Thursday, December 15, 2005
US ambassador in Iraq and Senator Joseph Biden visited a polling station in Hilla. This city was the site of a terrible suicide bombing that killed scores of people. Others Senators, Democrats and Republicans, were there as well. I'm glad those senators left the comfort of capitol hill and went to a polling station in Hillah instead of staying behind and whine about the war. It doesn't matter now if you supported this war since its inception or not, all what matters is that a decent outcome emerges out of it. An outcome that would be good for Iraq, the US, and the world.
Iraqi Shi'a Demonstrate Against Al-Jazeera
14 December 2005 -- Thousands of demonstrators protested in Baghdad and some Shi'ite cities today over comments in an Al-Jazeera television discussion program that they said insulted Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
The protesters were offended by comments by a guest on Al-Jazeera yesterday who reportedly said al-Sistani should stay out of politics. The comments were reported by the Iraqi satellite channel Al-Furat, which is owned by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shi'ite party belonging to the increasingly fundamentalist United Iraqi Alliance coalition.
The guest actually said that Sistani was "Mutakhalef" or "backward".
"Al-Jazeera are terrorists," read one banner above about 5,000 protesters in Baghdad's Shi'ite Al-Sadr City district.
Armed police joined the chanting by about 1,000 marchers in the Shi'ite holy city of Al-Najaf, al-Sistani's base, demanding an apology from Al-Jazeera and shouting slogans against Sunni leaders and Allawi.
The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq which is on the list 555 is clearly using this incident to indirectly attack their major apponent in the elections Iyad Allawi painting him as a "secularist" and a "friend of Sunni Baathists".
It's funny because when Allawi was prime minister he was the one who shut down Al-Jazeera's offices in Iraq. He also sent a letter to Sistani expressing his anger towards the channel and this particular statement.
Al Jazeera said nothing about those demonstrations. When 1o0 Iraqis demonstrate against the US or the Iraqi government, Al Jazeera puts that on prime time. When thousands demonstrate against Al Jazeera, it just turns a deaf ear.