Is a NEW IRAQ being BORN? – VisualPolitik EN

Iraq. I’m sure that many of you automatically
associate this word, this name, with a destroyed country, ravaged by war. A place with no hope or future, a place where
religious extremism runs wild and there are endless conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites. And you know what? You’re absolutely right. This has been Iraq’s reality for the last
few decades, especially following the First Gulf War, the US invasion and the emergence
of the Islamic State – the terrorist group which ended up occupying a large part of the
country. We’re talking about a place that is a factory
for bad news. Without delving too deep, in the last few
months, strong social revolts have caused a lot of tension. The Iraqis are unhappy and… with good reason. (AUDIO: 10/27/2019 Iraq: At least 42 dead
and 2,000 injured in anti-government protests. SKY NEWS) (AUDIO: Iraq protests: Capital Baghdad blocked
as unrest escalates. Demonstrators have blocked the main streets
of Iraq’s, Baghdad, while massive protests continue against the government. BBC)
world-middle-east-50280498 However, this time we’re not going to talk
about a destroyed Iraq, or about disasters or victims, or misfortune. You must have realised by now that we like
looking at the bright side of things. And it’s precisely in this video, here on
VISUALPOLITIK, that we’ll try to show the side no one ever talks about regarding Iraq. That is, its good side. But does this country really have an upside? What would you think if I told you that even
though this country still has loads of problems and is light years away from being a good
place to live, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic? Well… Listen up. (INTRO) It’s time to… look at some history. After all, we cannot understand today’s Iraq
without taking a look at their past. At least the country’s most recent past. In 2003, after Saddam Hussein and his regime
fell following the US invasion, a state of chaos and a lack of institutionality emerged
that continues to this day. After the US occupation, an interim government
was established for a year and then a transitional government was in charge between May 2005
and May 2006. It was this transitional government that drafted
the current Constitution. However, despite all these attempts for political
normalization, the country’s governance was virtually impossible. And it was precisely in this highly conflictive
environment, with institutions that were unable to function and a complete lack of safety,
that jihadist militias increased their power and influence. That is how extremism boomed, which resulted
in numerous attacks that, of course, caused huge amounts of damage and greatly fueled
the anti-Western sentiment amongst a good part of the population. Of course, the United States and its allies
hadn’t only occupied the country, they were unable to bring order to it and had turned
the Iraqi city streets into true hornets’ nests. That’s why the people who perceived international
troops negatively were no longer just the supporters of Saddam Hussein’s regime, but
a much wider range of people. And it was precisely this rejection of the
west, which grew slowly, that explains news stories like this: (AUDIO: Iraq: anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s
bloc confirmed as election winners. – The Guardian) Is Iraq at risk of becoming a new Iran? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to 2014. That year an Iraqi man, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,
leader of the Islamic State jihadist group, declared his own caliphate, a world caliphate,
on Iraqi lands. He came to be considered a successor of Muhammad
and his call mobilized vast numbers of militants. The restoration of the caliphate led to the
beginning of a huge military offensive by ISIS where heinous crimes were committed while
capturing huge lands. Even important Iraqi cities like Mosul or
Fallujah fell under their power. The most recent “reign of terror” had
been created. Yes, we all know this story. Especially now that the United States has
confirmed that it has eliminated Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, The fact is that since 2014, the defeat of
ISIS became the number one priority of both the Iraqi government – as Iraq was held
against the ropes due to ISIS’s advance – and the United States government, as well
as the Kurds, who we discussed in depth in this recent video And, of course, faced with this challenge,
all of the Iraqi government’s efforts were focused on defeating the Islamic State. Everything else slipped into the background. As you can imagine, this meant Iraq’s social
and economic advances were paralyzed for a long time. Who would dare to invest in a shattered country
that was also being invaded by ISIS barbarians? The worst part is that despite all their efforts
and help from the west, the threat of ISIS still hasn’t disappeared even though the
caliphate has been dismantled. (AUDIO: ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq
and Syria. – The New York Times ) But just a second. At the beginning of this video, we promised
that we wouldn’t talk about Iraq’s worst side, but the opposite, right? Okay, it’s hard to find positive things in
a place like Iraq, but believe me there are some. The fact is that after the Caliphate’s fall,
Iraqi institutions have been strengthened and security has greatly improved. This has made Iraq begin to take a few steps
forward. Listen up. (CHANGES ARRIVE. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER) I don’t think anyone would doubt the difficulty
of rebuilding a country that has practically been at war since 1980. That’s almost 40 years. It’s a situation that, not only didn’t
improve with the US invasion, but actually got worse. After the occupation, and the violence that
broke out, Baghdad became a city divided by large walls, military controls and road-blocks
everywhere. Mobility in the city was very, very difficult. To give you an idea, it took hours to cross
the city by car because of the huge number of detours and controls you had to cross. The city looked more like a gigantic military
base than a country’s capital. Citizens lived a virtually kidnapped existence. Curfews were common and it wasn’t even safe
to go out for tea or coffee. Baghdad condemned you to a terrible life and
in many cases… a rather short one. However, after the defeat of the Islamic State
Caliphate in Iraq, things have begun to improve by leaps and bounds. Check this out. To turn the situation around, one of the key
measures that the Iraqi government has implemented has been the plan to eliminate all military
checkpoints, obstacles and interior walls that separated neighborhoods from each other. After 15 years of living with these elements,
Baghdad’s population has experienced worrying social changes, mostly a result of isolation. The isolation of the neighborhoods created
closed communities, which barely had contact with other communities within the city. This led to an increase in violence and rejection
among the different groups once access was restored. And to combat this, the first step to take
is evident. Take a look. (AUDIO: Iraq lifts nearly 30 km of blast walls
from Baghdad: official. – France 24) (AUDIO: Iraq plans to remove 300 checkpoints,
erect security fence in Baghdad.“More than 600 streets will be opened up in Baghdad and
all concrete blocks will be removed from streets in order to ease traffic jam.” Iraqi News) Imagine how it would’ve been to live in
Baghdad in the last decade. A true nightmare… But , the changes don’t end with the look
of capital. What’s happening in other arenas? What about Iran’s influence over Iraq? Is it as significant as they say? Let’s take a look. (EMERGING FROM BETWEEN TWO OPPOSITE POLES?) Even though it may be hard to believe, there
is more good news on the horizon for Iraq. It looks like things are starting to function
again. Public works have increased, housing construction
is at its highest level in recent decades and crude oil production is sky-rocketing. (AUDIO: Iraq’s oil production has nearly
doubled over the past decade. – U.S. Energy Information Administration) According to OPEC, crude oil exports have
grown to around 3.8 million barrels per day, allowing Iraq to make almost 70 billion dollars
in 2018. (AUDIO: Iraq is pumping record oil, creating
a ‘fully-blown migraine’ for OPEC’s cutting plans) The problem stems from the fact that the relationship
between the central government and the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan – which also happens
to be where a large part of the deposits can be found – is frankly quite bad. And in fact, one of the reasons for the tension
is oil. In Iraq, oil exports depend heavily on the
Kurdish region. The central government and the Kurds share
oil revenues and sometimes this ends up serving as a political weapon for each side to put
pressure on the other. But this isn’t the main reason for their
bad relationship. The real trigger was the Iraqi Kurdistan independence
referendum, which we discussed previously here on VISUALPOLITIK. Without a doubt, one of the things that has
aroused the most fears and misgivings in investors and the international community has been the
relationship between Baghdad and Tehran. Yes. In Washington they must be pulling their hair
out. You invade a country, you spend a fortune,
you have a lot of casualties and in the end that country ends up in the hands of one of
your greatest enemies. Crazy. (AUDIO: Iran-Backed Militias Are In Iraq to
Stay. – Foreign Policy) (AUDIO: Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S.
‘Handed the Country Over’. – The New York Times) So that’s how it is. Although to be fair, we should state that
Iran’s influence seems to have lost a bit of steam in recent years. This may be due to, among other things, enormous
pressure from Saudi Arabia. But even so, we’re talking about a relationship
that puts many political leaders around the world, especially in Washington, on edge. You see, a union comprised of these two countries,
Iran and Iraq joined together, would lead to an alliance that would have combined reserves
of more than 300 billion easy-to-exploit oil barrels. This would be the largest conventional oil
reserve in the world. More than the reserves of Saudi Arabia or
Venezuela. We’d be talking about an alliance that,
with 120 million inhabitants and such natural resources, could easily become the greatest
power of the Middle East. What’s more, we’re talking about two Shiite-majority
countries, 2 of the 3 Shiite-majority countries in the world – the other one is Azerbaijan. And I don’t think I need to remind you that,
in this area of ​​the world, religious ties are extremely important. Well, the fact is that in modern-day Iraq
there are at least 30 armed groups, most of them Iran supporters, who make up the so-called
Popular Mobilization Forces. These paramilitary forces have no less than
125,000 troops. 125,000 troops over which Tehran holds a very
important influence. And this is something that the Iraqi government
itself has tried to curb… But, in all honesty, they haven’t been successful. First, the armed groups were invited to leave
their loyalty to Iran in order to join the Iraqi Armed Forces and now they’re trying
to do it by force, which is putting the country on alert again. Getting rid of one only to get saddled with
another. Some countries seem doomed. (AUDIO: Death tolls soars as pro-Iran militias
accused of shooting protesters. – The Independent) Now, it was precisely due to this wave of
violence that the Iraqi government is now trying to put more distance between themselves
and the Iranian regime and to look more towards Riyadh instead. That is the Iraqi government’s new strategy. And for once we aren’t talking about military
issues. (AUDIO: Saudi Arabia Makes Inroads in Iraq
to Curb Iranian Influence. – Bloomberg) The state-owned oil company Aramco, the chemical
company Saudi Basic Industries and the mining company Maaden are just a few of the big Saudi
corporations that are looking to set up in Iraq by establishing joint ventures or by
making direct and indirect investments in Iraqi companies. Moreover, Saudi Arabia opened another consulate
in Baghdad at the beginning of April 2019, accompanied by an aid package worth one billion
dollars. And that’s not all, because at the end of
October 2019 King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi met in Saudi Arabia and signed at least
13 agreements related to trade, energy and political cooperation. Yes, it looks like the Iraqi government wants
to take advantage of the Arab Cold War to get their share and flood the country with
dollars. It makes sense, don’t you think? Now, will the Popular Mobilization Forces
allow this? Or will they once again unleash a campaign
of violence and terror to destabilize the country for another decade? Will Iraq finally succeed and take the leap
towards stability and development? Let’s hope so. So I really hope you enjoyed this video, please
hit like if you did, and don’t forget to subscribe for brand new videos. Don’t forget to check out our friends at
the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. Also, this channel is possible because of
Patreon, and our patrons on that platform. Please consider joining them and supporting
our mission of providing independent political coverage. And as always, I’ll see you in the next

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Is a free country allowed to form whatever alliances it wants? Is a country that disapproves of US global dictatorship automatically radical? I wonder how Americans would feel if Arab countries beat the s… out of them for decades and destroy their society and economy. To hell with US influence in the world!

  2. So, the title is very misleading because it had nothing to do with the rise of a " New Iraq". And the sarcastic remarks are disgusting. If you aren't truly interested in this topic, then just leave it alone and don't waste your time being an asshole to people who are going through the struggles of battling for their freedom and basic rights. I don't know which one is more despisable, this video or your "trying-too-hard-to-look-hipster-but-I'm-too-old" look.

  3. See the pattern:

    Saddam generals (fascists) joins Islamist to form ISIS (with indirect support of CIA and neo-communists like John Brennan and just general corruption)

    China is an ally to Iran, because they like censor stuff

    Iran murdered all the leftists when the Islamists took power, and the Communist Chine Party is murdering/"educating" all the Muslims

    LibTards across Western Europe think it's a good idea to let these kind of people in here. (PS: Don't come here in the North, you'll starve or freeze to death when when we cut your welfare!)

    San Marino has mostly lived in peace and prosperity for 1700 years – Why don't we do a little more like that? Instead of letting sociopaths destroy traditions.

  4. I'm surprised that you didn't mention much about the protests and their main goals , it's most of what is happening in Iraq right now , no wars , no terrorists , it's just the people who want to dance and live …

  5. I will make sure that I wreck the maximum amount of HELL for those who were responsible for the force-feeding of Antipsychotic drugs against me under 12 years of political psychiatry!!! I guarantee you on this!!! I will see you in HELL!!!

  6. You are missing a key element in this video which is the unstopped protesting against Iran's influence in Iraq.
    Protestors are so determined to peacfuly force the government "which it's loyalty is to Iran" thanks to the US and the institution of 2003.
    I really expected to watch a video about that. Coz changes are already been made to comfort the ppl "protestors"
    Regardless of accuracy of info.
    Unfortunately you weren't fortunate

  7. Yes, a new Iraq is being born, but from this, it looks like it will be more fractured than ever. Not sure where the positive element here is: whatever gains they have made in the past few decades are painfully fragile.

  8. Not watching this whole video a minute and 29 seconds into it I would say yes Iraq has an upside it’s up north with the Kurds with the city of Erbil Maybe that’s give me the direction you’re gone it’s like two different countries I know I’ve been there

  9. Corrupted government
    Plus the most corrupted Parliament in world that single handed will kill any bright side of iraq
    That government is ready to take money from anyone with right price

  10. Are you implying that alliance with Riyadh is better for Iraq, while ISIS was funded by Saudi??. Iran and its people have lost blood and resources to defeat this terror and bring stability to this Western inspired chaos.

  11. As an iraqi , I found some of ur sentences offensive, but thanks you for talking about this revolution
    Edit :this video is full of shit ,iraq isn't fan of saudi , no isis whatsoever

    And just loads of bullshit.

    Viva la iraq.

  12. الحكومة العراقية تقتل الابرياء بسبب مطالبتهم بحقوقهم الشرعية

    The Iraqi government is killing innocent people for demanding their legitimate rights


  13. Keep watching…

    WW3 is going to explode in the region.

    America already there. Russia is making inroads. Turkey jist arrived. Iyraan has been jostling for years. China is coming, Sa'uwdi doesn't want to be irrelevant and only GOD knows who else. And all of them are going to drag with them as many allies and vassals as possible.

    Its going to start as a blocs confrontation and end up into a free for all winner takes all slugfest.

  14. This channel is so ignorant. Imagine thinking Saudis Arabian wahhabi investment is somehow a good thing after another wahhabi group just destroyed the country.

  15. I don't really get it, Zionist lobbied to remove saddam from power, then the us allied with kurds and Iranian militias to occupied Iraq, after that the us armed and trained the shiaa militias,like on TV they fight but in real world they are all on the same team,, can someone explain to me?

  16. Simon: If you're a regular viewer of this channel, then you probably realize that we like to look at the bright side of things.
    Meanwhile videos: If you think everything is sunshine and rainbows, you're VERY VERY WRONG!

    BTW, I like the style of presentation; videos are informative 🙂

  17. Iraq will rebuild the process will probably take years and millions of dollars and new idea and techniques however I have faith good luck to Iraq for everyone’s friend Canada 🇨🇦.

  18. You seem to be gathering news from everywhere but it does not look like you do much research. Even the clip you keep showing is not the PM of Iraq but President of Iraq Barham Salih who is a Kurd. There is much hype in the western media thrashing Iran and the Shias but the truth is that unlike the Sunnis who will always fight and attack the weak among their own, For Example Pakistan's genocide in Bangladesh, Saudi war on defenseless Yemen, OR even Saudi Embargo against Qatar!!! The Shias are always progressive and always unite in the face of adversaries! Whether the US likes it or not Iraq and Iran will come together!! the Sunnis nations like Pakistan and the Gulf will implode!!

  19. US destroyed Iraq it started the Gulf war and support Iraq then invaded Iraq for the oil and destroy the country and let the people hate the west and guess what ISIS formed

  20. 10:40 Sorry, there are FOUR shiite-majority countries in the World, not three. You forgot Bahrain. It's right there in the center of the map on 10:44 – tiny, because the country is so small, but you can see the colour.

  21. The extent to which Kurdistan gets self determination is the extent to which good things will happen in the region. These are the only people in Iraq that can govern worth a damn.

  22. I’m an Iranian and I chant death to the brutal and super corrupt Islamic/ Mullah regime in Iran! The wish of both ordinary Iranian & Iraqi people is the same and that is nothing, but the ultimate total collapse of the dirty Islamic/ Mullah regime in Iran!

  23. These extremists groups are creating troubles in the countries which are liberal Islamic. People of Iraq and Syria are very liberal modern people. Even Iranians are very liberal. But their governments – Meh !

  24. Iran and Iraq government both will collase and then a new democratic Iran will emerge. what happen in Iraq I dont know but democratic Iran can help Iraqis to rebuild their country.

  25. 1:32 ".. and is light years away from being a good place to live" – a light year away from any place on earth is far outside our solar system. A light year is a measure of distance, not time, ffs.

  26. You know what amazes me
    A load of wanker living in sand huts
    Can be so smart
    Get top of the range weapons
    Oh wait CIA

  27. I wish the brothers and sisters from the Middle East would unite and exclude Saudi Arabia from the Middle Eastern table, they are the ones who have been causing all the mayhem in the region.

    Further, I hope they would turn their backs on religion, and focus on science, economics, and internal development. Trade, travel and enjoy each other's company and become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Two things will cause that to never happen, Saudi Arabia, and religion.

    Truly saddening.

  28. First of all i am an iraqi citizen
    Thanks for describing our situation to the world , and i would say its a pretty delicate description
    But you have one false information which is the number of people where killed in the protests is not 42 it’s nearly 400 iraqi people where killed
    Just because they where asking for freedom and peace

  29. Iraq ending up in the hands of Iran with the invasion could have been seen coming by a 10 year old. The Neo cons in Washington were two obsessed with Apocalypse scenarios to see it coming.

  30. I think you could have made the video much better and more organized. I hope you could talk to a fellow Iraqi for more information about there country that way you would have better understanding and have a video that is more clear and simple to understand to the viewers.

  31. wtf are talking about I thought finally someone talk about our protest you spend 90% of the video talk about non sense

  32. US is very happy with destabilized middle east, so that no one can deal with Israel. They live happliy ever after, while others suffer. Who cares? Do you remember the chemical weapons in Iraq, which were never been found. Do you remember Mr.Bush's and Mr. Mike Powell's (God Damn both of them) lies?

  33. bad video

    you didn't say that students are not going to schools ant protesting all over the country
    you didn't say the shia refused shia politicians and screamed "secular secular.." in the streets
    saudi arabia has nothing to do with iraq
    kurdistan has nothing to do , they don't even contribute to the economy they just money of part of the country they don't recognize
    iraq has changed alot , governent killed the protesters and soon we will take it down
    your videos didn't say anything , do better research next time

  34. iran must not allow saudi to spread influence in the region. if saudis working inside. they will share the intel to their partner USA. if that happen there will be no peace in iraq. the game of geopolitics is like a chess.

  35. More than 300 demonstrators killed more than 18 thousand Greg … demonstrations nailed ..

  36. OPEC needs to pump as much oil as possible before Musk makes it worthless.

    Whenever I meet someone from Iraq I apologize for the Cheney/Bushwackwer 2 administration. The worst president in our history.

    Cheney/Bushwacker 2 is the worst administration in our history. They came to office with a personal agenda that in no way reflected what our country needed. I said at the very beginning Iraq was the wrong war. He wanted to undo what he thought history would call his father's mistake in not taking Saddam out. Turns out his father was right. With Iraq and Iran fighting each other they had to sell us their oil cheap and buy our weapons. He had a blank check to do what needed to be done in Afghanistan and chose to cash it in Iraq.

  37. Actually over 600 dead, 5000 injured and 200 kidnapped most of them came back tortured by the Iranian militia since October 1st, the protest is not over yet.

  38. Whilst both countries are Shia/Shia majority in my view, getting too close to Iran in the short run would not be wise due to Sanctions. Iraq needs time to rebuild and for that oil revenues will allow to fund infrastructure and some stability. Iraq is sandwiched between Saudi nor Iran which would be ideal neighbours. Playing smartly and diplomatically is hard but would be the best way not to close their trade with the west but at the same time some equidistance may be the best way not to infuriate two enemies like Saudi and Iran

  39. You are really ill informed in that case. You made Iraq look like some kind of ball bouncing around between Iran and Saudi Arabia and missed the most importing thing which is the public will of iraqi people who are pushing massively throw protests to gain reforms and fighting for their liberty and independence. Sorry but it is Typical American behavior

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