The World Should Not Underestimate the People’s Uprising in Iraq

Baghdad, earlier this month – protests continue despite harsh repression

By Arian Mufid:

When the USA invaded Iraq they didn’t realise they were going to build a proxy state of Iran. Iraq has become a failed state through the last two decades of rule by different Islamic parties, all driven primarily by Iranian interests. The country of Iraq has been devastated and its resources wasted under the rule of different dictators during both the Saddam and post-Saddam eras. The people of Iraq in the south and centre have felt the brunt of deprivation and economic hardship since the 2003 USA Desert Storm invasion. The new American-style administration of Iraq wasn’t easy to establish and is robustly capitalist and free market traditionalist, which would never sit easily with Shia-dominated Iraqi governments. Well, just over 17 years later things are definitely not fine in Iraq. Rule by different religious sects has squandered the country’s human capital and natural resources. Every new government has brought more debt and misery to the people and their economy. There isn’t any minister in Iraq who hasn’t been involved in corruption and stealing public money. The US government has published details of ministers and other politicians who have deposited large amounts of cash in US banks. However, over the last several weeks an uprising has spread across major Iraqi cities such as Baghdad, Nasiriya and Basra. This time there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This time the young people, the civil servants, have taken over the main parks and squares of Iraq. The poverty and deprivation are hitting ordinary Iraqis hard and this time the streets of Iraq will no longer accept the corrupted government and parliament. Adil Abdul Mahdi has resigned to alleviate the situation, but the people are now demanding that the entire government must go and be replaced by a provisional government of technocrats. The Iraqi domestic economy is weak and cannot withstand a global slowdown. People have been hit by inflation and unemployment. Up to now more than 500 have been killed on the streets of Baghdad by Shia militias. But the repression has not quelled the masses. This time, with the involvement of the mass of the people, it is not a protest movement, but an uprising. On some occasions the masses have targeted the houses of corrupt MPs and taken over areas usually controlled by ministers and the government apparatus. The rule of law has long been eroded in many cities of Iraq. Iraq today is in a darker place than ever before and the people’s slogans have shifted to demand the downfall of the government and its apparatus. One of the main causes for optimism about this uprising is that there is a leadership that can lead it to a successful outcome. Sources close to KT have confirmed that there has been significant underground leadership provided from the outset, the nature of which should become clearer if the government falls.

The US administration are aware of what is going on and prepared for eventualities. The whole world should closely observe the news of Iraq’s new revolution. This uprising is a people’s uprising. It is the consequence of the last 17 years of brutal Islamic sectarian rule. The world needs to support and help the Iraqi people. The USA and the western world should be ready to back any democratic, provisional, technocrat government.

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