Monday, April 16, 2007

The nightmare Bush dreads most

ONE MILLION! Sure the estimate could be wrong, but by thousands? Many estimates go for 10's of thousands which is probably more accurate. Its still impressive and very, very anti-US. But the one million estimate came from Asia Times which tends toward the accurate side of reporting from my experience.
Public opinion polls are valuable chips to play for those engaged in a debate of national or international consequence. In the end, however, they are abstract numbers. It is popular demonstrations which give them substance, color, and - above all - wide media exposure, and make them truly meaningful. This is particularly true when such marches are peaceful and disciplined in a war-ravaged country like Iraq.

This indeed was the case with the demonstration on April 9 in Najaf. Over a million Iraqis, holding aloft thousands of national flags, marched, chanting, "Yes, yes, Iraq/No, no, America" and "No, no, American/Leave, leave occupier."

The demonstrators arrived from all over the country in response to a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi'ite cleric, to demand an end to foreign occupation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Ba'athist rule in Baghdad.

Both the size of the demonstration and its composition were unprecedented. "There are people here from all different parties and sects," Hadhim al-Araji, Muqtada's representative in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, told reporters. "We are all carrying the national flag, a symbol of unity. And we are all united in calling for the withdrawal of the Americans."

The presence of many senior Sunni clerics at the head of the march, which started from Muqtada's mosque in Kufa, a nearby town, and the absence of any sectarian flags or images in the parade, underlined the ecumenical nature of the protest.[emphasis mine]

I'm just gonna make a couple minor observations.

ONE MILLION! America can't get half that to end the war that has cost more US lives than 9/11.

Note the emphasized words. Muqtada al-Sadr is Shiite, not Sunni. Way to go, Bush. You have made the US universally hated in Iraq and not just the rest of the known world.

(read more)

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