The major event in the Middle East

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meerov21
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Nov 8 2019 20:28
The major event in the Middle East

At the moment there are significant socio-economic protests in Iraq and Lebanon. From a social-revolutionary perspective, this is a major event in the Middle East.

These protests are organized through social networks and are of a leaderless nature. Their participants have managed to overcome sectarian barriers: Sunnis and Shiites have joined the protests.

The movement covers mainly Shiite areas: Baghdad and the southern cities of Iraq. But Sunnis and some Kurds have also spoken of their desire to join. Youths have raised the slogan: “Shiites and Sunnis are brothers!”. The main reason for the protests is related to 40 percent youth unemployment. In addition, in Iraq, social services are poorly functioning, there are not enough doctors, there are failures in the supply of electricity. The main problem is drinking water. Last year, 100,000 residents of the southern city of Basra received infectious diseases due to the fact that they drank dirty water (the entire population of Basra is 2 million people). The protesters are demanding the provision of work, basic public services and they fight against all politicians.

Iraq is incredibly rich. Iraq is the fourth largest oil exporter in the world, exporting 4.5 million barrels per day. But at the same time, Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. A giant inefficient government sector of the economy and private foreign companies that control oil production are appropriating all profits. Iraqis say: “Politicians get everything, people get nothing!”.

Previously, the government actively used the factor of sectarian division of the country, directing Shiites against Sunnis or Arabs against Kurds. But currently, mainly Shiite parties are in power, while Shiites make up the majority of protesters. It is therefore difficult for the government to exploit sectarian division. In addition, the core of the protesters are young people (Iraqis aged 15 to 25 make up 8 million of Iraq’s 39 million inhabitants), and they are less dependent on sectarian religious leaders and politicians.

The movement is somewhat reminiscent of the Yellow Vests [SF note: can’t see it helps clarify anything to make this comment]. They attack government offices, shouting slogans against all parties. In the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, youths set fire to the headquarters of all political parties and then chanted : “Nasiriyah has become free of political parties!”

The Iraqi authorities and Pro-Iranian militias were able to weaken this movement by using teams of snipers and other assassins: 163 protesters were killed and 6,000 wounded.

A very similar movement broke out in Lebanon, covering not only Beirut but also the cities in the South.

Al Jazeera take on this:

“There are a few key ways in which these latest protests differ from those in 2005 and 2015. As in 2015, but unlike in 2005, they are part of a genuine grassroots movement that has not been directed by any political party. They are cross-sectarian in a broader sense than those of 2015. They are taking place across Lebanon, rather than only in Beirut. And they are demanding the fall of the government from the outset, while criticising political leaders from every sect. Although the number of people on the streets was much higher in 2005, the current protests are much larger than those of 2015. They are also taking place in regions where such public action used to be considered impossible, particularly in southern Lebanon where people from the Shia community have been publicly denouncing traditional Shia leaders, including Nasrallah. The government’s response to the current protests has been its usual carrot-and-stick approach: walking back on proposals to increase taxes while cracking down on the protests through violence. Neither has deterred the protesters, who have vowed to stay on the streets until the government falls. For the first time, people are demanding accountability from the leaders of their own sects as well as from the government at large, and protesters in Sunni strongholds like Tripoli are expressing solidarity with protesters in Shia strongholds like Tyr. Civil society groups involved in the protests are also devising tactics to counter the violence and facilitate mobilisation (one group offered free scooter rides to protest sites) and creating a reform roadmap for the Lebanese state. For the first time, the protests are a condemnation of the political status quo that has, since even before Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, been largely recycling the same faces (or their relatives and descendants) in parliament, the cabinet and high-level positions in the civil service and military… The protests have only been taking place for a few days but the protesters already show a growing awareness not only of the governmental tactics typically used to try to diffuse popular movements but of their own needs as citizens, regardless of class or sect. This alone is a revolution in a country where the political system is, for the most part, a modern version of feudalism. “

meerov21
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Nov 8 2019 20:29

http://dialectical-delinquents.com/social-revolt-in-iraq-and-lebanon/

jaycee
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Joined: 3-08-05
Nov 16 2019 15:07

"but of their own needs as citizens, regardless of class or sect. This alone is a revolution in a country where the political system is, for the most part, a modern version of feudalism. "

It's hard to imagine a sentence getting more wrong than this one. 1)we as proletarians are NOT citizens and 'regardless of class' is a terrible phrase/idea. 2) there is nothing Feudal about Iraq today. There is also not a revolution happening.

These movements and those in chile and other parts of south America are the brightest things happening at the moment and personally I see south amèrica and the Arab world as being the place where class struggle is likely to be strongest in the foreseeable future. But these movements suffer from a lot more weaknesses than this article gives the impression of.

Firstly, nationalism is very strong and is preventing Iraqis and Iranians from uniting their struggles (a lot of the struggles have been steered in clearly nationslist/anti-iranian directions).

meerov21
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Nov 16 2019 21:49

1)we as proletarians are NOT citizens and 'regardless of class' is a terrible phrase/idea. 2

I agree. It's not my words, it's al Jazeera.

Firstly, nationalism is very strong and is preventing Iraqis and Iranians from uniting their struggles

You may be 90 percent right, but today protests broke out in 65 cities in Iran. And while the protests are driven by rising fuel prices, I think the Iraqi events have had some impact on Iran as well.
https://irannewswire.org/iran-protests-erupt-in-more-than-20-cities-foll...

Mark.
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Joined: 11-02-07
Nov 16 2019 23:28
jaycee wrote:
Firstly, nationalism is very strong and is preventing Iraqis and Iranians from uniting their struggles (a lot of the struggles have been steered in clearly nationslist/anti-iranian directions).

There was this today though:

https://mobile.twitter.com/GissouNia/status/1195775170180349952

Quote:
My Iraqi pal just sent me a solidarity letter from the Iraqi protesters in Tahrir Sq being shared on Iraqi social media and it is ❤️❤️❤️

“Iranian Sisters/ Brothers
From: Al Tahrir Square- Baghdad

You are witnessing nowadays the Iraqi demonstrators, who are revolting against their government, shouting loud slogans that might sometimes seem against Iran [...]”

“It is crucial for us that you should be aware of the fact that we Iraqi People only have a genuine love for you. Our problem is with the Iranian sectarian regime who backs the all corrupt politicians, criminals, and murderers in our current government.”

Our ambition and only purpose is to get rid of our corrupted rulers, we are also looking forward to strong and stable relations with our Iranian neighbours who deserve a just and civilised government

Long Live the people,

Your Iraqi Brothers and Sisters”

.

Qods on the outskirts of Tehran tonight:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Raman_Ghavami/status/1195774653643526145

https://mobile.twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1195836309572640769

There are quite a few videos of burning banks in different cities.

meerov21
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Nov 16 2019 23:37

Great events in Iraq and Iran! And we must take into account that the Iraqis demand the withdrawal of Iranian troops. This coincides with the demands of much of the protests in Iran, which are outraged that the government is not spending money on schools and factories, but spending it on wars in other countries.