Monday, April 09, 2007

Muqtada al-Sadr organizes protest...

Will the ordered protest earlier today in Iraq have any end result in the scenario of US troops in Iraq? That is the first question I asked myself after reading the various news reports including this AP News piece on the protests today:
BAGHDAD (AP) - Tens of thousands of Shiites - a sea of women in black abayas and men waving Iraqi flags - rallied Monday to demand that U.S. forces leave their country. Some ripped apart American flags and tromped across a Stars and Stripes rug.

The protesters marched about three miles between the holy cities of Kufa and Najaf to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. In the capital, streets were silent and empty under a hastily imposed 24-hour driving ban.

It's obvious at least from a public statement aspect that the Whitehouse is not letting protests such as today's influence their decisions:
Iraq, four years on, is now a place where people can freely gather and express their opinions," Gordon Johndroe, the National Security Council spokesman, said aboard Air Force One. "And while we have much more progress ahead of us - the United States, the coalition and Iraqis have much more to do - this is a country that has come a long way from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein."

Col. Steven Boylan, a U.S. military spokesman and aide to Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, praised the peaceful demonstration and said Iraqis "could not have done this four years ago."

So, while the focus may be on the public aspect that Iraq could not have done this four years ago, one can't help but wonder if that knowledge is enough to satisfy the Iraqi's that were involved in today's protests...

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