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Iraq Is Not Yet Lost, But If We Continue to Ignore It, It Soon Will Be

Anna Borshchevskaya

Also available in العربية

The Hill

October 15, 2019

Muddled governance, harsh crackdowns, and outside interference threaten to overturn the fragile freedom that Iraqis have won at great cost.

Open debate and free peaceful protest are rare in the Arab world. This month I saw both when I traveled to Iraq. I attended a conference where Iraqi men and women debated and publicly asked tough questions of their government. I also saw a small group of peaceful protesters on Oct. 1; at that point, security personnel calmly stood by. As the peaceful and spontaneous demonstrations spread, however, security services opened fire. Over 100 protesters were killed and thousands injured. President Barham Salih condemned the use of lethal force and promised to bring those responsible to justice. It is up to the Iraqi government to follow through with this promise, and to implement genuine reforms. But the U.S. cannot turn away...

Read the full article on the Hill website.