With revolutions and uprisings sweeping through the Middle East, it is only natural that Iraq has been influenced. Protests have broken out as Iraqi citizens are demanding better services, namely electricity and more jobs. While some protests have seen violence, it is no where near the civil unrest in countries like Egypt and Libya. The biggest difference is that Iraqi citizens are calling for reform, not revolution. Iraqis do not want to overthrow the government. Iraqi citizens themselves elected these politicians. Rather, the Iraqi people want to see the government do their job and fulfill their promises. This is a good sign, these are good protests, it shows that democracy is ruling Iraq and puts pressure on the Iraqi government to provide for its people.
While violent protests are unhealthy, protests rooted from frustrations that unify people are healthy. Iraqi citizens want change – change in the way their government provides for its people. Prime Minister Maliki must act with a sense of urgency and communicate to his citizens that Iraq is doing all that it can, but also that it will take time for reform to take shape. He must do so in a way that restores the confidence in his government and he must take concrete steps in showing that he is taking these protests seriously. Already, Maliki has cut his pay in half and has allocated more money for food rations. The Iraqi government is listening and they are willing to act, but they must do more and make a push to fulfill big promises like providing reliable electricity.
These Iraqi protests could lead to beneficial outcomes. The world has already seen what a unified people can do. It is very powerful and governments must realize that elected officials are the ones that serve – citizens do not serve the government. If Iraq can take this to heart, bigger and better changes will occur and Iraq will move forward as a country. For Iraq and the dinar to move forward, both the citizens and governments must work together. Iraqi citizens must also realize that the government cannot do everything. The citizens have responsibilities as they themselves must be productive and do their part in maintaining a stable environment. The government must produce an environment in order for this to happen and the citizens must keep the government accountable.
There is a lot of good that can come from these protests. Iraq could become more unified, a better relationship between the citizens and the government could form and as a result, Iraq would be a more stable and secure country, restoring the confidence of the international community.