Why anger in Iraq's capital matters to America

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi security forces were enforcing a major security clampdown Friday, bracing for a possible new round of anti-government protests.

Last week, Iraqis angry over corruption and a government they feel fails to protect or represent them stormed the capital's heavily guarded "Green Zone," which houses both Iraq's national government and the U.S. Embassy.

CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that security forces worked overnight to erect blast walls across all the lanes of one of the main bridges leading into the Green Zone, and Iraqi soldiers and police were deployed in the streets, sealing off the sensitive area.

The new security measures are aimed at avoiding a repeat of last weekend's protests, when demonstrators overran the supposedly-secure Green Zone and managed to storm into Iraq's parliament.

As D'Agata reports, the tension that erupted last weekend had been building for months in the form of anger at the government over charges of corruption and criticism that they appear unable to stop ISIS from carrying out terror attacks in the capital city and elsewhere.

The protests have been largely driven by Muqtada al Sadr, the powerful Shiite Muslim cleric whose militias launched a bloody fight against American forces at the height of the insurgency, and who has now reinvented himself as a political player -- and a major problem for Iraq's government.

His followers have threatened to storm the Green Zone again if their demands are not met, which is why everyone in Baghdad on Friday remains on edge.

The sprawling U.S. Embassy compound is a fortress within the fortress of the Green Zone, but D'Agata says that's not the only reason Iraq's political instability is a problem for America.

The combat death this week of Navy SEAL Charles Keating was a reminder of just how close U.S. troops are getting to the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

And, as the U.S. military increases its involvement, it needs to be able to depend on a government that's got its act together, and has the full support of the Iraqi people.