Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Ordinarily I do not swear or use foul language in my writing, but this week I decided to quote an Iraqi and relay what a few citizens of Iraq from different ethnic communities have discussed with me, in English, in a number of different venues. Their perspective is one you don't see in any media. Put bluntly they declare..."Iraq is fucked! There is no "endpoint" or vision for us. We are plundered, drained and left!"
The "protests" against endemic corruption, high unemployment, violent repressive tactics and an incompetent government continue despite the deaths and injuries caused by Iranian backed players and an insecure Iraqi leadership. These protests and protesters have tried to make it clear that the Muqtada al-Sadr "Million Man March" (although women and children did participate) had nothing to do with the demands of the protests beginning in the Fall of 2019.
"Iraqi anti-government protesters rejected the calls for the million-man march as "having nothing to do with the demands of the demonstrators" who have protested against the government for months.
"This million-man march is different from what the street wants. It supports the current political system in the country, it doesn't oppose it," said Abdul Rahman al-Ghazali, a protester at Baghdad's Tahrir Square, a center of the uprising." www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Million-man-March-in-Baghdad-against-US-presence-in-Iraq-LIVE-615229
"Sadr, who has millions of supporters in Baghdad and the south, said on Saturday, January 25th, he would end his involvement in the anti-government unrest. Sadr's supporters have bolstered the protesters and at times helped shield them from attacks by security forces and unidentified gunmen, but began withdrawing from sit-in camps on Saturday following his announcement. The Iraqi High Commission on Human Rights called on all sides to exercise self-restraint and keep the demonstrations peaceful." www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iraq-rockets-hit-baghdad-green-zone-anti-gov-protests-200126195616176.html
"Their withdrawal has achieved the opposite effect of breaking up the movement. We have had more protesters joining in. On the day Sadr declared his decision,[Saturday} the entire area from Tahrir Square to Tayaran Square was full of people, waving only the Iraqi flag." www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/affect-iraq-tahrir-square-sadr-pulling-support-200127175149848.html
Sixteen western countries, including the UK, Germany, France, and the USA said in a joint statement on January 27, 2020, that they “condemn the excessive and lethal use of force by Iraqi security forces and armed groups since January 24 against peaceful protestors, including in Baghdad, Nasiriya, and Basra”.
Meanwhile "Kurdistan" (the Kurdistan Regional Government or KRG) and many of the Kurds are distancing themselves politically and economically from the current Iraqi government. No group has yet claimed "responsibility" for the rocket attacks in Erbil on January 7, 2020.
Moreover the close "alliance" between Israel and "Kurdistan" continues since it is beneficial to both to buffer against Iran, Iranian influence and Turkish "genocidal policies" regarding the Kurds.
During the past week the Iranian regime has threatened to attack Israel if the USA moves against them. Thug tactics-"we'll hurt your family/friends if you try to move against us!" Bellicose threats are part of the usual reportage in this area of the world. Here is the latest one:
"If the US takes any action after our military response, we will level Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground," said Mohsen Rezayee, Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and a former IRGC commander, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency. The council advises Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and also has legislative powers." nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/how-iran-has-threatened-israel-destruction-117176
Many in the west cannot fathom or they underestimate the capacity and commitment to "revenge" in this part of the world. The "avenging" of the death of General Soleimani. Like the Sicilian Mafia maxim, for Iranians "revenge is a dish best eaten cold."
Iran and its regional proxies, which include Yemen's Houthis and Lebanon's Hezbollah, "have shown tremendous patience in the past when it comes to conducting revenge attacks." I suggest watching Iranian/American businessman Patrick Bet-David for a clear, concise explanation of recent Iranian history and culture. His video is called: "US-Iran WWIII or Regime Collapse" www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLv17kuBJrU
Alright, closing tonight since electricity and internet connections are intermittent this week and I want to post this piece as well as let you know another article I wrote was published yesterday on the Small Wars Journal site. Here is the link: smallwarsjournal.com/index.php/jrnl/art/iraq-time-different-approach
We may forget (or never have known) of the many contributions to music, art, poetry and science the Iranians have contributed over the centuries. Thousands of Iranians have to live in exile due to the political repression, wars and theocracy. When I write of "Iran" and "Iranian influences" I am only speaking of those in governance and their government and it's branches.
Therefore, I am finishing with a heart rending song sung by a skilled and gifted singer of the Iranian/Canadian group "Niyaz". Her name is Azam Ali and she is Iranian. "Niyaz" means yearning. The song I chose is entitled "Exile".
All of us who have to live away from our home country know this particular anguish and yearning. Do Listen! The lyrics are translated below: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY08mpYTue4
This separation has caused me immense sorrow
Destiny has me chained to this state
O Beloved, release me from these chains
for I am bound by the dust in this estranged land
What is it you seek from me that you cast your chains upon a free man?
You enslaved me in this state without any compassion burning away all my youth Till when can my patience withstand this separation?
Till when can I forbear this separation?
If I were to reunite with you just one more time
I would reveal to you all about the anguish of my exile