May 26, 2011
Massive Baghdad Shiite Rally Chants ‘No, No America’
Andrew G. BostomGA_googleFillSlot(“AT_300_250_bottom”);While the fierce bravery and fighting skill of our troops, combined with a massive infusion of cash hand-outs (“baksheesh”) to “tribal leaders,” throttled Iraq’s Sunni insurgency, it did nothing to alter the country’s transformation — certainly a large swath of it — into a Shiite client state of Iran.This is a disturbing phenomenon — rife with anti-Americanism and a general hatred of the infidel West, especially (of course) Jews and Israel — that I have warned about here at The American Thinker since 2006, within the larger failed policy context of “Making the World Safe for Sharia,” initiated under President Bush II. Perhaps the apotheosis of this geostrategical boondoggle in Iraq — a complete failure of will and imagination — is our negotiated “SOFA” (status of forces agreement) with our “Iraqi allies” which, as per Article 27, paragraph 3 (“Iraqi land, sea and air shall not be used as a launching or transit point for attacks against other countries.”) prohibits the US from attacking, for example, Iranian nuclear production facilities, from Iraqi bases and airspace.Today (5/26/11) an estimated 70,000 plus followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iranian proxy, and integral member of Prime Minister Maliki’s ruling coalition, rallied in Baghdad. Decrying the continued presence of American troops, they waved Iraqi flags, while shouting, “No, no America.” Marching protesters stomped on painted US, Israeli, and British flags, and the overall sentiments of those rallying were captured in these remarks by Mohammed Moyad:I am ready to fight the Americans whenever Sayyid (Muqtada) orders me toAccording to U.S. officials, more than 300 busloads, carrying up to 70 passengers each, traveled from Iraq’s Shiite south, and were joined by Shiites who live in Baghdad’s northeast Sadr City neighborhood, where the rally was held. Some 24,000 militiamen from southern provinces donned matching T-shirts which bore the Iraqi flag, while spectators burned American and Israeli banners. Along the parade route, smaller bands of youths also struck Americans flags with twirling kickboxing moves, delighting onlookers.Top Sadr aide Salah al-Obeidi threatened that if the U.S. troops stay beyond the current December 31, 2011 “We will be obliged to fight and do our best to liberate our country.” Moreover, parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, issued a statement claiming the march represented “clear proof to Iraq’s unity.”Adding bitter irony to geostrategical insult, as my colleague Diana West has observed astutely, President Obama now appears allied with foolhardy Bush era “making the world safe for Sharia” utopians to delay the scheduled US troop withdrawal from Iraq beyond December 31st of this year. As West notes, Obama’s cynical manipulation of former political foes could spare him and his re-election campaign from the following election-sabotaging images:How would/will it look while Obama and his teleprompter are out on the hustings in 2012 when, say, the Iranian mullahs make Karbala their summer White House, Hezbollah opens headquarters in Sadr City, and the Revolutionary Guard starts an amusement park in downtown Baghdad called “US Embassy” with a take-your-own-hostage ride?US troops should be removed from Iraq as scheduled, with attention only to their safe withdrawal. Then as matters unfold there, without our troops in (needless) harm’s way, we can begin a serious domestic debate on the merits to our security of expending vast quantities of precious US blood and treasure “democratizing” Muslim societies, and giving free reign to Sharia mores.