In early October, violent protests broke out in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Some of them degenerated into all-out riots. Eight members of the security forces and almost 100 civilians were killed, and more than 5,000 wounded. At the time of this writing (October 21), the situation is beginning to flare up again as the Arba‘in pilgrimage winds down.
The protestors decry economic stagnation and corruption — two very real problems. But circumstantial evidence, including the timing and context of the protests, the Saudi origins of much of its social media support network, and the targeting of relatively independent Prime Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi less than a year into his term, suggest that American-Zionist colonial forces may be indulging in their usual color-revolution-style shenanigans.
Iraq’s crippled economy and its political culture of corruption are the product of a century of genocidal Anglo-Zionist assault. As the Australian Jewish scientist and avoidable mortality expert Gideon Polya writes,
The West has now commenced its Seventh Iraq War since 1914 in over a century of Western violence in which Iraqi deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation have totaled 9 million… A holocaust is the destruction of a large number of people and 9 million Iraqi deaths from Anglo-American violence or violently-imposed deprivation certainly constitutes an Iraqi Holocaust… Any argument that the British and Americans did not “intend” to kill 9 million Iraqis is belied by the remorseless slaughter over 101 years interrupted only by the period between the overthrow of the British-installed monarchy in 1958 and the commencement of Sanctions in 1990.
The disastrous consequences of the last three decades of American-led annihilation of Iraq are described in detail in Abdul-Haq al-Ani and Tarik al-Ani’s two-volume Genocide in Iraq. The two authors explain,
The current horrific malaise in the state of Iraq has its roots in the US-led destruction of Iraq in 1991, followed by a decade of US/UK-led harsh international sanctions against the entire Iraqi population that killed millions — one of the most heinous crimes of the 20th century.
The neoconservative Zionist war criminals who orchestrated the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq hoped to transform the entire region to benefit Israel. The Iraq misadventure was part of a larger plan to “take out” any regional powers that were sufficiently independent to stand up to the Zionists. But the people of Iraq, and the region, resisted. The result was a quagmire of endless war and destruction.
Today, 16 years after Baby Bush’s invasion, Zionist-imperialist forces still occupy a devastated Iraq. But the occupation has lost much of its influence over the Iraqi government, which has increasingly been working with regional partners beginning with Iran and the Axis of Resistance, along with the occupiers’ antagonists Russia and China. The occupiers are displeased. But they are so unpopular with Iraqis that they cannot act openly. Instead, they use covert means to try to sabotage Iraq’s strengthening relationships with forces promoting regional independence.
The October protests broke out just two days after Prime Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi angrily accused Israel of bombing Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces with air support from the United States. Normally when an independent sovereign state is attacked by an aggressor, all hell breaks loose: the aggrieved party mobilizes for retaliation, and the United Nations and other international institutions scramble to contain the situation (imagine if it was Russia or China bombing American targets). But Iraq’s protests fell on deaf ears. The world apparently views Iraq as a permanently occupied territory that the Zionist terrorists are welcome to bomb at will, with protection from their US lackeys.
‘Abd al-Mahdi’s refusal to remain silent while Israel was bombing his country must have angered the occupiers. Shortly after the Prime Minister spoke out, violent protests erupted on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. The fact that the protestors have legitimate grievances in no way detracts from the likelihood that those grievances were weaponized by experts in the fourth generation warfare tactic of deploying color-revolution-style protests to plague, undermine, and/or collapse targeted governments/administrations.
And then, just as the protests got underway, the world learned of a foiled September plot to assassinate Major General Qassem Soleimani, the most celebrated senior commander in Islamic Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and a prime force behind Hizbullah’s and Syria’s victories over the Zionists and their proxies. It seems that the Zionist-imperialist alliance, frustrated by its defeat in Syria and its inability to overtly attack Iran, has turned to covert methods, including assassination plots and color-revolution-style attacks on overly independent and responsible Iraqi leaders.
In his article “The US-Iran Silent War Is Transformed into an ‘Iraq Uprising’” Elijah J. Magnier cites Iraqi sources who claim,
…the assassination attempt against the commander of the Iranian IRGC-Quds Brigade Qassem Soleimani is not a pure coincidence but related to events in Iraq. Soleimani was in Iraq during the selection of the key leaders of the country. He has a lot of influence, like the Americans who have their own people. If Soleimani is removed, those who may have been behind the recent unrest may think it will create enough confusion in Iraq and Iran, allowing room for a possible coup d’état carried out by military or encouraged by foreign forces, Saudi Arabia and the US in this case.
Fortunately the plot against General Soleimani failed. In any case, would the people of Iraq permit a Saudi-American military coup designed to keep Iraq vulnerable to Zionist bombing? Such a coup, under its own colors, would be unacceptable to Iraqis. But a regime change operation that used local proxies and opportunists would have a better chance of success.
Those who argue that the protests in Iraq are indeed harbingers of a color-revolution-style regime change effort point out that this scenario is practically universal whenever local rulers of empire-occupied nations attempt to defy their imperial overlords. As Magnier points out,
The recent decisions of Abdel Mahdi made him extremely unpopular with the US. He has declared Israel responsible for the destruction of the five warehouses of the Iraqi security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi, and the killing of one commander on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. He opened the crossing at al-Qaem bet-ween Iraq and Syria to the displeasure of the US embassy in Baghdad, whose officers expressed their discomfort to Iraqi officials. He expressed his willingness to buy the S-400 and other military hardware from Russia. Abdel Mahdi agreed with China to reconstruct essential infrastructure in exchange for oil, and gave a $284 million electricity deal to a German rather than an American company. The Iraqi Prime Minister refused to abide by US sanctions and is still buying electricity from Iran and allowing the exchange of commerce that is bringing large amounts of foreign currency and boosting the Iranian economy. And lastly, Abdel Mahdi rejected the “Deal of the Century” proposed by the US: he is trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia and therefore is showing his intention to keep away from the US objectives and policies in the Middle East.
And suddenly, as if by magic, crowds of angry young people, mobilized by Saudi social media accounts, start rioting in Baghdad, al-‘Amarah, al-Nasiriyah, al-Basrah, al-Najaf and Karbala’. What a coincidence!
The protestors have every right to be angry. But they should redirect their fury against the war criminals who have occupied and crippled their country, not against Iraqi leaders who assert a modicum of independence.