19 February 2020
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For over four months, Iraqis have taken to the streets en masse to demand basic rights, a sovereign state, the overhaul of the post-2003 political system and an end to endemic state corruption.The demonstrations mark a continuation of the shift from identity politics to issue politics, first seen during the protests that gripped Baghdad and the southern provinces in 2015. For Shia cleric and political figure Moqtada Al-Sadr, the 2015 protests were the perfect opportunity to gain legitimacy among a broad electoral base. In…

Iraq: Calculating Support For Iran Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:13

Iraq has slipped into an unofficial civil war between pro and anti-Iran factions. Iran has used force against anti-Iran protesters, and is responsible for most of the 550 protesters killed since the protests began in October 2019. These deaths have exceeded the casualties caused by Islamic terrorists. Half the deaths have been in Baghdad and Iraqis know Iran is a big fan of shooting protesters. In the same time period over a thousand protesters in Iran were killed. The Iraqi…
This Wednesday marks 40 days since the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force leader, General Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad. A war between the US and Iran might have been averted but the battle for the future of Iraq will only intensify in the coming months. General Suleimani was the embodiment of Iranian military expansionism in the Middle East – especially Iraq – and was instrumental in forming and developing several Iraqi militias, primarily loyal to Tehran, under the umbrella of…
Iraq’s uprising is unmasking all the sectarian leaders attempting to ride the revolutionary wave. In order to understand the recent and sudden alliance that was established by Iran and the Iraqi cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, we must first investigate the origins and the nature of the relationship, and how the recent popular protests altered the approach between Sadr and Iran. Muqtada al-Sadr is the son of one of Iraq’s most prominent Shia clerics, Mohamed al-Sadr, who was assassinated…

Iraq’s New Prime Minister May Not Last Long Thursday, 06 February 2020 03:04

The prime ministership of Iraq comes with both the proverbial encumbrances of ill-fated political power: a crown of thorns and a poisoned chalice. Pity Mohammed Tawfik Allawi, who must now wear one and drink from the other. His nomination, after two months of wrangling between the country’s biggest political blocks, has been rejected out of hand by the young Iraqi protesters whose anticorruption demonstrations undid his predecessor. His chances of addressing their grievances are slim: The parties backing him have no interest in any…

Is there hope for Iraq with Tawfiq Allawi? Wednesday, 05 February 2020 14:16

Iraq’s divided political parties have finally picked a consensus candidate — Tawfiq Allawi — to be the new prime minister. The nation has been in a political crisis since street protests forced the fall of the government of his predecessor, Adel Abdul Mahdi, and the nation’s parliament missed a constitutional deadline in picking a successor.  That has deepened the governmental crisis. Mr. Allawi is a compromise candidate, but he is saying the right things. He has promised to clean up the corruption…

Iraq Heads Toward Freedom and Independence Sunday, 02 February 2020 05:10

For the last four months, the Iraqi people have continued their struggle toward freedom from the Iran-backed governing system that brought nothing for Iraqis except corruption, bloodshed, and sectarianism. Iraq's scene experienced a verity of ebbs and flows over this period. The death of Qassem Soleimani is one of the significant landmarks. The Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei lost his right hand for preserving the regime’s “strategic depth” with the death of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force…
Young Iraqis have spent four months in the streets, calling for an end to a corrupt political system that has largely failed them. In recent months, security forces have killed more than 500 protesters and thousands have been wounded.  On Jan. 24, the populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced he would cease support for the protests against Iraq’s ruling elites, which led some of his followers to withdraw from Tahrir Square, the center of the protest movement in Baghdad. Given that the Sadrists…
While popular protests in Iraq and Lebanon have been clearly directed at corruption and worsening economic conditions, there is another factor that should not be ignored — widespread frustration with the role played by Iran and its allied militias in both countries. This Lebanese and Iraqi concern with Iran’s use of sectarian groups to pursue its regional ambitions is a new development. In my 2013 book, Looking at Iran, I noted the rise and fall of Iran in Arab public…

The Iraqi Protests Continue Intensively Saturday, 25 January 2020 04:34

The heroic uprising of the people of Iraq continues unabated in its fourth month, despite the efforts and conspiracies of mercenaries of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei in the country. The highlight of this uprising is the growing acceptance of various sections of the Iraqi people. This welcome is undoubtedly due to the correct policy and the viewpoints of this movement. This is the missing link that has stalled earlier uprisings in the country. Protests in Iraq peaked again on…
On 3rd January, the United States launched a drone attack in Iraq, killing Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia leader. These two targets have created unquantifiable mayhem and their deaths are mourned only by the cruel, brutal and terrorist mullahs. Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the extra-territorial branch of the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and has been described as Iran’s top terrorist. He was more in control of the country’s foreign policy…
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