Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"I say thanks to Bush because he ousted Saddam"

This does not surprise me, but it might make some people very angry.

IRAQ: For one pilgrim, a prayer for Bush

'More than 60 pilgrims died in attacks that began last Thursday and ended Monday, when at least eight were killed in two separate bombings on buses bringing pilgrims back to Baghdad from Karbala. But the threats aren't enough to deter people like Abu Zahra, a former soldier in the Iraqi army during the regime of Saddam Hussein. Abu Zahra told his story while resting his feet outside a shrine in Baghdad's Kadhimiya neighborhood.

For 28 years he served under Hussein, who prohibited outpourings of Shiite devotion. Abu Zahra says he was shot twice during his years of service, in his legs and in his back, most recently during the U.S. invasion of March 2003. "I say thanks to Bush because he ousted Saddam. I pray for him because he freed me," said Abu Zahra, a construction worker. He was missing several days' work to make this pilgrimage, but he didn't mind. He did the same thing last year and the same thing the year before, and he plans to do it again next year. "I'm making up for my past," he said.'

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