Sunday, April 10

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SHIAS DEMONSTRATE IN IRAQ

In Iraq, the Shias aren't happy. From Riverbend:

There were hundreds of thousands of Shia screaming "No to America. No to terrorism. No to occupation. No to the devil. No to Israel." The numbers were amazing and a little bit frightening too...Ever since Jalal Talbani was named president, there have been many angry Shia. It's useless explaining that the presidential chair is only symbolic- it doesn't mean anything. "La izayid we la inaqis." As we say in Iraq. "It doesn't increase anything, nor does it decrease anything." People have the sense that all the positions are 'symbolic'- hence, why shouldn't the Shia get the head symbol? The disturbing thing is how the Kurds could agree to have someone with so much blood on his hands. Talbani is known for his dealings with Turkey, Britain, America and other and his feuds with Barazani have led to the deaths of thousands of Kurds...Two years and this is Occupation Day once more. One wonders what has changed in this last year. The same faces of April 2004, but now they have differing positions in April 2005. The chess pieces were moved around and adjusted and every one is getting tired of the game.

UPDATE: As Bill points out in the comments, Juan Cole has more on the demonstrations:

Big demonstrations were also held in Ramadi and in Najaf.

In Baghad, Shaikh Mu'ayyad al-Khazraji, a Sadr aide, said that the demonstrations would continue, to pressure the parliament to demand a US withdrawal.
...
The demonstrators demanded a swift trial of Saddam Hussein, a timetable for US withdrawal, the release of Iraqis detained by the US, and an end to the marginalization of the opposition. The demonstrators carried effigies of Saddam Hussein, President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, each labeled "International Terrorist." Ash-Sharq al-Awsat says that the crowds also demanded an end to torture in Iraqi prisons.

Off to the side a small crowd of Iraqi Christians joined in the demonstration, with placards saying, "We support the call of Sayyid Muqtada for national unity."


UPDATE: First Draft has a number of dramatic pictures of the demonstrations.

1 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

Juan Cole adds detail and it's not pretty either. A whole lot of pro-Iranian thinking on display at the demos and many demands for the US to leave.

How long will it take for the great democratic success being touted in Iraq to start looking like the birth of another anti-American religious regime...
... only one with, lots of dead relatives wanting revenge, foreign terrorists flocking in, an infrastructure being rebuilt courtesy of the the US taxpayer, and many disillusioned American soldiers wondering why their buddies gave their lives?

3:53 PM  

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