Thursday, 26 May 2011
What The "Liberated" Iraq Looks Like
"At least tens of thousands" of Muslims marched through Baghdad waving Iraqi flags and shouting "No, no, America!" earlier today.
Organisers said at least 700,000 militiamen and supporters of the Shi'ite jihadist leader Muqtada al-Sadr had taken to the streets while the U.S. military estimated the crowd at about 70,000.
U.S. officials counted more than 300 busloads - each carrying up to 70 passengers - who traveled from Iraq's south for the rally, and were joined by some of the roughly 2 million who live in Baghdad's northeast Sadr City neighborhood where it was held.
An estimated 24,000 militiamen from southern provinces wore matching T-shirts bearing the Iraqi flag as spectators burned American and Israeli banners. Small groups of youths along the parade route also struck American flags with twirling kickboxing moves to the delight of onlookers.
The rally was a message to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about the staunch opposition by Iraq's most devout Shi'ites - and the ones who grudgingly helped him clinch a second term in office last year - to a continued U.S. military presence in 2012.
Already, American forces in Baghdad and southern Iraq have seen an increase in rocket and mortar attacks as well as roadside bombs in recent months. U.S. officials have blamed the uptick on Shiite militias backed by Iran who are trying to take credit for driving American forces from Iraq.
God bless Dubya and Obama. The spending of all that blood and treasure to bring "democracy" to Iraq really worked out so well, didn't it?