Iraq fights to reclaim history
Since October, protesters in Iraq have been fighting for their rights to political redemption, democracy, and economic prosperity. Their struggle turned bloody on the second day. Despite the state's death and brutality, they filled the "Liberation Square" with thousands of peaceful freedom fighters who bravely stood up against the brutal militias.
319 Iraqis have been killed and an estimated 15,000 injured. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, and there are numerous reports of enforced disappearances.
This brave struggle confronts the brutality of the state and global neglect. Iraq's youth found themselves fighting for a better Iraq and also for recognition.
Fighting for recognition is the hard part of Iraq's youth after their identity was removed from the human map. However, the news from their country concentrated in the media since 2003. The production of news and media reshaped another history of Iraq.
The oriental American machine has set Iraq as a barbaric state full of sectarian Arab fanatics. Exceptional images imposed by the American media machine to justify years of violence, imperial expansion, Iraqi resource exploitation, and the destruction of the country's economy. They kept producing the same image to continue to control the government and its politics, giving false definitions of Iraqi society and confused ideas about what is happening now.
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United States has produced dozens of films about its soldiers' courage. The films contain a dual narrative, "The Good" of the Western Invaders and the "Bad" of the savage Arabs and fanatics. In the meantime, educated diplomats dealt with Iraq from its Orientalist library and imposed the only kind of power in their limited imagination: sectarianism.
Forming their democracy outdoors with sectarian features, which ironically Iraqis called the democracy of Paul Bremer "the first American ruler in Iraq."
On the other hand, motivated by Orientalist ideologies, US forces built their Bases and set their borders. Bases where video game scripts and legendary stories cut their way to Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
We can describe the United States Military Camp narrative from Edward Said's definition of the scope of Orientalism. "It is perfectly possible to argue that some distinctive objects are made by the mind and that these objects while appearing to exist objectively, have only a fictional reality. A group of people living on a few acres of land will set up boundaries between their land and its immediate surroundings and the territory beyond, which they call "the land of the barbarians."
Even if Edward here described fictional geography, but the Americans made it a reality, in the films of Sand Castle, American Sniper, The Hurt Locker, etc." In the "Land of the Barbarians," the identity of Iraq's youth is reshaped. Films watched by millions that have shaped their understanding of Iraq ... about other forms of media, would be enough to repeat what Edward Said wrote shortly before his death and after the invasion of Iraq. "... Today's libraries in the United States are filled with rickety crusts with screaming titles about Islam. Terrorism, revealed Islam, the Arab threat, and the Islamic threat, all written by political scientists demonstrating the knowledge they passed on to them and others by experts presumed to have penetrated the heart of these exotic eastern peoples. Countless broadcast hosts Yen evangelical and Numerousg, tabloid newspapers and innumerable, and even middle-brows magazines, and all of them re-rotate the same stories, . Alland broad generalizations to stir up America against the foreign devil. "
All these years of Western cultural work that portrayed Iraq as a land of barbaric sectarianism made it very difficult for Iraqi demonstrators to find solidarity in the West.
In the east, Saudi Arabia and Iran used Iraq as a barrier against each other's expansion in the region. They robbed them of their history by teaching their children the bloody massacres that their communities had done throughout Mesopotamia's history. They claimed that Iraq could govern only by blood and fire through Islamic history, highlighting the ruling model of Hajj ibn Yusuf and Abu al-Saffah as the only model to rule Iraq. The narrative of only ruthless politicians who can govern Iraq justified the brutality of Saddam Hussein.
In all this chaos, protesters are fighting for recognition as well as for saving their history. The history of Baghdad is the capital of knowledge from the sixth to the twelfth century. Iraq, which is 1970, securing equal rights for women in the constitution, including voting, running for political office, and access to education and private property.
The revolutionary movement that is going through all these obstacles needs our solidarity. Still, we have to call it the central movement of this century because it represents itself and opposes our history's worst political projects.