Friday, February 25, 2011

Iraqis don't want to go back to dictatorship

But they do want change, quickly.

'The hope was to tap into the zeitgeist of relatively non-violent democratic upheaval across the Arab world, especially that of Egypt. But it was also meant to be different: not aimed at toppling a long-reviled regime, but to hold a new administration to its promises and push it to improve. After all, as analyst Hiwa Osman points out, "Iraqis know very well what dictatorship is all about and want no part of it." Saddam Hussein, perhaps the most brutal of autocrats in the region, is still a vivid part of living memory.

But Friday's nationwide protests were far from non-violent. In the restive northern city of Mosul, at least six people were killed when security forces opened fire on a crowd of job-seeking protesters. In the southern oil center Basra, an eyewitness told TIME that some 5,000 protesters knocked down concrete blast walls, and forced the governor to resign while trying to storm the provincial council building. Clashes between crowds and security troops were also reported in Fallujah, Tikrit and Hawija. At least 15 people were killed and dozens wounded across Iraq, according to media reports.'

Read more:,8599,2055525,00.html#ixzz1F1dfj17j

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