British Major-General Stanley Maude enters Baghdad in March 11, 1917, capturing the province of Mesopotamia from the Ottoman Empire. (NYT)
The _Miami Herald_ runs a piece today on whispers of “revolution” filling the cafes of Baghdad this month as Iraqis look back on the rebellion of 1920 with pride and growing anger.
Whispers of “revolution” are growing louder in Baghdad this month at teahouses, public protests and tribal meetings as Iraqis point to the past as an omen for the future.
Iraqis remember 1920 as one of the most glorious moments in modern history, one followed by nearly eight decades of tumult. The bloody rebellion against British rule that year is memorialized in schoolbooks, monuments and mass-produced tapestries that hang in living rooms.
Now, many say there’s an uncanny similarity with today: unpopular foreign occupiers, unelected governing bodies and unhappy residents eager for self-determination. The result could be another bloody uprising.
“We are now under occupation, and the best treatment for a wound is sometimes fire,” said Najah al Najafi, a Shiite cleric who joined thousands of marchers at a recent demonstration where construction workers, tribal leaders and religious scholars spoke of 1920.
Could be bad. Could be hyperbole. We’ll have to see.