Alwaght- The political developments in Iraq in the years after 2003 can be assessed as a turbulence between the struggle for stability and disorder as a result of an ongoing crisis. During the process of state-building in Iraq, there has always been an attempt to lead the situation towards stability and calm, but the emerging democracy of this country has always been dealing with serious internal and external crises. Due to these issues, lasting stability and security has not been established conveniently in this country.
Undoubtedly, Iraq’s most important security crisis in recent years can be assessed as the emergence of ISIS and the capture of parts of its territory by the terrorist group. In fact, the emergence and beginning of ISIS has become a turning point in the developments in Iraq, and in the last few years, which is referred to as the post-ISIS era, we are witnessing the beginning of a new era in Iraq’s governance and politics. The transition of Iraqi political currents from practice and repetition in governance has led them to a new era, which is based on transiting from past crises in order to be able to succeed in the process of building a stable nation-state. However, one of the strange issues raised recently is the possibility of occurrence of a coup taking Baghdad.
On September 4, 2020, former Iraqi Interior Minister Baqir Al-Zubaidi made remarks warning of a military coup plan by the disbanded Ba’th Party led by Saddam Hussein's deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, with the help of military figures. The coup d'état debate in new Iraq, where power and government are no longer based on the British colonial roadmap to justify the rule of a small minority over the majority of the population, seems unprecedented and bizarre. Now, the question is whether the possibility of a military coup by a disbanded group such as the Ba’th Party can be considered as a natural occurrence or is there a hidden story behind all this?
Coup in Baghdad: Repetition of a Historical Encrypted Code
Since its foundation in 1924, Iraq has experienced several decisive coups at various levels. Of all the Arab countries in the twentieth century, no country has witnessed a coup d'etat and a violent transfer of power as much as Iraq. This led Baghdad to be recognized as the capital of executions in the Arab world, a city in which political groups constantly relinquished power in their favor with the use of violence and military might. Overall, it can be said that the coup was the only fundamental principle in the governance of Iraq until the years before 2003.
But in the years after 2003, with the end of the Ba’th regime and Saddam Hussein's ouster, we are witnessing the formation of a democratic system based on the participation of all political groups including figures from various factions in power. After 2003, power was formally transferred through an election and voting system, and it was divided among Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis thru a coalition system. Although there has been strong political tension and disagreement among Iraqi groups in the past years, there has never been a possibility of a coup. Basically, the mechanism and conditions of a coup do not exist in the political structure of Iraq.
However, at this juncture, a re-discussion of the coup debate can be seen as reviving and renewing an encrypted message to threaten the nature of power and the newly born policy process applied in Iraq. To identify and accept the existence of a disbanded and illegal party such as the Ba'th party can by no means be a normal and natural procedure. Consequently, in order to pursue the issue more specifically, it is necessary to analyze the hidden hands behind this plan.
The Invisible Hands behind the Ba'thist Coup Plot
A review of recent developments in Iraq exposes that a domino of threats to the security and stability of Iraq is on the horizon. In early 2020, the US forces assassinated General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a sabotage operation. This criminal act, which was a clear violation of international law and a violation of the national sovereignty of Iraq, led to the approval of the expulsion of American forces in the Iraqi parliament and became a law.
This law, which turned the American presence in Iraq into an occupation and effectively lifted the Iraqi government's support of these forces, severely undermined the security of American forces, military bases, and the interests of the White House in Iraq. Since then, Washington has designed and implemented various and complex scenarios to circumvent parliamentary legislation and to prevent the implementation of the law and the will of the Iraqi people. US threats against Iraq inckudes: imposing crippling economic sanctions, re-emergence of Takfiri remnants of the ISIS terrorist group in various areas, reducing US military bases and coalition forces in Iraq as a tactic to attack the Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) whom are the most important element in suppressing the ISIS revival scenario and pursuing US expulsion, and more recently shutting down and transferring the consulate of the US and its allies from Baghdad to Erbil.
In addition to these threats, we see that the possibility of a coup plot by the disbanded Ba'th Party in Baghdad is raised. The sum of these dominoes of threats has a fundamental purpose, which basically sends the message proposing: Iraq is insecure and unstable, and American forces must remain in the country. But the reality is that the coup plot does not match rational and political logic in new Iraq and the present day; As a result, it can be said that Washington intends to use tools such as the disbanded Ba'th Party and the coup hypothesis to weaken the will of the government and the nation, in its struggle to remain in Iraq and the region.