If the Iraqi government anticipated the massive protests, it is a calamity; and if not, the calamity is greater because it is separated from reality.
The Iraqi people have had enough. They have seen for 16 years how their country is collapsing, their economy is undermined and the increasing wealth of officials who came to power on the back of local, sectarian and regional interests, instead of transforming the grievances they were talking about during the Ba’ath Party’s rule into justice and equality among Iraqis.
They have made Iraq one of the gates of the Ali Baba caves to practice not only systematic looting, but also to turn their country into a tool for the projects of others until poverty, hunger and chaos prevailed, and sectarian militias have become the rulers.
This public outcry cannot rest unless there is a responsible government that feels the pain of the people, heals the wounds caused by the past stage, restores Iraq from the mouth of the Iranian terrorist monster, and preserves the national sovereignty which has been undermined at all levels.
The Iraqi people have realized that using religious institutions to silence millions who confront live bullets with their bare chests will not work this time. The current situation has never been witnessed in Iraq at its worst stages, so the resentment due to poor living and social conditions was expected; and surprisingly, it was long overdue.
What is striking is the naivety of Iraqi analysts and politicians who are talking about foreign hands and a regional conspiracy which has moved the street in the face of the government of quotas. This talk is a sick imagination and no sane person believes it, so how is the case with the sane burnt by corruption and nepotism, and saw for example 50,000 ‘fake’ persons in the security authorities receiving salaries.
This is happening while they serve in the ranks of sectarian parties and militias, and their country turned into a platform for smuggling Iranian goods and has become one of the largest platforms for money laundering in the Middle East. Thus far, billions of revenues from Iraqi oil go into the pockets of cronies and smuggled to Lebanon, Iran and other countries for the ruling political class to enjoy these revenues.
The cry of hunger really expressed the pain of Iraqis. In demonstrations, they chanted: “Free Baghdad free … Iran out … out,” in a bid to determine the origin of the problem they are suffering. Burning the headquarters of sectarian parties in the South specifically dropped the argument to defend the rights of a certain sect. Nevertheless, it is an expression of the bitter reality experienced by those who saw the dead bodies and their fathers who came from Syria and other Iraqi cities because of the Iranian war during which they were used to pass Iran’s projects. This is in addition to falsifying facts about who is responsible for the terrorism suffered by their country, as all media platforms accuse Saudi Arabia and the GCC while the fact is that the serpent of terrorism is pro- Iranian.
Today, Iraq is waking up from stagnation, just as the case in Sudan which was not expected to witness a revolution against the regime of Bashir; or Algeria which the media portrayed as an Arab country far from the popular revolution with this momentum.
But hunger has no identity; and the rule of corruption, no matter how powerful the corrupt imagined remains weaker than the cobweb if people want life.
Ahmed Al-Jarallah is Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Times