Outrage as Leaked Iraq Video Hints at Corruption

Corruption is 'prevailing culture' in ministries

A newly leaked video making rounds on social media shows Iraq’s new Interior Minister pledging loyalty to his political party while taking office. This is raising more talk of corruption.

MP Majid Shanqali commented that corruption is “the prevailing culture in which ministries and state departments and their positions are considered business projects for their owners.”

Several factions have been warning of soaring corruption in Iraq for years, especially cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The use of ministries to solicit bribes is virtually the only way to do business in Iraq, which many just accept as the way things work.

Anger at the increasingly blatant corruption, however, has fueled a lot of protests, and Sadr is expected to try to drive a major protest movement after October’s contested election, with this giving him just more ammunition.

Even if this leak does reveal specific corruption, the odds of it leading to any criminal repercussions are low. Loyalty to the party is key, and with the current coalition, there’s little reason for the leadership to react, even if the public demands it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.