“Iraq’s own arab spring” the guardian
Author: Jonathan Steele Monday April 25th 2011
This article in comparison with the earlier submitted Washington Post piece on the Arab spring offers more facets to the unrest growing in Iraq. In addition to protesting for better security and government services, Iraqi’s are also protesting the United States endeavor to amend their agreement to pull out ALL troops by the end of the year.
Military and government officials try frequently to convince Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to allow U.S. troops to stay on the ground in Iraq longer to act as opposition to lingering al-Qaida influence in the region and Arab/Kurdish clashes over the country’s oil deposits. But just the mention of US troops staying longer has outraged citizens of Iraq asking: “At a time when Arabs throughout the region are struggling to win their rights and dignity, why should Iraq submit to the humiliation of a large ground force that not other Arab country in the region consents to?” (p2, Steele). With continuing US pressure on the Iraq prime minister to consent to amend the withdrawal agreement, al-Maliki would be foolish to give his people another reason to protest against him and his government. (In addition to 1 unemployment, 2 corruption in government, and 3 lack of electricity to name a few-Iraq’s own “Arab spring”).
According to the author Jonathan Steele, the new US administration under Obama has the same intention as the previous: to keep a foothold in the Middle East, especially in the strategic position between Syria and Iran. Now, behind closed door deals are being presented to Iraq to also privatize their oil so that major oil companies may buy stock in the Iraq oil market. This has always been a strategy of the invasion of Iraq- perhaps not solely about oil-as some may claim, but evidence has been provided that it was always a lure to invade Iraq. For example, the British government under Tony Blair agreed to help with the invasion of Iraq back in 2003 if the US administration vowed to lobby on BP’s behalf in Iraq. The strategy sounds eerily familiar to the strategy mentioned by author Yergin in Chap 21 citing actions taken in the oil market of the West against the Middle East–ie: back door deals.
Iraqi’s have joined in a sense of nationalism against the above mentioned opposing forces-creating their own Arab spring- protesting in major cities like Mosul and Baghdad perpetuating the ideals of the Arab Spring.
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