Prof Juan Cole writes in Informed Comment on 3rd February 2011:
The March 9, 2010 elections in Iraq produced no change from the previous government, and power inheres more in the oil-rich central executive than in parliament. There is a big protest planned next week on the anniversary of those elections, which is pretty scary– as Libyans and Egyptians demand parliamentary elections, Iraqi’s are protesting against theirs.
Many Kurds outside the Kurdistan Alliance establishment, many Sunnis, and many Sadrist and other Shiites feel as though high political deals brokered behind closed doors determine their fate more than elections. Otherwise, most of the major protest movements have been against authoritarian regimes that had ceased making sure the people shared in national resources.
Ironically, Iraq is dealing with its protests with a combination of violence and hand-outs, and so is behaving more like Saudi Arabia than like Tunisia and Egypt.
The Great Middle Eastern revolt of 2011 has not written its last line yet.