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Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Mob Rules

In the midst of worldwide month-long contemplation of papal navels and feeding tube minutiae, this story slips under the media radar, much to the chagrin of lazy Catholic commentators who would just as soon prattle on about this or that legacy ad infinitum.

Chanting "Death to America!" and burning effigies of President Bush and Saddam Hussein, tens of thousands of Iraqis flooded central Baghdad on Saturday in what police called the largest anti-American protest since the fall of Baghdad exactly two years ago.

The peaceful demonstration by followers of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr underscored the United States' accomplishments and its failures since the end of the war.

Once staunch supporters of the U.S. invasion to oust the dictator who ruthlessly suppressed them, many Shiite Arabs in Iraq have grown so frustrated by the lingering military occupation, with its checkpoints, raids and use of force, that they took to the streets to demand a deadline for the withdrawal of troops.

....

Carrying banners that read "Go Out" and "Leave Our Country," marchers hit the streets early Saturday, blocking roads and causing traffic jams around the capital. Most of the protesters came from the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, but busloads arrived from Kut, Amarah, Baqubah and other cities. Some estimates put the number of protesters at 300,000.


So. Conservative Kurdish PM, who will surely have his own countrymen's desire for independence in mind (which would completely destabilize the entire region, seeing as how an independent Kurdistan would take chunks of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey); conservative Shiite president (al-Jaafari) with close ties to al-Sistani -- and thus, the Iranian moo-lahs; resurgence of rebel clerics like al-Sadr, whose political juice had been thought to be largely squeezed several months ago, drawing a record crowd; and a seething, demographically young and pissed-off populace, wanting us to get the fuck out now.

Wait till they find out about the 14 permanent bases we've built. This is going to get uglier before it gets any better.

Meanwhile, Vacation Boy continues with clearing an apparently endless expanse of brush, while he schemes as to how to appoint one of his household pets to replace the ineluctably corrupt Tom DeLay, who is about to have to return to his former occupation as Dale Gribble.

Message to Dear Leader: Suppose you get your stupid ass back to work already, and find a way to give real regular folks a break on the gas they have to put in their cars to get to work. This is bullshit, asshole. You haven't earned the right to vacation time yet. Start earning your keep, chop chop.

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