In recent years Iraqis have become accustomed to periodic outbreaks of mass protest against their sclerotic political system. There is little to endear Iraqis to the ruling oligarchy of parties given their unmatched pilfering of the state and continued failure.
The stabilisation of the security situation and the supposed merits of a constitutional electoral system that breaks with decades of authoritarian rule have failed to allay public anger.
While the improved security and the normalcy that has marked daily life in parts of Iraq have certainly been welcomed, it is a cruel absurdity to expect Iraqis to forever measure their quality of life and their political discontent against the harrowing extremes of civil war or Ba’thist authoritarianism. Trumpeting normalcy means having to live up to its promise.
In fact, the recent stabilisation of the security situation has brought Iraq’s systemic failures to the fore. Where once Iraqis felt caught between existential threats (such as terrorism, crime, ISIS, etc) and civil war, today they feel trapped in a political and economic system that serves the interests of the ruling party oligarchy and denies them representation, economic opportunity and functioning services.