Baghdad Burning: Iraq Anti-Government Protests Becomes Deadly
Since Tuesday mass anti-government protests have erupted in Baghdad as a result of high unemployment rates, rampant power cuts, water shortages and state corruption. The Iraqi government has responded by killing 13 and injuring 100s. Overnight a curfew was imposed and internet was completely cut off. A century after Sykes-Picot and Iraq is still failing as a regime. It is still applying the same authoritarian and violent mechanism that the British colonial powers imposed on the people. The language of violence is so deeply entrenched in the Iraqi government’s mentality that the mere pretense of democracy is a utopian prayer whispered only by the senile and the mad. The result is alternative shadowy, radical figures who emerge to fill the power and service gap. The long history of colonialism, the ongoing use of violence as a means of resolving internal conflict, corruption, tribalism and nepotism resulted in the rise of ISIS- one of the worst terrorists organizations in modern history.
Meanwhile the people of Iraq continue to suffer, as they float on a literal sea of oil, lacking the very basics like water or electricity. Where governments fail to provide the basics it is the duty and the natural right of the oppressed to remove the government.
This current situation – the government violence, the killed and the injured, the silencing and the terror tactics by the security branches of the government – is an old story in Iraq. It is as old as its history of colonialism. As old as its history of revolutions, separatist uprisings, its genocidal tendencies and its long suffering peoples never ending hope for a better tomorrow.
Sometimes knowing is the greatest act of solidarity that we can provide for those struggling against oppression. We must stand with the people of Baghdad in their hopes and with all those suffering in Yemen, in Syria, in all the other dusty and long forgotten corners of the world ravaged by the savagery of colonialism, industrial war complex and greed. Informed solidarity is an act of love that humanizes us all, reminding us that we are all the same; that we all dream of hope but that we must dream of this hope just as much for others as we would for ourselves.