They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Iraq: Government Mafias

azzaman: There are mafias almost all over the world. But those operating in Iraq are unique because they owe their existence and activities to the authorities who are supposed to be fighting them.

All over the world - excluding Iraq - mafia leaders and members are branded outlaws. They use their contraband trade in narcotics, jewels, weapons and even humans as a means to establish a foothold in organs implementing the law.

Mafia groups usually have access to massive wealth which they normally deploy to bribe security or judiciary officials to facilitate their operations.

No matter their power, mafia organizations are deemed illegal whether in countries with weak governments such those in Latin America or in states with powerful economies and police forces like Western Europe and North America.

But not in the new Iraq which came into being following the overthrow of dictatorship and the assumption of power by our 'patriotic factions'.

We are now face to face with a new form of mafia, of which there is no parallel the world over.

Our mafia's specialization and only trade is how to sell the country and smuggle its riches to neighboring or Gulf states.

As a result, and with the government's blessing, many Iraqi officials now own property and companies in the United Arab Emirates.

Some of these assets are so valuable that even U.A.E. nationals cannot afford.

The same can be said about other countries, particularly in Europe where access to lavish sums of money or the power to start new businesses is a key to citizenship or residence.

Iraqi mafias have two special characteristics which distinguish them from those operating in other parts of the world.

First, Iraqi mafias take the law into their own hands. In fact they are the ones who issue the laws and have contributed to the drafting of our constitution.

This means that our mafias have the country's judiciary, legislative and executive powers in their pockets.

Our mafias, therefore, are legal and operate according to the law, unlike foreign counterparts.

Second, our mafias are democratically elected and have come into being in the light of the new democratic regime which the U.S. has introduced in the country.

This means that our mafias have international legitimacy and are backed by the international community.

No political system in the world, whether assuming power through bullet or the ballot, is as privileged as our elected government of mafias.

Local and international media, focused on the daily cheap killings and the tragedy of death as it unfolds in Baghdad and many other cities, have had very little to say about Iraqi government mafias.

The media are busy reporting the escalating violence in the capital and west, east and north of it.

But these mafias are very active, not only in Baghdad. They are particularly vibrant in the south where through the new democracy they have seen their control spreading to all aspects of life. Link