to the presence of leaders who do not enjoy integrity, but rather to the entire system that the Americans established two decades ago, where Allawi expressed his belief that “we face One of the most serious challenges any country has faced over the past century.” 

The report described what happened in that meeting, where Allawi’s reading of his resignation took half an hour, and he was met with silence and astonishment by those present, as none of them expected that a great statesman like Allawi, who has many books, issue such harsh criticism. 

The report pointed out that Allawi’s resignation received news attention in Iraq, but outside Iraq it was hardly noticed, and was later overshadowed by the outbreak of violence between two Shiite factions in August, which caused dozens of deaths. 

However, the report indicated that Allawi’s resignation caused a shock in Western capitals, as the man, before returning to Iraq in the middle of the year 2020, was one of the strongest voices warning against corruption, and is seen as an embodiment of integrity and efficiency in the financial field. 

And after he mentioned how he took office after the outbreak of the protests in 2019, where Al-Kazemi later appointed Allawi and many technocrats in the new government, adding that to observers from outside, it seemed as if this was the “dream team, and perhaps the last chance for Iraq to renew itself.” “. 

The report quoted the resignation letter as how corruption was deeper than he realized, and that he learned the horrific truth about the deterioration of state mechanisms during the past 15 years, and that parties and interest groups, have effectively taken over the state, noting that the Ministry of Finance itself was crowded with people “who do not have significant experience or language skills, and have little awareness of modern practices in public administration and finance.”

The report explained; Allawi prepared for himself a detailed map showing who among the employees in the ministry is affiliated with any party, and that it became clear to him that the real power lies in the hands of party leaders, oligarchy and militia leaders, noting that Allawi himself was threatened with a travel ban because he refused to respond to a summons from the leader of one of the parties. . 

According to the report, the arrival of Allawi and Al-Kazemi was welcomed as one of the potential saviors of Iraq, because they were not polluted by Iraqi politics, but this situation made them enjoy only limited influence in a country where “power is exercised through armed street gangs, looted money and religion.” 

The report indicated that Allawi was working to expose old contracts that included fraud, and obstructed efforts to pass new contracts, including the electronic payment system “Qi Card”, which aims to help government employees and retirees to withdraw their salaries more easily, but this system was implemented Running it without oversight, it became a method used by oligarchs and militia leaders to cut salaries and drain money through “ghost soldiers” schemes. 

The report continued by saying that one of the most famous members of the elite oligarchy in Iraq suggested implementing a new electronic payment system to replace the “Qi Card” card, which was a worse option, and that in addition to the possibility of continued graft, the new company proposed a provision in which it grants itself A fine of $600 million if the government contract is cancelled. 

The report added that surprisingly, this contract was approved by the board of directors of the main state-owned bank, although Allawi was trying to prevent this from being verified.

The report quoted Allawi as saying that this contract “was for him the straw that broke the camel’s back,” explaining that the contract showed the degree of the state’s deterioration and its transformation into a puppet of special interests. 

In his resignation letter, Allawi showed that failure inevitably occurred not only because of corrupt politicians, but also because of “the political framework of this country,” referring to the system that was established during the period of the American occupation, which contributes to strengthening political competition and power-sharing, which turned into a consensual process. Through which the oil money is shared, through the ministries, by the oligarchy and the militias that protect it. 

The report pointed out that this system is almost the only game available in Iraq, as a large percentage works in the government, and that efforts to build a private sector capable of life were deliberately destroyed, which means that in the event that Iraq, which depends more than ever on the The oil revenues, if this system collapsed in it, the whole country would go bankrupt, except for the oligarchy who own luxury homes in London.

The report described the situation of Allawi, who is currently residing in London, saying that he appears sad but not remorseful, and that he thought carefully about his decision to resign, and that he “was taking a moral and ethical position and wanted to awaken people … as their future is being sold.” 

The report concluded by referring to an incident that bears many indications, as the most unexpected reaction to his resignation came through a text message that Allawi received (in Arabic) several weeks after his resignation, written by a person the Iraqis call “the whale”, which is the local expression that refers to To the corrupt oligarchy holding the fate of Iraq. 

And this “whale” wrote in his message: “I hesitated a lot before writing this letter,” adding that he decided to write because he admired Allawi’s sincerity and patriotism. He also talks about that he agrees with much of what Allawi said in his resignation letter, but not with the part in which Allawi mentioned the private businessman’s company and its role in the midst of a corruption scandal. He also said that he hopes to make Allawi’s friendship as he seeks his advice. “I hope one day we will be able to sit in a suburb of London, and I can tell you the story from my side, so that your judgment will be fair,” Al-Hout said in his letter. 

However, Allawi did not respond to the letter, as the US report concluded.



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