Rage in Iraq Over Regime Indifference to Public Needs
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Iraq is one of many countries victimized by US aggression and control, suffering from the curse of oil, Washington wanting dominion over it.
US-installed puppet prime minister Haider Abadi and other appointed officials enriched themselves through massive corruption, ignoring humanitarian crisis conditions affecting millions of impoverished, unemployed and internally displaced Iraqis.
Earlier protests erupted for change, escalated over parliament's failure to act. At one point, hundreds of angry Iraqis stormed the heavily fortified, four-square-mile, fortress-like Green Zone - home to Iraq's parliament and foreign embassies.
Some made it into the parliament building. MPs fled for safety. Embassy compounds were locked down. Anger remained largely nonviolent.
With public sentiment ignored, things could explode any time. Days earlier, demonstrations began in oil-rich Basra in the country's south - over high unemployment and lack of basic services.
They spread to Baghdad and other cities. Abadi deployed troops to contain things. A virtual state of emergency exists, Internet access cut, and a curfew imposed.
Hundreds of protesters stormed government buildings in Basra and elsewhere, including the Najaf airport, demanding better services.
At least three deaths were reported, many others injured, protests continuing on Sunday. Electricity cuts were reported with Iraq sweltering in summer heat.
One protester likely spoke for others, saying "(w)e are asking for what is rightfully ours. The government should provide clean water, job opportunities, electricity and basic infrastructure. These basic needs are the responsibility of the prime minister and the governor."
Another said "(i)f they don't create jobs and improve services such as water and electricity, we will close down Basra and oil production."
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's representative expressed solidarity with protesters, saying "(i)t is not fair, and it is never acceptable that this generous province is one of the most miserable areas in Iraq."
The country earns nearly all its export revenue from oil, only 1% of jobs from the industry, most filled by foreign cheap labor - conditions in the country deplorable for its people.
Earlier Ababi promises were empty. According to analyst Saad Jawad, "(t)here are no real lines of communication between the two sides with the government doing nothing except holding talks while the prime minister is making promises which he is not implementing."
Jawad believe if concrete steps aren't taken to provide vital services, protests will continue, spread, grow in size, and likely become more violent than already.
Iraq is an example of what happens wherever the US shows up. Mass slaughter, destruction and human misery follow.
Iraq's have been suffering from US imperialism since the Carter administration, enduring nearly 40 years of war, torment, pain and deprivation.
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