Iraq's week of 'Arab spring': protests call for the downfall of Maliki
Big demonstrations against Iraq's government broke out for the third time in less than a week Wednesday in Iraq's western Anbar province. This presents a resurgence of Sunni unrest in one-time Al-Qaeda stronghold at a time when neighboring Syria is in strife.
The latest bout of dissent chimes in with the Arab Spring trend. Protesters echoed "the people want the downfall of the regime," a slogan that has been chanted across the region and came to fruition in Tunisia, then Egypt. Cries also rang out lambasting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government illegitimate and warned that protesters would respond with 'cutting' violence if they were pushed.
While the demonstrators' latest serious rallies could spawn the outset of a more massive Sunni opposition movement, it risks broadening the deep and schisms with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. If left to their own devices, those heading up such mini-eruptions could set off a whole new tide of sectarian violence.