The looming demonstrations of Basra

Basra, of course, is more likely than other cities to lead the protests.
Tuesday 11/12/2018
Seething nation. A file picture shows Iraqi protesters clashing with security forces in Basra following a demonstration against corruption, last September. (AFP)
Seething nation. A file picture shows Iraqi protesters clashing with security forces in Basra following a demonstration against corruption, last September. (AFP)

It’s plain and deliberate stupidity on the part of the Iraqi government to continue with the policy of wasteful spending established by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Iraq has been near bankruptcy many times because of that policy. It is not unlikely that this rich country will continue to apply for loans from international institutions and banks and even beg for the occasional aid. Iraqi officials are not the least bit embarrassed by this.

There is a permanent deficit in the budget that is impossible to correct while the Iraqi state remains bogged down in a cesspool of special laws forcing it to spend on partisan groups and their likes under various pretexts. These pretexts fall into what can be considered as parasitic rights, a type of rights foreign to any law around the world.

If the Iraqi people knew the true scope of that spending, which is a waste of public money in broad daylight, they would not be able to control themselves and would take to the streets rather than continue to live under a system of machinations, intrigues and tricks designed to benefit a bunch of thieves, opportunists and fraudsters who seized the three branches of government and appointed themselves legislators, executors and judges.

These packs of wolves enacted laws that give justice a bad name, laws that exist neither in heaven nor on Earth. They use them to suck off Iraq’s riches till Judgment Day under the bogus pretext of some imaginary jihad. These “mujahideen” have taken the bulk of Iraq’s wealth, leaving the bulk of the Iraqi people struggling to just survive the day.

Who are these mujahedeen?

They are a handful of bandits and their children and grandchildren who, mostly, live outside Iraq and not in a metaphorical sense.

When residents in Basra, Iraq’s oil-producing city and the main source of its wealth, demonstrated in the street, demanding the basic services needed for the survival of the human species, like drinking water, electricity and employment, some Iraqis in the US city of Chicago, who were receiving Iraqi state funds at the expense of Basra’s misery, staged counterdemonstrations. These outraged “Chicagoans” were literally living off the desolation, deprivation, poverty, destitution, darkness, thirst, sickness and ignorance that were enveloping Basra and most other Iraqi cities and villages.

The Chicago demonstrations revealed the ugly true face of the mujahideen.

Those mujahedeen know very well they are the reason for the protests in Basra. If it were not for the money they were illegitimately receiving, money stolen from Iraqis in Iraq, Iraq would not be living in its current miserable conditions.

These bloodsuckers have never worked a day in Iraq nor have they played any role in it except taking part in the looting and burning of public property in 1991.

One of the greatest paradoxes in Iraq is that the Iraqi state is spending fortunes on those who do not work while standing helplessly to pay the dues of those who work. Many members of the Dawa Party are known to receive monthly stipends without having to leave their homes.

Thousands more are doing the same thing while they reside in countries of asylum and thousands of their relatives are working under the protection and in the offices of ministers, deputies and judges. No one really knows about their jobs, for which they receive inordinately high salaries.

This is truly a mind-boggling paradox. Here is a bunch of genuine do-nothings who are legally receiving money that ought to have been spent on ending poverty and unemployment in Iraq, let alone on providing clean water, electricity, sanitation, transportation and educational services to Iraqi citizens.

What Maliki did was establish a welfare state for his party members and his crooked mujahideen and that state is still in place.

This reality suggests that soon-to-come protests in Iraq are going to be nationwide. Basra, of course, is more likely than other cities to lead these protests. Not only because of its oil but also because it refused to submit to Iran in a war that spanned eight years and where the mujahideen of the Dawa Party fought on the Iranian side.

There is no doubt about it, the popular protests are coming. This time, the corrupt state established by Maliki will not succeed in containing them or in preventing them from attaining their main objective and that would be to overthrow the state.