On Iraq’s Independence Day

It is a strange coincidence that this anniversary finds Iraq without independence and living under tutelage, mandate and occupation.
Saturday 05/10/2019
Protesters speak with Iraqi riot police members behind barbed wire barricades during a demonstration in the central Iraqi shrine city of Najaf on October 1, 2019. AFP
Protesters speak with Iraqi riot police members behind barbed wire barricades during a demonstration in the central Iraqi shrine city of Najaf on October 1, 2019. AFP

October 3 marked the 87th anniversary of Iraq’s independence, the end of the British Mandate and of the country joining the League of Nations. It is a strange coincidence that this anniversary finds Iraq without independence and living under tutelage, mandate and occupation.

On this year’s glorious Independence Day, Iraqis should have been celebrating this auspicious occasion with military and civil ceremonies, happy popular parades and official processions in every city and village.

It was hoped that, after 87 years of freedom, independence, construction, justice, equity, equality and of generous spending of the country’s abundant wealth on education, health, agriculture, industry, trade, care for the talented and creative and on care for scientists, experts and inventors, Iraq would be reaping the fruits of its sacrifices.

It was not meant to be.

On this sad and dark anniversary and on the even darker day that followed, Iraqis awoke to the sound of gunfire in the squares of Baghdad, Nasiriya, Najaf, Diwaniyah and Karbala, the city that chanted “Tehran out. Karbala is free.”

The atmosphere filled with the rumble of the trucks of “National Repression” troops, the smoke of raging fires and poisonous gas from anti-riot bombs, with the screams and cries of fallen victims and their relatives, and with the loud anger of the rebellious masses demanding a free and dignified life.

Interestingly enough, just a few days prior, Iraqi President Barham Salih told the UN General Assembly that ensuring a dignified life for Iraqi citizens had been achieved under his rule and that of his mujahideen companions — Adel Abdul-Mahdi, brother Fuad Hussein and brother Hoshyar Zebari before him and the late Uncle Jalal Talabani and brother Massoud plus the whole lot of Salim al-Jabouri, Mohammed Halbusi, Oussama Najafi and Khamis al-Khanjar and their militias, relatives, followers and companions.

On this year’s Independence Day there was blood oozing from the finest youth of the homeland; there were many wounded, and live ammunition fell on Baghdad, Nasiriya, Basra, Samawah, Najaf and Karbala, fired on at will by armed government and Popular Mobilisation Forces thugs, aided by Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani’s spies, under the pretence of fighting foreign spies and agents hired by the United States and other powers of world imperialism to wipe out the regime of Imam Hussein and the republic of his heir-guardian.

What is sad and strange about these events is that it was only the masses of the southern provinces that rose against injustice, while the Arabs of the Sunni provinces, along with the Iraqis of the three Kurdish provinces, were satisfied with following the unfolding drama on television and Facebook, as if those who fell, stricken by the bullets of treachery and betrayal, were not their brothers who had revolted for a free and happy country, generous enough to embrace all of its citizens, with no discrimination and marginalisation and no exception while those who stole, looted, oppressed, falsified, conspired and betrayed have never been in harm’s way.

Probably a day will come when the courageous Iraqi people will do what other peoples, whose conditions were not as desperate as theirs, have done. These are nations that have refused to continue enduring decades of injustice and oppressors.

At first, they demonstrated peacefully but, when their demands were met with disregard and oppression, they unleashed a storm of revolutions that uprooted corrupt regimes and threw their equally corrupt leaders in the trash, despite the latter’s military and police might.

Yes, the gang of treacherous thugs has betrayed the honourable youth of our homeland but their treachery has awakened millions after millions of Iraqis who will rise again and again until they are victorious.

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