Iraq in Turmoil

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May 1, 2016
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May 2, 2016
Iraq in Turmoil
by Stephen Lendman
Public anger over unchecked corruption while popular needs go begging may be the undoing of Washington’s puppet regime.
On Saturday, thousands breached the heavily fortified Green Zone. Hundreds entered parliament. Protesters want revolutionary change, current ministers replaced with new ones, no action so far taken.
One protester likely spoke for others, shouting “(y)ou are not staying here. This is your last day in the Green Zone.”
Another said “(w)e are fed up. We are living a humiliated life. We’ll leave here only when the corrupt government is replaced with another of independent technocrats that serve the people, not the political parties.”
Late Saturday, protesters reportedly left parliament, began a sit-in at Ihtifalat Square inside the Green Zone.
They were mostly peaceful. A celebratory atmosphere prevailed – waving Iraqi flags, jumping and dancing on parliament meeting tables and chairs.
Minor damage to state property was reported. Hours later, Abadi issued a statement, claiming conditions in Baghdad were “under the control of the security forces.”
Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi called corrupt MPs “representatives of the people and their servants,” a shameless perversion of truth.
Abadi ludicrously ordered security forces to arrest and prosecute protesters responsible for threatening the safety of lawmakers and damaging state property.
Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr blasted parliamentarians for “refus(ing) to end corruption and end quotas,” adding he and his supporters won’t participate in “any political process in which there are any type…of political party quotas” filling ministerial and other regime positions.
Middle East analyst Zaid al-Ali MPs and Abadi’s regime aren’t capable of reforming. “They will always defend privilege.” What happened Saturday “was entirely predictable.”
On Thursday, Joe Biden visited Baghdad, a fool’s mission to support Washington’s puppet regime, maintain the phony pretext of combating ISIS while attempting to calm political unrest – exploding when he left.
Before his arrival, a senior administration official called his visit a “symbol of how much faith (Washington) ha(s) in prime minister Abadi” – illegitimately appointed, widely despised.
Former US military planner in Baghdad Doug Ollivant said hopes for Abadi surviving the political crisis faded. His regime “as it’s currently structured can’t hold.”
If he falls, Washington will install another puppet to replace him. The only required qualifications are serving US interests, maintaining order and subduing public unrest successfully.
It’s been ongoing intermittently for nearly a year. On Saturday, it boiled over – the legacy of America’s imperial ruthlessness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.