In Iraq Today, It’s “Death to America”

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Donald Trump has done everything he possibly can to piss off Iran, most recently authorizing a military strike in northern Iraq that killed dozens of members of an Iran-backed militia. Today, supporters of that militia decided to storm the American embassy in Baghdad:

Hundreds of angry supporters of an Iranian-backed militia shouting “Death to America” attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, trapping diplomats inside in response to U.S. airstrikes that killed or wounded scores of militia fighters.

….The angry demonstrators defied appeals delivered over loudspeakers by the group’s leaders not to enter the embassy compound and smashed their way into one of the facility’s reception areas, breaking down fortified doors and bulletproof glass and setting fire to the room….The protesters also smashed security cameras, set two guardrooms ablaze and burned tires. They made a bonfire out of a pile of papers and military MREs (meals ready to eat) found in the reception area, where guards normally search visitors. Kataib Hezbollah flags were draped over the barbed wire protecting the embassy’s high walls.

….By early afternoon, tensions had eased somewhat after an Iraqi army commander showed up and ordered Iraqi security forces, who had initially made no attempt to intervene, to prevent the demonstrators going farther inside the facility. The security forces formed an impromptu buffer between the demonstrators and the American guards inside.

In the end, this particular assault may come to nothing. In fact, that would be my guess. But Israel and Saudi Arabia are both itching for a war against Iran, and Trump seems pretty happy to keep poking the beast until his friends get the war they want—that is, a war that the United States fights for them. Trump probably doesn’t want a serious fight until after the election, so that might slow him down. But things don’t always go the way you hope they do.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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