We published this article first in Arabic, and the comments we got were shocking and confirms about %90 of what was mentioned in the post and solidifies the disputes and conflicts within the Iraqi mentality.
We are trying to put the truth out as it is to reach to real solutions, not fictional ones.
We would like to hear from you as well and we value your opinions to see how the others think and look at us.
Why #Mosul is not liberated yet?
A Mosuli point of view
Rukimini Callimalchi, the foreign correspondent for the New York Times, tweeted on Dec. 6th, 2015, describing how close the Peshmarga were from Mosul during her visit to Sinjar after it was liberated back in December of 2015:
“Mosul was so close, were I wearing my running shoes I could have jogged there and come back”
One of the reasons that is delaying Mosul’s liberation is there is no understanding and no consciousness about the danger of ISIL existence in Mosul. In addition to the media and what it circulate about the Mosulis and how “comfortable” they are living under ISIL’s rule, which forces any power to think Mosul’s liberation over and over and over before taking any serious steps to liberate the city.
Let us start with the local security forces:
The Peshmarga feel they are not welcomed as a liberating power in Mosul. The Peshmarga believe that Mosul (who chose the Arab identity to be identified with) will not welcome the Kurdish forces, and will consider the kurds’ entrance to Mosul as a new invasion of the Arab lands. This concept has its historical roots, andthr incorporation of the Arab-Kurdish struggle has been going on for a long time.
Sinjar and Rabiya liberation were one of the main factors that established the fear of a Kurdish invasion of an Arab land. The media used the Arab Kurdish struggle broadly to deepen the rift between both sides. The Mosulis as well (as a result of the deeply rooted Arab politics in Mosul’s history) think that any Kurdish advancement towards Mosul is “an invasion”. This was manifested when the American forces entered Mosul accompanied by the Peshmarga. The American forces did not face any resistance from the Mosulis, on the contrary, the Peshmarga faced all the resistance. The Mosulis resisted the Peshmarga presence and forced them to leave some of their positions after trying to control several buildings in Mosul. I do not want to go further deep in history for a better understanding of the Mosuli history and psychi when it comes to the Kurds, the current events are more than enough to understand the conflict. Therefore, and based on Mosul’s point of view, the Kurdish forces are considered “invading forces” greedy for more Arab land. The Kurds will not be able to enter Mosul alone, because it will not find a “welcoming grounds”, at least at the outskirts of Mosul and surrounding arab villages, and not to forget to mention that the administration of Mosul township (Mosul’s administration borders) is under the Arab tribal influence for over 40 years, which has set the foundation for the Arab identity along with Sunni centralization identity.
The statements of the Peshmarga and the government of Kurdistan regarding Mosul liberation are clear since day one and this statement summarizes it all “We cannot liberate a land where its people consider us occupiers and invaders”. The Peshmarga are only few kilometers away from Mosul and they have military capabilities to fight ISIL and defeat it, yet, why they do not proceed to fight ISIL? This question is for you, the Mosulis, to answer. Ask yourselves why!
The Shi’a, Shiism, the Sunnis, salafism, the Muslim brotherhood, the Islamic party, the Sunni Shiit struggle, the Sunni representation in Iraq and Tikrit
The Sunni Shiit problem in Iraq is an existential problem. When it comes to the religious teachings, it become easier to fathom. It becomes just teachings dispute and protests among different religious schools. It does not only end there, just like any religious dispute during the old days. Doctrinal schools are different and they are mostly repel each other a lot, but at the end they stop at a certain boundary of connection and handling each other, and did not reach to the point of armed clash except for very rare occasions. That was very long time ago, before the rise of the ideology of sectarian conflict during the Ottoman empire, which was not in the form of a Sunni Shiit struggle, but more of a Hanafi Jafaari in most cases of the sectarian conflict.
And even if the Sunni Shiit struggle is just a straggle over power and influence within Iraq, it would have been possible to reach a resolution, and maybe there would be some common ground that all parties would come to agree on, but the matter is not like that.
The idea of (Sunni, Shiit) is embedded within the Iraqi mentality, grew over generations, and as it evolves, millions of ideas and updates are introduced. It is “the idea” that evolves everyday into a new level, which makes it very difficult to find any connection that incorporates yesterday’s and today’s ideas of the Sunni Shiit duality in the Iraqi mind, because within days, or even hours, thousands of views and factors come into play at any given moment. This duality is present, grows with the Iraqi human hair and nails; it has even become an essential part of the biological shaping of the Iraqi mentality, whether religiously indoctrinated or not, secular or not, even atheists, everything in Iraq is rooted within the Sunni Shiit duality.
This matter is even affecting food, just to note how diverse and deeply rooted this matter is. There is this notion between the Sunnis and the Shi’a whether it is acceptable to eat each other’s food or not. It is related to the Iraqi individual roots itself.
And upon that, the Iraqi cities’ identities were formed, upon a solid sectarian base over time. And because of sociological changes do not manifest vividly, as it is manifested more throught practices, customs, habits, and more of the signs of social change. It is known to the concepts of sociology that change is not tangible, but it is rather a lifestyle one may live it without noticing it. One may even be surprised to learn about a certain social phenomenon within one’s society, and deny it. But the truth is, one’s nature and lifestyle have become a routine without noticing.
This is how Mosul’s identity was formed, and because the idea is concerning the existence of an armed Shiit power, the idea is more about old ideas and the existential struggle among Sunnis and Shiit. It is a way of thinking that evokes all that is mentioned before.
And what applies to Najaf, applies to Mosul too. It is not only the Sunnis, it is about the Sunni Shiit duality, it is unacceptable for an armed Sunni power with influence to exist within a Shiit social medium, and that is why ISIL was flourished in a Sunni medium while the people’s mobilization and the militias flourished in a Shiit medium.
And because of that, the Sunni extremism is not treated but only by the Sunnis their selves, and on the Shiit side, the Shiit extremism cannot be confronted but only by the Shiit their selves.
America has suffered enormous loses in human lives, artillery and financially during its presence in Mosul, the jihadi terrorist groups have costed them tremendous loses within a few years. It reached its peak stage of terrorism in Mosul, and the most dangerous terrorist groups were formed during this peak, where Mosul was to the international jihadi mentality considered one of the most significant cities in the world to layout a permanent jihad system. And since 2008 until 2013 (the first stage of ISIL life), ISIL was formed in Mosul and its outskirts. This city was producing in some way a form of terrorism that is based upon strict religious doctrine, based on the conception of Mosul being the last Borders of islam, or more, the last citadel of Islam in the face of the citadel of apostasy. Therefore, the American forces would think a lot before any military ground action is in place. This is not about ISIL as it is about the history of Mosul itself.
Despite what is published through media that the Turks have the capability to free their city, the Mosulis do not see it. The Turks in the Mosuli mentality are more related to Talafar. The Mosuli (Arab – Kurdish) struggle with the Turkmen is a struggle no less dangerous than the Sunni Shiit struggle, the Arab Kurdish struggle, the Christian Muslim struggle, the Arab Shabak struggle, the Islamic Yazidi struggle or the comprehensive struggle among all those constituents. In addition, the Turks are bound by a regional struggle. Turkey will not be able to extend its authority upon Mosul which will face tremendous pressure from the Kurds at its southern border, and Mosul with its social nature might become an apprehensive and frightening burden for Turkey. Turkey may only think of taking over the outskirts of Mosul, but will not risk confronting ISIL, because Turkey is aware, just as the United States is aware, that this struggle is not only about ISIL, but it is further more about Mosul itself.
In addition to all the previous introduction and illustration about the various struggles, there is another struggle within Mosul itself, that is the class struggle among the social classes in the city, the civil – provincial struggle, the conceptual struggle, the historical struggle between urban society and provincial society, the cultural struggle between the city and the country side, the absence of the political will and the social unity, the absence of leadership and the essence of initiation within the city. There is no essence of urbanism, on the contrary, there is an overwhelming religious essence, mixed sometimes with Urbanism, and the Islamic party is the founder of it. There is a Salafi – Brotherhood combat that is been escalating lately. The urban – provincial struggle took it natural and obvious form during the tussle for the governor position; after dismissing Athil Alnujaifi from his position, which represents the civil stream, the provincial stream has taken over it, and this struggle continues in accordance to their interattraction, and they will not reach to any settlement for the time being.
Now, why no one can move towards liberating Mosul?
1- There is no futuristic vision of Mosul (politically, economically, socially, etc.)
2- There is no unified front that truly represents the city
3- International powers are not convinced of the importance of liberating Mosul.
4- International and regional powers are not convinced enough to believe that ISIL is absolutely rejected in Mosul. The major misconception in international media is that Mosul does not have a problem dealing with ISIL, and ISIL’s propaganda was very influential; it painted an image of Mosul to the world that Mosul is living its “utopian time practicing Islamic Sharia”
5- The inability of the Mosulis (local Mosulis and expatriate Mosulis) to claim their city’s issues and their failure to open several fronts with the international powers to rally for the liberation of Mosul. Mosulis still think of clearing Islam’s image of what ISIL brought into it, and their mind set does not exceed the limits of clearing and purifying Islam.
6- the Mosulis inaction towards the minorities and regaining their trust once more (the Yazidis, the Christians, the Shabak, the Shi’a, etc.)
What is it required to move Mosul’s solution forward?
1- Building a civil political unified front in Washington and EU that rallies for the importance of Mosul liberation and plan a real and working program to rehabilitate Mosul economically, politically and socially, relying on the international powers to achieve this goal.
2- mobilizing the media and rally to shed more light on Mosul and write and publish about every single aspect of law fe in the city under the rule of ISIL, and focusore on children and women lives in Mosul and to convince the world that what happens in Mosul is a bloody genocide targeting the inhabitants of Mosul.
3- Confront the type of journalists who promote the idea of “Mosul is a happy city under the rule of ISIL”; media professionals like those of Aljazeera staff like Amir Alkubaisi, those type of journalists promoted an image of ISIL is an ideal ruling system.
4- Opening new dialog channels with the Shi’a in Baghdad and reaching out to Alsistani and convince him of importance of Mosul liberation and its great sensitivity about having a Shiit military force on its grounds.
5- Communicating with the Kurds and waste the chance on Alnujaifi, pushing towards convincing the Peshmarga to participate in the liberation by conducting economic agreements that satisfies both sides with fruitful outcomes.
6- Working on the establishment of Ninawa canton and develop plans to make it a success, by holding international conventions and treaties to invest in Mosul with long term contracts for no less than 25 years
If half of those conditions are met, then we, the Mosulis, will believe that liberation is possible.
And I say, without you the Mosulis, liberating the city is not possible. You need to liberate yourselves on your own. You have to give up the idea of Sunni centralization and that does not mean you have to give up your historical identity. You can hold on to it, but at the same time, you can hold the stick from the middle when dealing with crisis.
What awaits you after ISIL is far more important than ISIL itself, therefore you must think realistically to free yourselves of ISIL, for you to take the first step after ISIL.