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Iraqis Continue Peaceful Protests of US Occupation

April 9, 2008

Followers of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr march
Monday through the Iraqi city of Najaf on the fourth anniversary
of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces.

(Hadi Mizban/Associated Press)

We hear a bit about the US protests against the war, but when is the last time the mainstream media reported on the numerous protests in Iraq? Today is April 9th, the fifth anniversary of the “toppling of Baghdad”, and of course not one mainstream US media source reported Iraqis peacefully protested the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Last year tens of thousands of Iraqis protested against the occupation (pictured above). The article cites that “Col. Steven Boylan, a U.S. military spokesman and aide to the commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq, praised the peaceful nature of the demonstration, saying Iraqis ‘could not have done this four years ago.’

“This is the right to assemble, the right to free speech — they didn’t have that under the former regime,” Boylan said. “This is progress, there’s no two ways about it.”

Isn’t that the sweetest thing you ever did hear? Of course what Col. Boylan forgot to mention is that these protesters are expressing is a very popular platform: as of last month, 70% of Iraqis are calling the withdrawal of US forces. And yes, even the Shias who we came to bring even more liberation to, 55% of them said the departure of US forces made a civil war LESS likely [according to BBC/ABC poll from September 07-yes during the “surge”]….but honestly, what do they know? Obviously their opinion doesn’t mean too much, but the important part is, they are more than welcome to have one 🙂

Moqtada al-Sadr had announced a million strong protest to mark today’s anniversary, but postponed it off citing security concerns (hmm….not safe enough to protest this year…and what, Col. Boylan, might that say about progress?) . But the Iraqi Islamic Party hosted a protest in the city of Fallujah today. (This party is the largest Sunni political party in parliament with 25 seats out of 275.) It was reported in Voices of Iraq, which is a news service run that pools Iraqi media and translates it into English. (Substitute it for the Times or Post just once–you won’t regret it)

Anbar, Apr 9, (VOI) – The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) in Fallujah city of Anbar province organized on Wednesday a peaceful demonstration that condemned the 5th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

“50 demonstrators participated in the demonstration,” Mohammed Hussein al-Zobaee, a senior leader of the IIP and member of Anbar provincial council told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

“We consider April 9 a day of invasion, occupation, and robbery of the treasuries of Iraq and its people,” he added.

The demonstration lasted for around one hour, at al-Jumhoriya street, center of Fallujah, and near the IIP’s head office in the city.

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