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Divided Iraqi leaders shirk responsibility

With each successive outbreak of violence or natural disaster, Iraqi leaders, particularly Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, continue to point the finger of blame at their opponents.
Vehicles are seen along a flooded street after heavy overnight rains in Baghdad, November 11, 2013. Baghdad's streets were knee deep in dirty water after heavy overnight rains. Residents struggle with the poor sewage system and lack of municipal services. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad  (IRAQ - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) ) - RTX1597K
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A responsible government is mostly distinguished from other governments by the presence of state institutions that represent the different governmental aspects and responsibly answer to the expectations and criticism of citizens. This is what Iraq is missing amid sectarian tension and a lack of professionalism and competence in choosing officials. Consequently, these officials have no sense of responsibility when dealing with the issues of the country.

Although the prime minister should ideally represent the main responsible figure in the executive authority, we constantly see him blaming the failure of governmental institutions in doing their jobs on political parties, external factors or historical reasons. In his latest statements, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tried to justify the government’s inability to solve the problems brought on by rain and floods, which have incurred heavy losses in the cities of the south, in a completely irresponsible way. First, he blamed the Baath regime, although the rule of this party ended over 10 years ago and Maliki has held the reins of power for eight years. Then, he criticized the citizens for their carelessness in maintaining the waterways. Finally, he focused on the role of terrorism and those he called "political enemies," a label he has been in the habit of using. He did not apologize to the citizens for the government’s inability to fulfill its duties and responsibilities, although apologies are usually in order in such situations in democratic countries.

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