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ِA series of Political Assassinations… The Perpetrator Is Known!

ِA series of Political Assassinations… The Perpetrator Is Known!

Saturday, 11 July, 2020 - 11:30

What do all the martyrs who were victims of brutal political assassinations in Lebanon and Iraq have in common? The answer is clear: they all rejected Iran and its armed militias’ meddling, prioritized their countries’ interests, and spoke the truth freely. The degree to which the scenes in Beirut and Baghdad resemble is incredible; we could almost go as far as saying that the two popular national movements that openly rejected Iran’s interference and accused it of stealing the countries of their wealth are copies of one another.

Their rhetoric stressed that things had gone too far, enough was enough; remaining silent was not an option. The accumulated suffering is too great, and the ruling political regimes are riddled with corruption, governing in accordance with their interests and those of their cronies and capitulating to foreign interests and dictates. Observers affirm that the circumstances, events, and the perilous nature of this period have led the Iraqis and Lebanese to prioritize their respective countries' interests over those of their sectarian groups and to push for independent decision making in both countries, to leave the Iranian orbit and redirect their compasses toward the Arabs. True, some parties and individuals inside Iraq and Lebanon are indeed neither inclined toward nor in favor of Arab rapprochement, and they often create obstacles to hinder this kind of rapprochement because they believe that it would threaten Iranian interests in both countries. However, it seems that things are not the same as they had been, as evidenced by the difficult and unenviable situation that the groups who subordinated their countries' interests to foreign directives find themselves in today.

We cannot forget the images that came from the two countries. The resemblance between the two became increasingly visible by the day, patriotic young people chanting and making the same demands. Turning the page is inevitable; the people have made their decision and declared their position, patriotic sentiment has risen to such a degree that it surpasses all other forms of identification. At the end of the day, righteousness will prevail.

In both, the people took to the streets and called for the departure of political leaders and governments, demanding institutional change, the abolishment of sectarian exclusion, that Iran cease to control political decision making, the abolishment of political sectarianism and militias, and that the state establish a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. Even concerning the nature of struggle and confrontation within each of the two countries, we find that in both, those who want to build a state are pitted against those who seek to entrench non-statehood.

In Iraq, the revolution brought to power Mr. Kadhimi, who did not hesitate from commenting on the assassination of Hashemi, committing not to rest until criminals are punished and stressing that he will not allow chaos to roam and mafias to rule. His remarkable determination led him to go on to say that Iraq will not be transformed into a militia-state and no one is above the law. Kadhimi has a historic opportunity to stand up these extremist sectarian militias, and punishing the instigators and leaders ought to take precedence over bringing the perpetrators to justice, as this would establish the concept of justice before the law, especially after the events of the youths' revolution. Hashemi's assassination, of course, delivered clear messages, first and foremost to those who criticize Vilayet Al-Faqih (Governance of the Jurist, the political regime in Iran) and Iran's interference in Arab affairs. It sent a message to Prime Minister Kadhimi as well; Iranian hegemony is here to stay and will not be undermined. The challenge is massive, and Mr. Kadhimi can succeed if he relies on his base, for Iraq has the right to be safe and stable.

Political assassination is among the ugliest of crimes and is condemned socially and religiously and goes against humanitarian values. It is a cheap and sick act that reflects vileness and cruelty and violates all kinds of norms and values. Cold-blooded murder aims to silence those who speak the truth freely; those who do so may die, and this happens often, but the truth, sir, never dies. The assassination of researcher Hashemi shook Iraq's security and political stability, but it was not the first and will not be the last. The series of assassinations will not stop and it is a vivid example of addressing political decline with inhumane behavior. Horrific crimes have shaken the Arab street, using the same methods, and the same factions are always accused, the militias affiliated with Iran in targeting activists, intellectuals, and the victims are always patriots who refuse foreign meddling and Velayet Al-Faqih’s dominance.

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