Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Weird Protests in Iraq

Not sure why this one was allowed, but I'm betting that it won't help the sectarian tensions in the area.

On Monday, a crowd of Sunni mourners in Samarra marched to a bomb-damaged Shiite shrine and were allowed by guards and police to enter the holy place carrying a mock coffin and photos of the former dictator.

The protest took place at the Golden Dome, which was shattered in a bombing by Sunni extremists 10 months ago. That attack triggered the current cycle of retaliatory attacks between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, in the form of daily bombings, kidnappings and murders.

Strikes me as asking for trouble. Sunni's protesting the death of their tyrant at a Shia holy site strikes me as begging for major sectarian violence. I'm a bit surprised there wasn't any reported.
Mourners at a mosque in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit slaughtered sheep as a sacrifice. The mosque's walls were lined with condolence cards from tribes in southern Iraq and Jordan who were unable to travel to the memorial.

Sunnis were not only outraged by Saddam's hurried execution, just four days after an appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence. Many were also incensed by the unruly scene in the execution chamber, captured on video, in which Saddam was taunted with chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada."

The chants referred to Muqtada al-Sadr, a firebrand Shiite cleric who runs one of Iraq's most violent religious militias. He is a major power behind the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

I suppose they should be given some venting for the death of their home town tyrant. Probably will allow things to quiet down a little, though the Baathist extremists will probably cause a flair in violence. I wonder how much the death of Saddam will end the participation of those that were closer to being on the fence rather than strong protesters of the regime change.

Of course we also have the usual protests in the MSM here in the US. We had the gloating over the military deaths exceeding the deaths of 9/11 and now the 3000 death milestone. Funny how the press used to vilify the body counts made by the military of the enemy dead, and how the modern journalists seem to revel in announcing every death of a US service person.
Just hour s after Saddam Hussein's burial yesterday, the US military announced two deaths, including that of the unidentified soldier killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his patrol in Baghdad. The death pushed the number of military personnel killed in the conflict to the grim threshold, according to the Associated Press.
The White House said President Bush would not comment directly on the 3,000th death. A Pentagon spokesman said there was "no special significance to the overall number of casualties."
As the death toll has mounted, debate over the war has intensified, with deep divisions in Washington and across the nation on how to proceed. Public disapproval of the war is high, and polls show that most people expect US deaths in Iraq to continue into the new year.

In thousands of towns and communities in New England and across the nation, the lives lost in Iraq have exacted a more private toll -- a mourning that begins in funerals and memorials, then bleeds into everyday lives.

Funny how the longer a war goes on the more deaths there are. And how with that longer period of time there is more debate over that war. I have seen a report on TV screeching about the fact that the number of injured is higher than previous wars, though they completely fail to attribute this to the fact that there are substantially less deaths due to better military medicine and quicker removal of the injured from the battlefield. But, hey, you can't put out that negative message if you have to qualify it with a positive note.

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