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OTHER ITA SITES:
Holy Shiite! Anti-American Demonstration in Baghdad
As if the Bush administration didn’t have enough troubles in Iraq, now there’s been a demonstration in Baghdaddy by hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims which featured such deeply religious themes as calls of “Death to America!”
Since it was staged in response to Israel’s attempt to stave off more terrorist events in its homeland, there were also the usual highly religious calls of “Death to Israel!”
If we did not know the calculating anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadir had organized the demo, we might find the unwelcome sight more difficult to dismiss as a mere advocacy by our blatant adversaries. Yet the event hardly can come as good news to the Bush administration, which has been planning on significantly better news from Iraq.
While “Long live America!” is certainly too much to be hoped for, the mass expression of entirely the opposite sentiment can hardly help steer the White House policy in Iraq to the successful harbor in which the captains of its stormy destiny hope to arrive. Nor can the administration trust that the untoward event is likely to bring accommodating smiles to the Democrats, who see in Iraq a wonderfully useful whipping boy, particularly as elections draw nigh.
On the other hand, with Mr. Al-Sadir standing in the wings, not only as a radical Shiite cleric but a power in Iraqi politics, champing at the bit to see the current somewhat sectarian government fail so that he and the Iranian Shiite clerics securely tucked under his robe can create a two-state start to their pan-Islamic demagoguery, we had all better be a little more cautious about the state of Iraq and what to do about our influence there, which is, of course, very much tied to our mutually abhorrent presence and will never be advocated by our adversaries, who are now so vocal the quieter voices can only be heard at election time, there or, incidentally, here.
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