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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/2/20

Iraqi Protests: "Why Did it Take So Long to Get Here?"

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It is thus very similar to Iran's military victories in 2019 - shooting down a drone, stopping a British-flagged tanker: these are not enormous military victories but they are enormously symbolic. They are not the momentous result of long battles but instead herald the very beginning of new long-term forces which are increasing in inevitability every moment.

Yet again in the past year, American planners were dumbfounded, scared and did not know how to react. The US is not powerless in Iraq but for a long moment they felt that way - for a long moment Iraqis felt powerful over Americans. These are not small cultural and psychological things, given the Iraqi historical context.

On a larger level: Hussein came to power by repressing the intersection of democracy and Islam with as much bloody zeal as any Western neo-imperialist. He fought a war at the behest of the West to destroy the Iranian democratic revolution because it dared to unify these two ideas, and proved that they are not acids and bases. When Hussein insisted that Iraqi Baathists are equal to their secular Western counterparts, the West destroyed his country with a blockade and then occupation.

The role of Baathism in Iraq is up to Iraqis to decide, not me. However, its history - and for many reasons beyond their control - is not very stirring, to say the least. If a majority of Iraqis want more of an intersection between Islam and Iraqi democracy than what Baathism tolerated, they do have an example to look at - Iran. It is precisely because Iran provides this example that they are the root of all evil in the Muslim world to Western capitalist-imperialists and Islamophobes. It is not only that Iranians have created a successful society on par with the top Western nations, but the West most certainly needs a scapegoat, due to their history in the region.

A 1979 US embassy occupation is an historical inevitability in Iraq - we thought maybe this was it, but it was not.

Perhaps Iraq is truly not ready? They have been rather debilitated for several decades, after all. Nor does Iraq have a shah to kick out first - an embassy occupation for Iraqis would seemingly be the start of their revolution, whereas in Iran the occupation came nine months after the victory of their revolution.

Iraq is not Iran, of course, but the recent events at the Baghdad embassy show that both cultures view the presence of the US in their country as a major, major source of domestic strife and problems.

The reason a US embassy occupation in Iraq is an historical inevitability is because - despite the "blame Iran" propaganda - there is no chance that the US and Iraqis can have a mutually beneficial co-existence due to: 1) the presence of American soldiers, 2) the three decades of violent war, sanctions and occupation waged by the US, 3) the network of corruption created by US capitalist-imperialist influence and ideology, which ensures only and always a subservient role for Iraq, and which purposely disempowers their full potential, 4) the very ideology, practices and culture of the Washington, which are predicated on competition, violence and corruption, which makes them fundamentally opposed to mutually-beneficial cooperation.

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Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, (more...)
 

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