Hundreds of Iraqis protested against the government on Monday in a “Day of Regret” on the anniversary of the election that resulted in a second term for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
And in a move that has drawn criticism from many quarters, the security forces have shut down the offices of two small parties that helped to organise the demonstrations, the Iraqi Nation Party and the Iraqi Communist Party, neither of which have seats in parliament. According to reports, their offices were seized because the Ministry of Defense was “in the need of these buildings now”.
Whatever the truth behind these stories, Michael Corbin, US deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq, has predicted a continuation of protests for several months, as the electricity shortage will clearly not be resolved before the heat of the Iraqi summer sets in.
Regarding moves in Congress to cut State Department funding, Corbin added: “One thing that we’ve learned in over eight years in Iraq is that you can’t do Iraq on the cheap.”