Trouble Brewing

Will Iraq Protest Next?

While Iran's anti-democratic crackdown is garnering the world's attention, trouble may be brewing in Iraq's upcoming election as well. According to The Washington Post, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's government has been using increasingly coercive measures to break the opposition. Political rivals have been arrested and threatened in Diyala and Basra, leading to comparisons to Iraq's former leader, Saddam Hussein. An aide to Maliki told the Post that while his boss was not a dictator, he has a "strong personality" and a willingness to push the limits of the constitution. Some are worried that Maliki's tactics could lead to new divisions in the already violently split nation. "These political tensions are undermining the security of the country, and I'm worried about it," Barham Salih, the deputy prime minister and a Kurdish leader, told the Post.