The Saudi Model and Ritz Baghdad – Al-Watan Newspaper


Months ago, Iraqi activists launched a hashtag on social media, called the Ritz Baghdad, a metaphor for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the capital, Riyadh, which witnessed the stay of many people who were surrounded by semi-financial or administrative corruption and the like.In fact, the difference lies in the fact that the alleged hotel in Baghdad was one of the palaces of the outdated government, “Al-Rehab Palace” during the defunct Saddam era, which, according to the direction of the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, turned into a quasi-site where his government had thrown some corrupt people around, which pushed a large segment of the street Al-Iraqi referred to him as “the Ritz of Baghdad.”

Taking the Saudi experience as a model for me as a Saudi gives me a sense of pride, coupled with calls for success for the current Iraqi government. But I want to talk briefly about the issue of corruption that the Al-Kazemi government is fighting, and some of the pitfalls it faces, and go back to the Iraqi relationship with its surroundings, which witnessed over the past years a tug of war, during the assumption of Nuri al-Maliki, “the man of Iran” in Iraq, as prime minister.

There are some factors supporting the Al-Kazemi government in confronting the ghoul of corruption preceded by the beast of sectarianism, most notably its arrival from outside the Shiite political house, which suffers from cracks in some places, and in other breakthroughs from the republic that overlooks the bright sunshine of Iraq. I claim that this gives the man the ability to confront the dilemmas of the state and the remnants of the Maliki government and those who followed him forcefully without regard for anything, such as sectarianism and favoritism, for example. In a country like Iraq that has suffered throughout the ages from the rule of the one and the strongest man, who intends to control the country with iron and fire, the decade of sectarianism broke up after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and it took over the scene and became a main engine of political, economic and social life, and left a crack in the Iraqi fabric, which consists of tribes and clans Its origins lie in the roots of history. In addition to minorities from Masih, Turkmen and Azaydah, they have their own contemporary history. In a country like Iraq, the rise of “sectarianism” was a cake for the American forces that temporarily ruled Iraq after the fall of the Baath regime, so General David Pettiros, the commander of the American forces in Iraq at the time, resorted, based on that, to create what was called the “Awakening”, which was supported by From the Iraqi parliament, to take over the restoration of security throughout Iraq, or as some see it to fight on behalf of the United States.

The door was wide open, and the concept of “awakening” did not exclude anyone, Sunnis and Shiites. From this window, Tehran entered the line to push the Shiite forces that have turned into what is known as the “Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces, the Hezbollah in Iraq, and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” that are present so far in the scene.

The Iranian move was based on political malice, the aim of which was to confront the Sunni forces to settle scores with the republic of Saddam Hussein, in addition to creating armed popular bases that would follow the order of the Iranian Republic in a step through which Qassem Soleimani aimed to look away, by making an Iranian tool in Iraq to implement the agenda of sabotage. Iranian forced, not free. In a country like Iraq floating on seas of political and social sectarianism, loose weapons, and a large system of corrupt people at all levels, the symbolism of Sunni and Shiite political Islam groups is emerging, to circumvent this symbolism of the state and be able to break it, based on the Iraqi street who suffers from political figures And religiously created a great aura for itself, taking advantage of the fragmentation that befell the state, just because Saddam Hussein thought about the treachery of the Gulf countries, because the matter is historical and not born for a moment, and perhaps greater than that. By the way, Saddam was looking to put his hand on the Gulf states through the Baath Party, and this may need another conversation.

In a country like Iraq that has suffered and is still suffering from the Iranian subversive incursion, the voice of moderation is masked “Sunni or Shiite”, at the expense of the sectarian language of extremism that leads to the division of the people of the same country, not in the service of the public interest of the state and its people, as much as it is a service to fuel discord and known foreign parties Everyone has. In a country like Iraq that has gone out of the normal political context, there is no solution to confronting the hideous monsters of murder, corruption and sectarianism except through a return to the surroundings and Arab embrace. The desire, at least in the Gulf countries and “Saudi Arabia” in particular, is present and sincere in containing this country, which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during his meeting with former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, said one day that the Kingdom puts all its capabilities and experiences in the service of Iraq, which Saudi Arabia looks to with greatness And respect, and that his strength is a fundamental thing for the Kingdom, and he hoped to take the place he deserves in his Arab and regional surroundings.

In the crown prince’s speech, there are two important matters, the first of which is that the Kingdom is ready to push and support Iraq in various fields, politically and economically, to return to its normal state, and the second of them expresses the Saudi belief in the Iraqi weight stolen by the Wilayat al-Faqih, and this is what the Iraqi decision-maker should be aware of. In a country like Iraq that embraces the most ancient tribes and clans, with their roots descended from the Arabian Peninsula, the kingdom is not looking for influence or a foothold in advance, but rather the development of that state without considering that ethnic connection with those tribes, while Iran, which has no room for belonging except through sectarianism, is emerging. An influence that unfortunately finds sympathy from some Iraqi factions that support the terrorism of Wilayat al-Faqih, which is based on hatred, violence and sabotage.

In a country like Iraq, far and wide should be aware that passing the stage will not be without the return of the compass to its normal position, based on good relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi social awareness has become to a large extent, he wants to return to the Arab embrace, and he sees in Saudi Arabia the way and the way to salvation from the Iranian approach The occupier through proxies, and overcame major dilemmas that plague Mesopotamia, most notably sectarianism at the expense of coexistence and tendency to peace, social stability at the expense of sectarian fragmentation, and restoring the form of the state at the expense of groups that lead small corrupt states based on the Iranian riyal.

In a country like Iraq, it is evident that some honorable Iraqis have been tempted to take the Saudi model in confronting the ghoul of corruption, an idea to transfer the name of that ancient palace to the Baghdad Ritz, like Pritz Riyadh.

The intention is greater than that, according to my understanding, and God helped Iraq with its people, and Al-Kazemi chose it, and kept Nuria al-Maliki away from him and those like him.


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