Iraqi Citizens Rally In Support of al-Maliki & Military

You won’t see this make any headlines…
After the huge win over the Shiite militias in Basra and Sadr City this week, Iraqis rallied in support of their democratically elected leader and military.

Demonstrators display a poster of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a march in Kut, 172 km (107 miles) south of Baghdad April 3, 2008. Some 1000 protesters took to the streets of Kut supporting the recent military operations of Maliki in Basra, protesters said. (REUTERS/Jaafer Aabed)


Iraq protesters rallied in support of Prime Minister al-Maliki in Karbala. (Reuters)

Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends this commentary on the situation today from family members back in Iraq:

The recent escalation in violence in Basra and some areas of Baghdad are mostly due to the government crack down on militias and criminals. Word on the Baghdad street is that former Baathist have committed atrocities then made it look as if the Mehdi militia had done it. The Baghdad streets are rife with many conspiracy theories.

What I hear from my father is, while there is escalation and unrest, Baghdad and Karbala are still substantially calmer and safer than a year ago or even last summer. Electric power in Baghdad is on over 16 hours per day (compared to 16 hours per week) and water is more available also. While the skirmishes may bring concern to observers they have shown that the Iraqi forces are holding their own and are able to defeat these elements (hence the call for cease fire by Muqtada). In Basra the unrest is also due to oil smuggling gangs sponsored by Yemen and Saudi Arabi. In our own democracy President Washington had to send 15,000 troops to deal with the Whisky Rebellion. While I do not see Iraq having a whisky rebellion there are many other difficulties a young democracy has to face to establish its footing.

Here’s an even bigger win…
In Basra over 1,000 citizens decided to join the Iraqi military after the fighting.

Iraqi army applicants wait outside the army’s recruitment center in Basra some 550 kilometers (about 340 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 1, 2008. About 1000 men from the southern region gathered at the recruitment center to apply to become government soldiers. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)


Iraqi army applicants walk to the army recruitment centre in Basra, 340 miles south of Baghdad April 1, 2008. (Atef Hassan/Reuters)

Previously:
Maliki the Stateman Scores Huge Win in Basra

UPDATE: TigerHawk has Pelosi’s outrageous comments to General Petraeus regarding Basra today.

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