Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shiite leaders urge Iraqis to defer protests

"Iraq’s top Shiite religious leaders, the populist cleric Moktada al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called Wednesday for Iraqis to defer their protests, leading many members of the country’s Shiite majority to say they would not join in nationwide demonstrations scheduled for Friday.

Many Sunnis said they still planned to go ahead with the demonstrations, which are being billed as a “day of rage.” But the Shiite withdrawal dealt a significant blow to protest organizers, who had hoped to fill Iraq’s streets with millions of people to call for improved government services.

...According to a top Sadrist leader, Hazem Araji, Mr. Sadr plans to organize an informal referendum, beginning Sunday, to ask Iraqis if they think that the government has improved its services and whether they would protest against the government in six months if the services had not improved."


Maury said...

Was Bush Right? Protesters Attack Arab World's Status Quo

CMAR II said...

It wouldn't be a bad thing at all for the people of Iraq to confront their leaders regarding the corruption that has led to a debility in services.
However, the Shi'a Arabs (rightly I think) suspect the Sunnis' motives are not pure, so they will tolerate government criminality rather than help a minority that didn't mind it when one of their own was in control. It's this sort or ethnic and tribal fractiousness that has held the ME in statis for 700 years.

Dolly said...

Why is the tyrant Maliki not fair game for removal? Is it because he is another one of your allies like Mubarak & Ali Abdullah Salih.
If someone allows you to conduct your illegal torture programs in their countries, then you back their dictatorial reign?

The Shia should go back to Iran while they still can. Their USA buddies will be kicked out this year

K said...

Of course the Iraqis should petition and change their government. That is the whole point Dolly.

But in what fucked up universe can you think Maliki, who was elected (like it or not), is anything other than an immense improvement over Saddam, who murdered at least a million people?

CMAR II said...

Last I heard, Maliki had to face open democratic elections. Calling him a "tyrant" is delusional.