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AP: Iraqis ‘Protest’ Over Jobs, Services

From a shameless Associated Press:

Hundreds protest in Iraq over jobs, services

By Nabil Al-jurani, Associated Press
February 17, 2011

BAGHDAD – Hundreds of Iraqi demonstrators massed Thursday in the southern city of Basra to demand the local governor’s ouster while protesters elsewhere stormed a local government building, the latest examples of the anger sweeping the country over poor government services and high unemployment…

You see, people can’t vote in Iraq. So their only recourse is to take to the street and resort to rule by the mob.

In Nasir, (168 miles) 270 kilometers south of Baghdad, dozens of angry protesters stormed into the municipal building, setting fire to it, a police official in the provincial capital of Nasiriyah said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Five policemen were wounded after protesters hurled stones at the building and five protesters were arrested before a curfew was imposed on the town, the officer said.

As Mr. Obama said, "this is how real democracy works."

Such small-scale demonstrations have happened almost daily across the impoverished southern Iraqi provinces, staged by frustrated Iraqis who enjoy political freedom but little economic success.

But… we’ve been told that the uprisings across the Middle East are all about getting more political freedom?

A day earlier in the city of Kut, about 2,000 stone-throwing demonstrators attacked local government offices, setting fire to some buildings, including the governor’s house. Kut is 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.

Witnesses said Iraqi police and soldiers shot at demonstrators who pelted the offices with stones and commandeered military vehicles. The spokeswoman for Wasit province, Sondos al-Dahabi, said Thursday that three demonstrators were shot and killed. Al-Dahabi put the number of the wounded at 30, including 15 police officers…

The next thing you know we will be told that IEDs are ‘how real democracy works.’

Provincial authorities held an emergency meeting to discuss protesters’ demands, al-Dahabi said. The authorities also lifted a curfew imposed Wednesday. Dozens of protesters returned to the provincial council building Thursday and gave authorities a list of their demands, al-Dahabi said.

Iraq is one of the few countries with a democratically elected government in the Middle East but leaders here have not been immune from the anger engulfing the region.

Notice how this detail about Iraq having a democratically elected government is buried down near the bottom of this article, in typical AP fashion.

Anyway, we seem to recall that there was ‘unrest’ in Iraq even before the ‘Jasmine Revolution.’ But maybe we imagined all that.

Iraqis have a long list of grievances against their leaders, including electricity that sometimes works only a few hours a day, unemployment that runs as high as 30 percent and rampant corruption.

As security has improved, attention has turned to quality of life and economic issues instead.

Huh. Up until the last few weeks the AP would have blamed all of ‘restiveness’ on the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, gunmen in a speeding car shot and killed a spokesman for the provincial government in the northern city of Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

"Gunmen"? They sound like democrat activists to us.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 17th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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