Skip to comments.Iraqis stage mass anti-US rally
Posted on 10/18/2008 12:29:18 PM PDT by austrian
Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr have staged a mass demonstration in Baghdad in protest against plans to extend the US mandate in Iraq.
An estimated 50,000 protesters chanted slogans such as "Get out occupier!".
Iraqi and US negotiators drafted the deal after months of talks but it still needs approval from Iraq's government.
Under the agreement US troops would withdraw by 2011, and Iraq would have the right to prosecute Americans who commit crimes while off-duty.
The UN mandate for US-led coalition forces expires at the end of this year. About 144,000 of the 152,000 foreign troops deployed there are US military personnel.
Chanting slogans and waving banners, tens of thousands of Shias, mainly young men, marched on the eastern suburb of Sadr City towards the centre of Baghdad. The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says Moqtada Sadr's militant opposition to the US presence has strong grassroots support among many Shias - and this was a physical manifestation of that opposition.
He says leaders of the 30-strong Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament will have expressed that rejection at a meeting of Iraq's Political Council for National Security late on Friday.
The meeting of top political leaders and the heads of parliamentary factions was convened to discuss the draft agreement covering the US military presence after its mandate expires.
No decisions were taken but the Council is to meet again to hear back from military experts on what is a very complex and detailed document.
Our correspondent says its passage through parliament may follow naturally if it is approved by the Council, but this is by no means assured and a tough political battle is already shaping up.
In Washington, US defence chief Robert Gates has been courting support for the deal from key members of Congress...
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
Sorry. It was. It was late at night my time and my brain was entering "dead" phase. :)
“Occupiers out! Occupiers out! Muqtada al-Sadr! Muqtada al-Sadr! Muqtada al-Sadr! Long live IRAN!!”
No. I mean I wish I WAS joking (okay, I was joking, but the more I think about it - it isn’t a joke). Obama will wait until after he is elected (IF he is) to say this. Maybe not in so many words, but he will.
“As can be seen by the majority of Iraqis - and Americans, they want the U.S. occupation army out, and that is what we will do. The Occupation of Iraq is over”.
“al-Sadr, the popular leader of the Province, has agreed to meet with us regarding a coalition leadership in Iraq. This is a huge step forward in bringing all leaders into the process of rebuilding Iraq” (shoot - I think President Bush practically said this a long time ago making a brief treaty with Sadr for awhile!?)
“Iran’s quest for clean and efficent Nuclear Energy is a noble quest. By the U.S. providing them with Uranium and technology, we can not only make sure that these materials are going to civilian programs, but we can can bring Iran into the fold of our friendship. And rather than be enemies, we can both fight together our common enemy of Global Warming”.
(Okay - that bit about the global warming was over the top. The rest wasn’t - at least not for Obama.)
LOL, that’s even better and much more accurate!....
In this particular case, it was the right thing to do. Every conflict is different.
We went to war against a regime, not the nation's people. One of the many reasons for doing so was to establish a strong and stable ally in a very volatile and dangerous region.
In order to do that, it was incumbent upon us to stabilize the country. Leaving it in smoldering ruins would have given Iran a much larger territory from which to operate. Since the war drew a large contingent of al Qaeda into the country, it was almost like a two-fer. While the reconstruction of the nation has been underway, there has always been concurrent combat action, and the enemy has been engaged far from U.S. shores. The battles only abated earlier this year, allowing the reconstruction to really get going. We are doing it now with Iraqi funds, by the way.
This is not a no-win situation by any stretch. This is a very successful operation and the media has managed to conceal that from the American people for the most part.
Think the financial backers of this rally want Obama as President? A way of helping Obama without having to donate directly to his campaign?
“We went to war against a regime, not the nation’s people. One of the many reasons for doing so was to establish a strong and stable ally in a very volatile and dangerous region.”
You and I have gone ‘round before on this. I appreciate your view on-the-spot. This is a noble goal, quixotically so. There is very little likelihood of us having a strong and stable ally in Iraq. They will be an islamic state. Republicans will blame a democratic congress or Obama, if elected for the failure, but in the end, nation building does not work in the third world - and that is the reason why it will fail. We don’t have enough time, money, or patience to force them into the first world. Their third world corruption, cronyism, and incompetence stands in the way.