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A Year in the Struggle of the Iraqi People

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A Year in the Struggle of the Iraqi People

Jasim al-Shamari

They are wrong, who think that delaying and stalling are the best ways to quell the demands of a fierce crowd, and the demands of valid and legal human rights. They are wrong, also, who reckon that the use of weapons and fear will extinguish the fires of change that are burning in the corners of the oppressed and shattered souls. And they are under illusion, who imagine that false promises to the fierce crowds will silence the voices that call against oppression, injustice, and corruption.

Every regime on the earth has its own certain method in dealing with the people, excepting respect for the value of a human, and his dignity, whose rights may not be treated as a bargaining chip between any self-respecting governments, and between the free peoples, as there is no point in a person without dignity.

And the Iraqis after the year 2003 experienced hardships that have not been seen by others - the harshest tyranny and oppression - with them positioned between the hammer of the occupation and the anvil of the governments loyal to it. And after the occupation left and was finished with their tyranny, the Iraqis found themselves standing in front of the injustice of their own countrymen. And after their patience was tested by oppression, they decided within the days of this past year to put an end to the Green Zone government's disregard for their lives and dignity. Crowds gathered suddenly in the province of al-Anbar, calling for the end of the arbitrary arrests, which were remembered with spite; and for the end of the ridiculous law “Article IV Terrorism”; and for the end of the secret police; and for the release of men and women who were wronged, and were detained without the accusation of any crime.

The spark that was ignited in al-Anbar reached to five other provinces, among them half of the capital, Baghdad. Maliki's government failed – however he tried in evasive policies – in implementing the demands of the crowds, and it tried intimidating them, and it utilized its monstrous force for threats that its leader Maliki shouted, and it carried out bloody massacres in a number of the sit-in squares, and assassinations against the movement's activists and organizers; suspecting that these violent methods will scare the protestors and revolutionaries, and preventing them from traversing the path of their struggle and reaching their honorable demands.

And on April 23, 2013, [the regime] committed a heinous crime against the rightful protestors in Hawija, Kirkuk province; in which its forces relentlessly attacked crowds of unarmed protestors with heavy and medium weaponry, and left behind hundreds dead and injured.

And two weeks after this, Sarah Leah Whitson, the director of the Human Rights Watch organization's Middle East and North Africa divisions, said: “The initial report that was delivered by the Iraqi Parliament and sent to the organization was based partially on witnesses, and claims that the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the Minister of Defense, and senior officials in the Ministries of Defense and Interior, commanded the attack on the Hawijah demonstration camp on April 23, 2013, which ended in the death of dozens of demonstrators.”

And on May 17, 2013, the militias belonging to Maliki's government committed a heinous crime against the worshippers at the Saria mosque in central Baqubah – after targeting it with explosives, they fired wildly to the crowd, ending in an initial death toll of over 100 killed and wounded!

A year of patience and resistance interrupted the familiar; in [this year] unity and coordination was present between everyone in these [sit-in] squares, which became a school for those strong to learn the details of their country, and these men say today: “We will be patient, and we will struggle until they grow weary of ignoring our rightful demands, and we will keep our movement peaceful to prove to the world that we are not thugs, as have we went out demanding our human rights that are lost and neglected, in the face of the government's accusations of terrorism!”

The lasting sit-in squares became open schools that teach all to love their country, and to reject oppression, and produce a generation that deny injustice and hate the traitors; and the men of this generation are ready to sacrifice their lives to continue teaching the great lesson to the rest of the Iraqis!

And now I say to the rulers of Iraq today: do not waste your empty strength, because the Iraqis that have forced America out of their lands, humbled, have the power to put an end to your threats against their dignity and humanity. And I believe that the days to come will surprise you.


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