As the Middle East continues to explode into chaos, Iraq has begun to experience its own protest movement. “February 25 is the Iraqi day of rage for change, an end to corruption and sectarianism in Iraq,” said one post on the wall of Facebook group “Baghdad Facebook” this past Thursday. Baghdad Facebook has over 3,000 supporters.
Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister has clearly gotten the hint that something is amiss across the Middle East. al-Maliki responded to the potential Day of Rage protests in Iraq by telling Iraqis to keep away from the protests. He warned of possible violence by al-Qaeda and members of Saddam Hussein’s banned Baath party.
Nouri al-Maliki’s government is only 2 months old and he knows that it is too young to withstand the kind of protests that other formidable rulers have fallen in. The question now, will be that if Iraq begins to get chaotic, what role will Iran have in benefiting from it. Some are questioning whether Iran maybe behind the protests themselves. One bit of solace al-Maliki may have is that the Iraqi protests have focused on ending the corruption, not on ousting the regime.