The 2019 protests in Iraq were a response to the government’s corruption, economic stagnation, and a lack of basic services. The protests were met with a violent crackdown by Iraqi security forces and various Iran-backed militias. In response, these militias began to refer to the protesters as “sons of the embassy,” a phrase that carried a threatening connotation and was intended to discredit the protesters.
The use of the phrase “sons of the embassy” was an attempt by Iran-backed militias to deflect attention away from their own role in the violence and repression of the protesters. It was a way to suggest that the protests were a US-backed conspiracy rather than a legitimate expression of grievances by Iraqi citizens.
The phrase was also used to imply that the protesters were enemies of the state and deserved to be treated with suspicion and hostility. This rhetoric was part of a broader campaign by the militias to suppress dissent and maintain their grip on power.
However, the use of this phrase proved to be counterproductive for the militias. It only served to further inflame public anger and resentment towards the government and its allies. As the protests continued, the militias’ heavy-handed tactics and rhetoric only fueled the sense of outrage and frustration among ordinary Iraqis.
The phrase “sons of the embassy” also highlighted the complex relationship between the United States and Iraq. While the US played a significant role in toppling former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, its subsequent military presence in the country has been controversial and divisive. Many Iraqis have accused the US of meddling in their country’s affairs and contributing to instability.
The use of the phrase “sons of the embassy” during the 2019 protests was thus a reflection of this complex relationship. It was an attempt by Iran-backed militias to paint the protests as a US-backed conspiracy and to discredit the legitimate grievances of ordinary Iraqis.
In the end, the protests did lead to some changes in Iraq. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned in November 2019 in response to the demonstrations, and a new government was formed. However, many Iraqis remain skeptical of the government’s ability to address the country’s deep-rooted problems.
The use of the phrase “sons of the embassy” during the 2019 protests in Iraq serves as a reminder of the power of language to shape public opinion and fuel political tensions. It highlights the complex relationship between the United States and Iraq and the ongoing struggle for political and economic stability in the country.