May 30 2008

Sadr’s Call For Friday Protest A Total Bust

Published by at 2:03 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

As I predicted a few days ago, Moqtada’s call for Friday protests by his followers has fallen way short of previous protests:

Thousands of people heeded a call from anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to protest talks between Washington and Baghdad on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2008, but turnout on Friday was lower than past marches.

Explaining the relatively low numbers, spokesmen for Sadr’s movement said the protests were widely spread through the country but security forces prevented marches in some areas.

In the Kadhimiya district in northwest Baghdad, hundreds of demonstrators with raised fists marched behind a banner asking the United Nations to “stand with the Iraqi people against this security deal between the government and the occupation”.

In the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, several hundred demonstrators marched, chanting: “Out, out occupier” and “Iraq won’t be an American colony”.

Actually, what lowered turnout was all the horror stories about atrocities committed against fellow Muslims by the Sadrist ‘controlled’ Mahdi Army thugs. Interestingly the media is avoiding talking about the level of protest in Basra – the first place liberated from the Mahdi Army and Iraq’s second largest city. My guess is the protests there were a total bust beyond all other locations. And this will be the high point for these kinds of demonstrations. They will taper off each week from now on.

More people are quietly celebrating the defeat of the Mahdi Army than worrying about any long term agreements between Iraq and America. While this was another missed opportunity for the SurrenderMedia to find evidence of our mythical defeat in Iraq, it is not a driving issue for war weary Iraqis who are not swarming to support Sadr and his Sadrists any more. Politically the Sadrist movement has been severely damaged because they gave cover to cruel and violent animals.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Sadr’s Call For Friday Protest A Total Bust”

  1. nergo says:

    “Security forces prevented marches in some areas.”

    So Maliki’s Iranian-controlled government, instead of going after the people causing the horrible violence in Iraq (violence is lower than last year, yes, but there are still hundreds of attacks every month) is using his “army” to crack down on peaceful Iraqis and prevent them from protesting the government and the foreign occupation.

    Of course you assume that this is because the Iraqis love the government and turned against Sadr, but there is no proof of this. What we know is that the Iranian-backed Iraqi “government” is doing its best to keep down turnout in anti-government protests. And this after they spent weeks killing the Sadrists for no better reason than that the Sadrists were in danger of beating them in an election. Do you approve of this?

    And what’s with the anti-Sadr bile all of a sudden? Sadr is less pro-Iranian than Maliki. (Not that Sadr is anti-Iranian, but he is less beholden to Iran than Maliki, which is why Iran backs Maliki.) So if you don’t want Iran to win, shouldn’t you oppose Maliki’s attempt to kill the less pro-Iranian party and prevent them from doing well in an election?

    But then, among the things you haven’t noticed include – http://www.newshoggers.com/blog/2008/05/provincial-elec.html -

    - Provincial elections are delayed
    - Sunnis pulled out of the government
    - The Iraqi “army” is composed of thugs who kill their own people
    - McCain thinks Mosul is “quiet” and that we’ve already pulled down to pre-surge levels

    Face it, AJ: you want to surrender Iraq to the Iranians and to Maliki’s thugs. Why don’t you support the right of Iraqis to be free (which means freedom from Maliki just as much as freedom from Saddam) or the national security interests of America in leaving Iraq and fighting Al-Qaeda?

  2. conman says:

    AJ,

    Once again you fail to see the forest through the trees. The smaller than expected Sadr protest is not nearly as significant as the growing Iraqi government opposition to the US status-of-forces agreement (the reason for Sadr’s protest). The same article you linked to shows that the SIIC, the largest political party in the Iraqi government, is opposed to the agreement. The link Negro provided shows that the Sunni leadership and the head of Maliki’s own Dawa party are opposed. It now appears that there is strong momentum to at a minimum postpone the negotiations until after the Iraqi elections and possibly not agree to it at all.

    Don’t you think this is significant? If the Iraqi government is hesitant to negotiate the continuing presence of the US military after the UN mandate expires, what signal are they sending us? After what our soldiers did to bring security back to Iraq, what do you think about this rebuff?

  3. robert verdi says:

    conman,
    your arguing the Iraqi representative government is acting like a nation, think about that.

    nergo,
    its nice to see you accept that the Iraqi government is developing the ability to stand on its own. Of course this goal, one the left has said would never happen is now being viewed as horrible by people like you. Anyway your defense of the poor sadrists who now are being prevented from blowing up liquor stores, attacking christians, and killing sunnis is pathetic.

  4. Frogg says:

    Poor Mookie. Not the rock star he used to be. I wonder when he will be recalled back to Iran?

  5. Frogg says:

    Robert Verdi, you are so correct. Iraq is acting like a democracy. They are looking at negotiations over long term foreign bases from the angle of what is in their best interest, when does the timing give them the best advantage to negotiate, etc. If I were an Iraqi I would have concerns and be careful about how those arrangements are made, also! Smart on their collective democratic minds.

    Of course, it is to the long term strategic advantage of the US to have some bases in Iraq (it’s to Iraq’s advantage also). I hope we are fruitful in good negotiations to those means. I bet we are.

    As far as political progress goes……even the UN admits as much (and, 100 foreign leaders in a recent meeting). Is it perfect? No. Is it at a fast enough pace for some of us? No. But, there is certainly no denying the overwhelming progress.

    Afghanistan battle being won.
    Iraq battle being won.
    al Qaeda on the run.
    Muslim hearts and minds being won (rejecting al Qaeda/Bin Laden).

    Yet, we’ve still got a long way to go in this “Long War”.

    Hope the nest President (McCain, Hillary, or Obama) can be just as successful as Bush.

  6. [...] is expected in peaceful debate). When he first called for these protests four weeks ago the crowds numbered in the thousands. Last week Bill Roggio noted aerial surveillance photos of Sadr’s ever shrinking protests [...]