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Is Iraq about to blow......again?


Ren84

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Mass protests have sprang up across Iraq reminiscent of the people power movement in Syria. The mainly Sunni protesters have risen up against the increasingly despotic Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, with many sporting the flags of the Free Syria movement as well as the Saddam era Iraqi national flag. Their objectives it seems is to depose Maliki, his Shia government and cast of the spectre of Iranian domination. Could we see Iraq spiral out of control, once again into a bloody sectarian civil war between the Sunnis and Shia?

BBC News - Protests engulf west Iraq as Anbar rises against Maliki

BBC News - Iraqi Sunnis stage protests against 'discrimination'

Iraq Could Dissolve Parliament in 48 Hours, Sources Say - US News and World Report

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/world/middleeast/attacks-in-iraq-leave-at-least-3-dozen-dead.html?_r=0

Religious map of Iraq:

 

Shqiptar

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Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain....there's a big power struggle going on in that region which is effectively between Shia and Sunni.
 

Ren84

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Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain....there's a big power struggle going on in that region which is effectively between Shia and Sunni.
Yup. Will likely lead to a wider ME conflict between Sunnis and Shia that will make the sectarian conflict in NI between Catholics and Protestants look like a heated argument at the Trinity Debating Society.
 

BlowIn

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Please not here with my question I am not in any way supporting a decent into war because if the terrible toil it would inflict on the ordinary people of Iraq.

Whom would be the best side to come out on top on the Middle East, the Sunni Muslims seem to be in the vast majority wide while the Shia seem to have power greater than there numbers in the Middle East due to the control of Iran but in say this the salafist whackos in Saudi are just as bad as the Iranians.

Now I will also state that I feel religion is a tool of control and the means to remain in power by the ruling classes, but it naive to think that a majority if middle Easters will all wake up and free their minds over night or at all.

With a completely over the top cynical veiw would it not be best to allow a region wide war breakout, let the two branches of Islam wage jihad against each other until the Sunni come out on top with a little help from the west but not massive ground operations?

Would a million or two Muslim casualties really bother the west, we have stood by while 60,000 thousand Syrians got blown away so I don't think we'd care if we added a few zeros.
 

Shqiptar

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Please not here with my question I am not in any way supporting a decent into war because if the terrible toil it would inflict on the ordinary people of Iraq.

Whom would be the best side to come out on top on the Middle East, the Sunni Muslims seem to be in the vast majority wide while the Shia seem to have power greater than there numbers in the Middle East due to the control of Iran but in say this the salafist whackos in Saudi are just as bad as the Iranians.

Now I will also state that I feel religion is a tool of control and the means to remain in power by the ruling classes, but it naive to think that a majority if middle Easters will all wake up and free their minds over night or at all.

With a completely over the top cynical veiw would it not be best to allow a region wide war breakout, let the two branches of Islam wage jihad against each other until the Sunni come out on top with a little help from the west but not massive ground operations?

Would a million or two Muslim casualties really bother the west, we have stood by while 60,000 thousand Syrians got blown away so I don't think we'd care if we added a few zeros.
If religious identity is so important to the people, then ideally Sunnis and Shias should have have autonomy in regions where they're the (vast?) majority. But that would involve a massive redrawing of borders.

In Iraq, the Shias were treated like third class citizens under Saddam Hussein. The boot's on the other foot now. That's the way it goes.
 

BlowIn

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Thanks shqiptar, if a massive redrawing of borders is impossible which I agree with you on that then the mass re education of Muslims into a secular society will never happen either.

Religion is a persons choice but these poor people will never be free until the cast dogma and belief in false doctrine's aside.

But turkey for all it's faults seems to be a bit more normal in its balance of been Muslim and somewhat progressive.

I mean when you see the blatant manipulation of hatred for Israel by Muslim governments which is not fuelled by genuine concern for the Palestinian people but merely another tool in the box to allow regimes to maintain control.

It's a sad and terrible future for the children of the region.
 

firefly123

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This all comes back to the arbitrary borders that were drawn in the sand by the colonial powers in the early 20th century. That and scumbags stirring up hatred of each other because one worships Mohammed in a slightly different way to the other.

As for Iran being evil I don't buy it. Maybe it's leadership but Persian culture is ancient and fascinating and any Iranians I've met (not too many mind you) have been very pleasant people. There has been 30 years of propaganda teaching us the evilness of Iran but I'd take them over the Saudi loons anyday. I'd say the US would too but they are locked in because of the oil.
The minute oil runs out or we discover cold fusion or whatever that place will return to being a desert full of camel herders but now it will have ghost cities in it. In a few short decades they will be claiming Allah put them there.
 

FakeViking

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If religious identity is so important to the people, then ideally Sunnis and Shias should have have autonomy in regions where they're the (vast?) majority. But that would involve a massive redrawing of borders.

In Iraq, the Shias were treated like third class citizens under Saddam Hussein. The boot's on the other foot now. That's the way it goes.
Don't forget the Kurds. A distinct people in their own right, they richly deserve a state of their own carved from Turkey, Iran & Iraq. Not a snowball's chance in oil-fired hell of it happening, though.
 

Ren84

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Don't forget the Kurds. A distinct people in their own right, they richly deserve a state of their own carved from Turkey, Iran & Iraq. Not a snowball's chance in oil-fired hell of it happening, though.
The Kurds are perhaps closer than they've ever been to realising their dream of an independent Kurdish homeland, with Iraqi Kurdistan forming the nucleus of a potential new state. Unfortunately it will be far smaller, for now, than the historical region. Syrian Kurdistan has also managed to break free of Assad as well as the FSA and seems poised to link up with the Kurds in Iraq.

Turkey, who are supporting the Sunnis in Syria and Iraq, must be sh!tting itself with the thoughts of losing its Kurdish regions that had been oppressed for so long.
 

dunno

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No, I don't think so yet. The relative percentages of population are not known, but all the formerly disorderly factions of Al-Sadr and others back Nouri Al-Maliki, even taking his most recent statements into account. I think al-Sadr wants to warn al-Maliki not to take him for granted. Syria has a massive Sunni majority. Iran has a Shia majority, although the relative proportions aren't too clear. What I think will happen is that the Sunni provinces will become ever more estranged from the state. al-Malika has chosen the path of sectarian supremacy. He tolerates a Sunni President, but he is a Kurd and in poor health, while he menaces various Sunni officials at cabinet level with arrest. I cannot see any outcome other than Iraqi government authority becoming nominal in Sunni provinces. It has to be remembered that all this time, there has been an ongoing level of violence that would seem like civil war elsewhere.
 

Shqiptar

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This all comes back to the arbitrary borders that were drawn in the sand by the colonial powers in the early 20th century. That and scumbags stirring up hatred of each other because one worships Mohammed in a slightly different way to the other.

As for Iran being evil I don't buy it. Maybe it's leadership but Persian culture is ancient and fascinating and any Iranians I've met (not too many mind you) have been very pleasant people. There has been 30 years of propaganda teaching us the evilness of Iran but I'd take them over the Saudi loons anyday. I'd say the US would too but they are locked in because of the oil.
The minute oil runs out or we discover cold fusion or whatever that place will return to being a desert full of camel herders but now it will have ghost cities in it. In a few short decades they will be claiming Allah put them there.
The Iranians have a much stronger sense of nationhood than nearby Arab states where allegiance to family, clan or religious sect is often much stronger.
 

Shqiptar

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The Kurds are perhaps closer than they've ever been to realising their dream of an independent Kurdish homeland, with Iraqi Kurdistan forming the nucleus of a potential new state. Unfortunately it will be far smaller, for now, than the historical region. Syrian Kurdistan has also managed to break free of Assad as well as the FSA and seems poised to link up with the Kurds in Iraq.

Turkey, who are supporting the Sunnis in Syria and Iraq, must be sh!tting itself with the thoughts of losing its Kurdish regions that had been oppressed for so long.
Don't be surprised to see a nominally independent Kurdish state emerge that no state will recognise. The powers that be on the UNSC don't want to tinker with the borders, regardless of how imperfect they are.
 

Ren84

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of seeking to destabilise his country by supporting insurgent groups and providing them with financial support.

In an interview with French television channel France24, Mr Maliki said the two countries had effectively declared war on Iraq.

"They are attacking Iraq through Syria, and in a direct way," he said.

Mr Maliki also accused Saudi Arabia of supporting global "terrorism".
BBC News - PM Maliki says Saudi Arabia and Qatar 'destabilise' Iraq

Perhaps if Maliki had actually tried to build an all inclusive government instead of shutting out Sunnis and discriminating against them there wouldn't as much popular support among ordinary Sunnis for AQ and ISIS.
 

Ren84

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Don't be surprised to see a nominally independent Kurdish state emerge that no state will recognise. The powers that be on the UNSC don't want to tinker with the borders, regardless of how imperfect they are.
I think the US would be more supportive of a de facto Kurdish state given the links between Israeli and Kurdish forces in Iraq.
 

caledhel

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I wonder how we understand reports of mass killings in Baghdad and Iraq. Do we shrug our shoulders and assume that they must be used to it? Perhaps that they're not really as sophisticated as us so it doesn't affect them as much. They probably aren't traumatised by them and that isn't an element in their behaviour.

In the last few days the Green Zone in Baghdad was overrun by protesters and it's made news but there have been ongoing protests there for many months across Iraq especially in the South of the country and the capital.

"On Saturday, hundreds of supporters of an influential Iraqi Shia cleric busted into the Green Zone, the heavily fortified area in the center of Baghdad that's home to Iraq's main government buildings and is normally off-limits to ordinary Iraqis, to demand a major cabinet reshuffle. Among them was Abbas Jabbar Halachi, who stormed Iraq's Parliament building along with a number of other protesters.

But when Halachi first got into Parliament, he didn't just march around or yell political slogans. He was distracted by a simple pleasure: air conditioning.

"I lay down and took a rest because it was the first time we've felt this kind of air-conditioning," Halachi, age 40, told the Washington Post's Loveday Morris. "The cold air was everywhere, coming from all directions."

Halachi's story is, in many ways, emblematic of what was actually going on in Iraq this weekend. On the surface, the protests were about a power-hungry cleric exploiting a cabinet reshuffle battle for political gain. But they're really about something much deeper: discontent over the failure of Iraq's governing institutions, which are some of the most corrupt and mismanaged in the world, to provide even the most basic services — like electricity to power air conditioning.

And though the protesters have dispersed, popular anger remains a major threat to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's ability to hold power. Until some of these problems get resolved, crisis will remain the norm in Iraq, not the exception."

Why protesters overran Iraq's Parliament - Vox
So what is the context for the protests?

Whatever about Sadr, the underlying problem appears to be a frustration with incompetence in delivering vital services. They are demanding that government functions are overseen by technocrats - read professions I suppose - rather than those who are merely politically qualified. They want clean water, security, healthcare, electricity etc.

Does this need to be addressed now? How will it effect the fight against Isis? Does the Iraqi government need come up with emergency projects to reassure the public that things will get better and not simply continue to deteriorate?

[video=youtube;yL1k0-_du90]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL1k0-_du90[/video]

[video=youtube;Bvjdyg-el2M]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvjdyg-el2M[/video]

[video=youtube;Rk2Thrt4o2s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk2Thrt4o2s[/video]

[video=youtube;aWBKQa_B-Ps]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWBKQa_B-Ps[/video]

[video=youtube;JuN1AS5-1CY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuN1AS5-1CY[/video]​

It is a good thing that the tyrant Hussein was overthrown but freedom has to deliver now.
 
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