Baghdad Operations Command declared a state of emergency and said all roads into the capital had been closed….Iraq is in the grip of a political crisis, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attempting to reshuffle his cabinet and meet the demands of the demonstrators, who have been spurred on by the powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. But Abadi has been hampered by chaotic parliament sessions, where lawmakers have thrown water bottles and punches at one another.
Oddly, the “firebrand cleric” Sadr (remember when that practically used to be his first name in news reports?) is demanding that…the current hacks running government ministries be replaced with nonpartisan technocrats. “More bean counters in the cabinet!” isn’t the usual rallying cry of a populist uprising, but there you have it.
Needless to say, the sectarian hacks currently in charge have been resisting this change for the past month. In the meantime, Iraq is in chaos. Again.