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Friday, August 04, 2006

Our Iraqi friends

The dynamic duo of Shiadom, Nasrallah and

Iraqi Shiites chant 'Death to Israel'

By MURTADA FARAJ, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 14 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting "Death to
Israel" and "Death to America" marched through the streets of Baghdad's biggest Shiite district Friday in a massive show of support for Hezbollah in its battle against Israel.

No violence was reported during the rally in Sadr City. But at least 26 people were killed elsewhere in the country, most of them in a car bombing and gunbattle in Mosul in the north.

The demonstration was the biggest in the Middle East in support of Hezbollah since Israel launched its attacks against the guerrillas in Lebanon on July 12. The protest was organized by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose political movement built around the Mahdi Army militia has been modeled after Hezbollah.

Al-Sadr summoned followers from throughout the Shiite heartland of southern
Iraq to converge on Baghdad for the rally but he himself did not attend.

Demonstrators, wearing white shrouds symbolizing willingness to die for Hezbollah, waved the guerrillas' yellow banner and chanted slogans in support of their leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, which has attained a cult status in the Arab world for its defiance of Israeli military power.

"Allah, Allah, give victory to Hassan Nasrallah," the crowd chanted.

"Mahdi Army and Hezbollah are one, let them confront us if they dare," the predominantly male crowd shouted, waving the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq. Many walked with umbrellas in the searing afternoon sun. Volunteers sprayed them with water.

"I am wearing the shroud and I am ready to meet martyrdom," said Mohammed Khalaf, 35, owner of a clothes shop in the southern city of Amarah.

Al-Sadr followers painted U.S. and Israeli flags on the main road leading to the rally site, and demonstrators stepped on them — a gesture of contempt in Iraq. Alongside the painted flags was written: "These are the terrorists."

What was that about altering the balance of power in the middle east, turning Iraq into a Israeli friendly state?

I think they meant Iranian-friendly state.

posted by Steve @ 10:52:00 AM

10:52:00 AM

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