15 December 2018
English Arabic
fter a brief respite during the hot summer of southern Iraq, the citizens of Basra are out on the streets again, demanding jobs and better state services. The country finally has – after elections that were held way back in May – a new parliament, president and prime minister. The full Monty. One might have thought that now might be the time to let government get to work for the people. But no, Basra residents want their many problems solved…
Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Twice in the past week, the Iraqi parliament blocked the appointment of key ministerial posts by Iraq's new Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi. The main sticking point with certain party blocs in the parliament has been Mahdi's insistence on the appointment of Faleh al-Fayadh as Interior Minister. Major blocs like Saairun, supported by Muqtada al-Sadr, have walked out of the parliament, leaving it un-quorate each time Mahdi has tabled Faleh al-Fayadh's nomination. The issue has left the government…
Two thousand five hundred years ago, Lao Tzu, the legendary Chinese philosopher, said: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” His words may accurately describe the spiralling decline of Iraq. The cause of Iraq’s disintegration cannot be blamed solely on the Bush, Blair invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s cruel Baathist regime. The eight-year term in office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a puppet of the Iranian regime, sowed the sectarian seeds,…
Some of Basra's activists fled to Turkey after being threatened by Iran-backed militias. BASRA, Iraq - Protesters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra said the government failed to respond to demands for better living conditions and resumed demonstrations that call for radical change. Chanting in front of the Basra governorate building, Sadiq Jaafar Mohammed, a clan leader, declared: “Demonstrations will continue until all demands are met.” “The government gave us zero services while we were giving blood in return…

Is Iran’s time in Iraq coming to an end? Saturday, 08 December 2018 05:15

Iraq is no stranger to foreign influence in its politics, economy and way of life. It has been the crossroads for trade between Asia, Europe and Africa from time immemorial. Having had only an occasional stint of total independence and local dominance (the Mesopotamian Empire and a few other occasions in the last couple of thousand years), the people of the fertile crescent have had their very DNA imprinted with becoming chummy with the current dominant neighbor and thriving at…
"Raise your voices! Where are your voices? Raise your voices against killings of women, raise your voices for women!" exclaimed the scores of women and men at a demonstration in central Baghdad this month. Activists gathered near the al-Mutanabbi Statue in downtown Baghdad on November 16, calling for the end to violence against women. Hundreds of others in the area joined the activists, reinforcing their outcry for women and freedoms of women. Every year up to hundreds of women in…
In May, Hassan Fada'am traded his military fatigues for a suit when he became one of 45 Shi'ite militiamen elected to Iraq's 329-seat parliament. Mr. Fada'am trained as a soldier in Iran and fought against Islamic State in Iraq. Now he's a politician as paramilitary groups backed by Iran have doubled their number of seats in Iraq's parliament. The Fatih Alliance bloc that represents them has become the second largest political bloc. In interviews, eight militiamen who have translated their…
LONDON - In October, five months after Iraqi elections, new Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi presented his cabinet of ministers. However, key posts were vacant because parties backing him remained divided over whose candidates should take over the eight remaining ministries. These include powerful portfolios, such as the defence and interior. Debates intensified as parliament was to vote November 6 on the vacant ministerial posts. However, parliament skirted the issue, instead discussing the budget and the death of thousands of fish…
LONDON - Mass demonstrations that rocked the Iraqi city of Basra, which sometimes spread to other Shia-majority areas in southern Iraq, were not merely about providing jobs and basic services but were also meant to protest against the entire governing system, political activist Mustafa al-Safi told The Arab Weekly in an interview. He is from the respected al-Safi family in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq. He said he was an opponent of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the mid-1980s…
After months of increasingly desperate and deadly protests, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has finally conceded publicly that corruption might be at the heart of Basra’s shameful public health crisis. His words will be welcomed, not least by the 60,000 people who so far have been hospitalised after drinking or washing in polluted water in the oil-rich province, which only last year was hailed by parliamentarians as the economic engine of Iraq. But Mr Al Abadi’s pledge that the breakdown in…
The eruption of protests and deteriorating security situation in Basra cannot be considered in isolation from the travails of forming a new Iraqi government. By all indications, political forces that openly advocate the liberation of Iraq from Iranian influence are in the ascendancy. The crisis cannot also be separated from the increasingly fast pace of suffocating the Iranian economy because in early November a second wave of US sanctions go into effect. This knockout blow will cut the only economic…
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