Saturday, April 09, 2011

And what about Iraq?

They want their share of Arab Spring.

Juan Cole:

In Iraq, masses began converging from the south and from Diyala province in the east on Baghdad, heeding the call of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for a million-person demonstration to mark what the Sadrists and many Sunnis see as 8 years of American military occupation. April 9 is commemorated by the pro-American politicians as the day Saddam fell, but the Sadrists and Sunni oppositionists see it as a black day on which Iraq lost its independence to Washington. Small Sunni crowds in Falluja and in Adhamiya in Baghdad got a head start by rallying on Friday, chanting against the United States and saying it had imposed Iranian rule on Iraq (yes). Among the demands of the largely Shiite demonstrators planning to come out on Saturday is that no US troops remain in Iraq after Dec. 31, 2011, and that there be no US bases in that country. Despite falling out of the news in the United States only 6 years after this country was electrified by the parliamentary elections that brought the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution to power, Iraq has continued to be a hot news story. Just a few days ago, Sunni Arab guerrillas set off a bomb that killed 55 persons in front of the provincial government building in Salahuddin Province, north of Baghdad in the Sunni Arab belt.

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