Shouting "no to America!" tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims took to the streets Thursday to protest a U.S.-backed formula for choosing Iraq's new legislature.Isn’t that gratitude.
The protest came as an aide to Iraq's foremost Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, warned that he might issue a fatwa, or religious edict, rejecting a U.S.-backed government if his demands for direct elections are ignored.
The turnout in Basra, estimated by British soldiers at up to 30,000, was the biggest protest organized by Shiite clerics against the power transfer plan.
The United States wants regional caucuses to choose a new parliament, which will then select an Iraqi administration. It says security is too poor and voter records too incomplete for fair elections.
The clerics want direct elections, fearing the caucuses may be rigged to keep Shiites out of power.
The Americans are also wary of elections because of who might win. With Iraq in turmoil, Islamic radicals or Saddam Hussein's Baath party might dominate a vote simply because they have the best organizations. [AP]
It is obvious the Iraqi people do not fear us. It is unimaginable that there would be tens of thousands on German’s protesting against the United States after the American defeat of Nazi Germany. Yet this mystically-driven Iraqi rabble thinks it has the right to tell us “no” after giving the world Saddam Hussein for the past 30 years. It does not.
Individual ruin is only fate worthy of any in Iraqi who would raise a fist against the United States of America. The Bush administration speaks of making Iraq an example to the rest of the Arab world. If today’s protests are any indication of what that example is to be, it is the wrong one.