Sunday, October 06, 2019

Iraq teeters on the edge of collapse...

via Middle East Eye.
As the death toll nears 100 people killed and with thousands injured in a week of intense demonstrations, the Iraqi government on Saturday announced the lifting of a curfew in Baghdad as calls came for it to resign.

In the worst violence seen since the declared defeat of the Islamic State group in March, security forces fired live ammunition into crowds of people protesting across Iraq against corruption, unemployment and a lack of services.

The top UN official in Iraq deplored five days of violence during protests that has killed nearly 100 across the country and wounded thousands. "Five days of reported deaths and injuries; this must stop," Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the special representative of the UN secretary general in Iraq, said in a tweet on Saturday.

According to the Iraqi parliament's human rights commission, 99 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded since protests against unemployment and living conditions erupted Tuesday in Baghdad before spreading to the south of the country.

Reuters reported police snipers shooting at protesters on Friday, escalating the death toll. Security sources have also accused gunmen of hiding among the demonstrators, while a number of police officers have been killed.

Demonstrations have taken place in numerous regions across the country in the past week, including Baghdad, Basra, Nasiriya and Mosul.

Concrete barriers have been erected in the capital Baghdad in areas where police clashed with protesters, a significant move in a period when many of the previous concrete barriers erected to prevent IS car bombings were being removed.

The Iraqi government has also imposed a blackout by blocking internet access across the country.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was set to convene an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the protesters' demands.
Story here.

If this doesn't look like the Iraqi govt isn't teetering on the edge of collapse then I don't know what does.

The rioting is getting out of hand and even from this far away its obvious that "unseen hands" are at work in this mess.

One thing though.

If it was the Bush or Obama administration I'd bet we'd be seeing calls for US intervention.

Trump is an unusual guy.  His tweets irk.  His style annoys.  But he has held pat on involving the US in other people's fight.

That alone gets him applause.

If Bolton was still the NSA then I'd bet talk of intervention would be rolling all over the White House.  With him and most of the Neo-Cons out I don't think it's happening.

For better or worse (and I'm hoping I'm right) Iraq is on it's own.  Iraqis will determine it's fate.

And that's how it should be.

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