As escalating chaos in Iraq spirals out of control, the US government has been blaming its enemies, chiefly Iran and the Iraqi defense force al-Hashd al-Sha‘bi. But if the American occupiers want to know who is really responsible, they should look in the mirror.
On December 12, protesters in Baghdad brutally murdered 16-year-old Haytham ‘Ali Isma‘il. They broke into his house, stabbed him to death, cut his throat, and hanged him by his ankles from the top of a traffic light. What was ‘Ali Isma‘il’s crime? The teenager had been trying to stop protestors from obstructing his family’s house, fruitlessly yelling at them for several days before allegedly firing shots into the air from his roof — at which point the lynch mob broke down the door, dragged him out of his house, and murdered him in cold blood.
What kind of “protestors” commit such a crime? The kind the US likes. American funding of “humanitarian” and “pro-democracy” groups typically finds its way into the hands of thugs and mercenaries whose job is to destabilize nations and governments. Examples include the White Helmets in Syria, who worked beside Da‘ish and al-Qaeda to launch false-flag chemical weapons attacks designed to be blamed on the Syrian government; the Euro maidan Zionazis in Ukraine, who burned to death 42 anti-Maidan activists in the Trade Unions House in Odessa on May 2, 2014; and the protestors in Hong Kong who fire arrows at police, terrorize innocents with Molotov cocktails and vandalism, and recently beat to death a 70-year-old man with a brick.
Though protestors in Iraq may have had valid reasons to take to the streets, their ranks were quickly infiltrated by the usual color revolution goons and terrorists. Trained provocateurs whipped up angry mobs and incited violence. Mysterious masked men appeared, firing on police here, protestors there. Their paymaster, Uncle Sam, noisily blamed the violence on Iran, then deployed multiple anti-Iran rent-a-mobs and trumpeted “rising anti-Iran sentiment in Iraq” in the media.
On December 13, in Baghdad, carloads of mysterious gunmen unloaded their weapons on pro-Muqtada al-Sadr protestors at Sinak Bridge near Tahrir Square, killing at least 25 people including several policemen. A week earlier, a drone attack had targeted al-Sadr’s home. While the US, as always, blamed al-Hashd al-Sha‘bi, many suspected that US-supported takfiri terrorists may have carried out this and other attacks on protesters.
In mid-December, as the violence was spiraling out of control, Muqtada al-Sadr suddenly changed course. Last summer, during his most recent visit to Iran, al-Sadr had announced plans to force Prime Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi to step down — and Iran sent him packing, not wanting to be seen as responsible for that dubious decision. Since then al-Sadr has supported the protests and sent his supporters into the streets to call for ‘Abd al-Mahdi’s resignation. Thanks to the protests, and to the fact that al-Sadr’s Sa’irun coalition holds the biggest bloc in Iraq’s Parliament, al-Sadr succeeded in forcing ‘Abd al-Mahdi’s resignation on December 1. Once again, al-Sadr was poised to participate in the negotiations that would form a new Iraqi government (and perhaps torpedo it again after it was formed — al-Sadr seems to be even better at taking down governments than at helping form them). But two weeks later, after violence escalated, on December 13 al-Sadr reversed course, signaling that he was withdrawing from politics, terminating his Facebook account with a final “goodbye” message, and announcing the closing of his movement’s offices across Iraq.
Did Muqtada al-Sadr recognize that foreign agents of destabilization, namely the US-Zionist-Saudi axis of evil, had hijacked the protests and used them to destabilize and weaken Iraq, perhaps in preparation for a coup attempt? Did he realize that the Empire’s forces of chaos were becoming a threat not only to his political opponents, but also to him and his movement? Did he understand that as the situation continued to worsen, he would pay a political price for being the most visible and ardent supporter of the increasingly violent protests?
Meanwhile Grand Ayatullah Sayyid ‘Ali Sistani — whose November 29 khutbah in al-Najaf delivered the message to ‘Abd al-Mahdi that it was time to step down — continued to condemn violence, whether by police or protestors, and to call for peace and reconciliation. Ayatullah Sistani enjoys enormous prestige in Iraq, but only as a sort of kindly, passive, revered, grandfatherly spiritual figure, not as a dynamic and active resistance leader. Iraq is more in need of an Imam Khomeini type of leader, one who could inspire Iraqis to decisively oust the US-Saudi-Zionist triumvirate and establish Iraq as a fully-independent Islamic republic with complete control over its territory and resources. Unfortunately, none of the best-known current Iraqi leaders seem likely candidates for the post of national liberator.
But perhaps such a leader will arise at an unexpected place and time. Despite all the US-supported anti-Iran propaganda, most Iraqis understand instinctively that their American occupier isn’t their friend. Grassroots anti-occupation sentiment is widespread, so much so that Iraq’s politicians have a difficult time negotiating the gap between the Iraqi population’s demand that the Americans leave immediately, and the “political reality” that those same politicians lack the means to force the Americans to leave.
The underlying reason for the protests — the destruction of Iraq’s economy — is primarily the fault of the United States, which, after imposing decades of harsh sanctions, used the Zionist-sponsored false-flag atrocities of September 11, 2001 as an excuse to invade, occupy, loot, and devastate Iraq. Since then, the US and its Israeli partner (some would say master) have been stealing Iraq’s oil, as documented in “The Israel Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the Theft of Iraqi and Syrian Oil” by Agha Hussain and Whitney Webb. As Hussain and Webb write,
…pro-Israel lobby groups and Zionist neoconservatives manipulated both US policy and Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in order to allow Iraqi oil to be sold to Israel without the approval of the Iraqi government. These designs, not unlike those that continue to unfold in Syria, were in service to longstanding neoconservative and Zionist efforts to balkanize Iraq by strengthening the KRG and weakening Baghdad.
The destabilization of Iraq through violent protests and economic strangulation, like the theft of Iraqi oil, is part of a larger plan to balkanize Iraq, and the rest of the Muslim East, primarily for the benefit of Israel. Iraqis who fall into the trap set for them, who feud and bicker and fail to form a united front against their real enemy, are doing their enemy’s work for him.