Kuwait''s acceptance of Iraq''s new status has triggered mixed emotions
and opinions among different strata of the people in Kuwait. Abdulaziz
AlـMutawa, a young political activist, explains that "Iraq always has
and always will be a threat to Kuwait and the international community."
After referring to the previous regimes false theory that Kuwait is a
part of Iraq and how this composes a great threat to Kuwait, AlـMutawa
goes on to explain how it is unwise to remove Iraq from this status
with the outstanding debt to Kuwait still an issue.
political tension between Kuwait and Iraq over the latter''s status
under Chapter VII of the UN charter, resulted from Kuwait''s initial
opposition to alleviating Iraq from that status. When a country is
placed under Chapter VII of the UN charter it becomes identified as a
threat to international security. This status permits the Security
Council the use of sanctions, including armed sanctions, against the
state if it continued to pose an international threat. Kuwait''s
Foreign Ministry undersecretary Khaled AlـJarallah insisted two months
ago that Iraq remains under Chapter VII of the UN charter until all
outstanding debts as a result of Iraq''s invasion in 1990 are settled.
However Kuwait has later agreed to exempt Iraq from its status under
chapter VII after both sides resolved their differences over the
outstanding debts through political channels.
Om Mohamed, a mother
of three who was in her 20''s during the Iraqi invasion is unhappy
Kuwait''s acceptance of changing Iraq''s status. She was concerned with
the fact that the new status absolved Iraq as being a threat to Kuwait
and the region.
"The current generations in Iraq have been brought
instructed that Kuwait is a part of Iraq. It is unlikely that what they
have been taught since decades ago will change as a result of some
talks," Om Mohamed here is referring to acts resulting from this false
conviction on the Iraqi side. Acts such as the annexation of a police
station at the Kuwaiti borders in 1973; the military fanning at the
Kuwaiti borders in 1961, among others are examples of this feeling of
anxiety that Kuwaitis have towards Iraq.
With academics, however,
there is prevalent a different opinion. Dr Christopher Ohan, a
historian at a private university in Kuwait, explains that Iraq''s
status under Chapter VII came as a result of the previous leader''s
Ohan, in justifying relieving Iraq from its status under
Chapter VII, draws on the wisdom of ancient text. The text which reads,
"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put
to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own [mistakes]" is
meant to mean that the previous regime and the new one should be
evaluated separately. Salem Belal, an International Relations graduate
also expresses similar sentiments. He explains that the state of Iraq
no longer has the capacity to pose a threat to Kuwait as the previous
regime did; therefore Iraq should be removed from its status under
Belal went on to explain how the outstanding debt to
Kuwait is a separate issue that can be resolved without classifying
Iraq as a threat to the international community.
With the younger
respondents, due to the fact that they did not experience living
through the war, a less pessimistic tone was held. Zaina Yaqoub, a high
school student, explained, "We shouldn''t place sanctions on Iraq for
something a dictator did. Most Iraqi''s had nothing to do with the
Yaqoub further explained that absolving Iraq''s status
from under Chapter VII of the UN charter is a needed sign of good faith
between the two states. Another high school student, who requested to
remain anonymous, expressed indifference towards the entire issue.
"It is not relevant to me whether Iraq is sanctioned or not, nothing will change on my end" he said.
Last updated on Wednesday 19/8/2009