Well, I think that after all the breathless anticipation we all saw on the news about the Shi'ite anti-US demonstrations called by Mookie - "The Muslim Cleric al-Sadr" - we can effectively call it a flop for the MSM and the anti-Victory folks. Why a flop? Well, I encourage you to read some actual Iraqi bloggers like the folks at Healing Iraq, Iraq the Model and IraqSlogger and look at the pictures enclosed. No one was gunned down by soldiers, US or Iraqi or other. The crowds were not massive, most say somewhere in the low five-figures - maybe less. It was calm and looked like a beautiful day for peaceful assembly and redress of grievances. Let's see what some of our guys are saying on the ground. First from the NYT,
Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American military spokesman in Baghdad, said that American officers had helped officials in Najaf plan security for the event, but that the Iraqis had taken the lead.And from MNF-I,
“We say that we’re here to support democracy,” Colonel Garver said. “We say that free speech and freedom of assembly are part of that. While we don’t necessarily agree with the message, we agree with their right to say it.”
The colonel declined top give any information on the whereabouts of Mr. Sadr, although American military officials said weeks ago that they believed he was in Iran. Mr. Sadr’s aides declined to say where he was, but previously they have said he was still in Iraq.
Citizens of Iraq assembled in Najaf Monday to conduct a demonstration against the U.S. presence in their country.At the end of the day, everyone more or less went home in one piece. Who knew Mookie was such a tool of the NeoCons. Looked like something Zombie would find in the Bay Area or Seattle.
Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for the protest on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, when Coalition forces toppled the Saddam Hussein regime.
The number of participants that took part in the event ranged from 5,000 to 7,000, based on aerial photographs, said U.S. Army Col. Steven Boylan, a military spokesman with Multi-National Force-Iraq.
This is all good. All good.
Hat tip RedState.