Iraq’s rot

December 25, 2019

PARASITES thrive in rot and decay. The terrorists of Daesh (the so-called IS) are proving this all too clearly as Iraq blunders deeper into political failure and social cohesion continues to collapse.

Ordinary Iraqis, from across the different communities, have had enough with the venality and sheer incompetence of the political elite who have come to dominate the country since the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Every politician wraps him or herself in the flag and insists he or she is acting in the best interests of the country. If that were really true why is it that in major cities, there is no reliable power supply; why is sewage still running through the streets of Basra imperiling water supplies and public health; why is it that so much basic infrastructure remains in ruins when the state has been receiving billions of dollars from oil production, which this summer reached a record 4.8 million barrels a day?

The answer of course is that the siren voices of Iranian agents have encouraged the appalling greed, complete irresponsibility and utter uselessness that have characterized the behavior of politicians and an army of well-paid bureaucrats who owe their jobs to who, rather than what, they know.

It is small wonder that angry crowds still insist on risking life and limb by refusing to abandon their protest at the rottenness that grips their country. And there have been subtle changes in the targets of their anger. Politicians and civil servants with their heads buried in the money trough have always been regarded with fury and contempt. The crowds now recognize that much of this plunder of state coffers and the crippling of the normal functions of a civilized country, has come about with the encouragement, even indeed the insistence of Iranians. The ayatollahs in Tehran posed as the protectors of post-Saddam Iraq. But it is now generally understood that Iranian protection means the guarantee of Iranian interests long before the interests of ordinary Iraqis.

But the new target for the anger of the crowds are the Popular Mobilization Units and police and army elements who have been seeking to shoot the public demonstrations off the streets. The army and the PMU militias were once praised to the echo for their success in destroying Daesh terror. Now they are viewed with contempt because they are prepared to enforce the Iranian-inspired will of a venal Iraqi political clique.

Moreover, the tragic irony is that even as the army and PMU crack down on loyal Iraqi citizens, the cancerous parasites of Daesh are feeding and strengthening on the growing chaos. They have begun ever-bolder deadly attacks on both army and militia units. Analysts are warning that terrorist sleeper cells are being reactivated and that there is now a very real danger that these brutal killers might seek to reestablish their hegemony over parts of Iraq.

The victory that Iraqi security forces won over the terrorist forces of evil is suddenly at risk of being thrown away because army and militia commanders have allowed politicians to redirect their fire onto their own people. This is a deadly madness that could once again bring terrorist catastrophe to lives or ordinary, decent Iraqis. How could the Iraqi people ever be the real enemy of their own country?

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