Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr summoned his followers around the country to attend a mass rally today in the city's Sadr City district in support of the Shiite militants of Hezbollah battling Israeli troops in southern Lebanon.
Iraqi government television said the Defense Ministry had approved the demonstration, a sign of the public anger over Israel's offensive in Lebanon and of al-Sadr's stature as a major player in Iraqi politics.
Crowds of young men began arriving in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City late Thursday and were housed in mosques and Shiite community centers. U.S. Army vehicles guarded approaches to the slum to prevent clashes between Shiite and Sunni extremists.
Dressed in white shrouds to indicate their willingness to die for the cause, demonstrators waved Hezbollah flags and chanted "death to Israel" and "death to America":
"I consider my participation in this rally a religious duty. I am proud to join this crowd and I am ready to die for the sake of Lebanon," said Khazim al-Ibadi, 40, a government employee from Hillah.
Al-Sadr followers painted U.S. and Israeli flags on the main road leading to the rally site, and demonstrators stepped on them with relish. Alongside the painted flags was written: "These are the terrorists."
So the U.S. is simultaneously supplying bombs to Israel for use against Hezbollah; encouraging a ceasefire to stop the bombing; working with Sunni Arab states who fear a Shiite alliance across Iran, Iraq and Lebanon; propping up a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government; and protecting Iraqis eager to join Hezbollah and wipe Israel off the map.
No matter which side you've taken in the Middle East, America is on your side.
I think that was the plan all along, starting with Harry Truman's and Dean Acheson's hatching of the National Security Agency.
I believe it's called neutralization policy.
do any of those people in the ME think they are chanting anything new when they chant, "Death to America", Death to Isreal" after 25 years?
Do they have jobs? Can any one here afford to burn dummies and flags all day?
Quote the Seattle Times:
"Iraqi government television said the Defense Ministry had approved the demonstration, a sign of the public anger over Israel's offensive in Lebanon and of al-Sadr's stature as a major player in Iraqi politics."
This was an opportunity for the Iraqi Defense Ministry to provide a relatively hazard-free venting of public anger over Israel's actions and U.S. sponsorship of Israel. Pragmatically speaking, you can't blame them for that, sitting as they do on top of a powder keg ready to go off any moment.
August 12: International day of solidarity and protest
International appeal for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire
Organizations, networks and social movements around the world repudiate Israeli attacks against Lebanon and prepare an international day of protest and solidarity on August 12th. Read the appeal in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian.
Today, July 30th, another massacre was committed in Lebanon: More than sixty civilians, among them 37 children, were killed by Israeli bombs while they were sleeping in shelters in the village of Qana. They died not very far away from the mass grave holding the bodies of 106 civilians burned by a previous Israeli attack in April 1996 inside a shelter provided by a UN battalion.
Reacting to this terrible news, the only sane decision that needs to be made immediately is that of a ceasefire.
A ceasefire would allow for humanitarian relief to reach the innocent victims, for the bodies to be buried instead of being eaten by the dogs, and for all the underlying problems to be negotiated and eventually solved. More victims can only produce more hatred.
In the last few days, Lebanon has been promised by the EU, the UK and the US help in rebuilding its infrastructure and humanitarian aid to assist the eight hundred thousand internally displaced persons and "humanitarian corridors", but they stopped short of demanding a ceasefire, which encouraged Israel to continue with its "mission" of unilaterally enforcing the resolution to disarm Hezbollah. With that same logic, Hezbollah could argue it has a mission to enforce the many UN Security Council resolutions demanding Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories and to implement the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.
On July 27, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Israel had given civilians ample time to leave southern Lebanon. "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah," he said, according to the BBC. The same strategy is in these days deployed in the Gaza Strip where the populations of neighborhoods and refugee camps are asked to leave their homes. This comes down to blatant collective punishment of entire populations.
The escalating violence in Lebanon can not be solved unilaterally with self-proclaimed righteousness by any party. Peace is negotiated between enemies, not with friends. And the first step to any negotiation is a ceasefire. Or is it that every child has to die so that they do not grow into "terrorists"?
A year ago, the UK Prime Minister championed the cause of including in the UN mandate the "responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity". Yet the UN, the European Union, The United States and the United Kingdom have failed in their responsibility to protect the Lebanese and Palestinian children. Or even to clearly condemn the latest Israeli criminal acts.
The international civil society and social movements are raising their voice and mobilizing throughout the world not only to express their indefectible solidarity with the Lebanese people, but also to build a huge international barrier against the global war of re-colonization of the world.
We are demanding:
- An immediate and unconditional cease-fire, in Lebanon as well as in the Palestinian Occupied Territories!
- The implementation of full sovereignty to Lebanon and the national rights of the Palestinian people!
- No NATO forces on the Lebanese territory!
We support the call of the international solidarity delegation in Lebanon for an international day of protest and solidarity on August 12th.
Red rabe de ONGs para el Desarrollo (ANND)
Coalicin Israel contra la guerra (Anti-war Israeli Coalition)
Habitat International Coalition-Latin America Regional Office (HIC-AL)
Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM)
Instituto del Tercer Mundo - Third World Institute (ITeM)
Lebanese women council
Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD)
Focus on the Global South
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Hans von Sponeck, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000)
Hans von Sponeck
Dr. Teivo Teivainen
Adolfo Prez Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz
Amit Sen Gupta
>>> See all signatories (organizations and individuals)
Noam Chomsky's for a cease fire?
Good reason to be against it, given his track record. Ask him about Cambodia some time...
Israel's military policies poison the prospect of peace, but so do Hezbollah's activities.
The root of this struggle is as old as the Bible.
The bad news from the Middle East caused by the conflict between Israel and the Arab world has been a fact of life as long as I can remember. Only something really cataclysmic is going to stop this cycle of hatred and violence.
I support an immediate ceasefire, though I know that nothing will be resolved until a massive meteor strikes the earth, so to speak.
The root of this struggle isn't as old as the bible, it IS the bible. Religion is the cause of all this mess. It's only reason people don't get disgusted by the deaths of thousands of human beings, routine torturing, stealing land, kidnappings, and pictures of dead babies.
The world is full of religious fucks who can justify just about any kind of cruelty as long as their god is winning.
israel had been planning an attack on lebanon for some time.
Israel has been attacking gaza and murdering civilians there. Sorry to the facists but a young girl on the beach is not a military target unless you are a nazi.
israel has been occupying gaza, the west bank, lebanon and syrian land. israel takes control of the water, destroys the crops of the palestinians and harasses the people. israel is in violation of un 242 and others.
israel has nuclear weapons, has not signed the npt.
israel is attacking civilians and non military targets in lebanon and gaza.
irael is destroying infrastructure in lebanon and gaza, these actions are war crimes
whatever hizb allah is doing, israel is doing far worse.
I suggest those folks start eating their rockets and leave Israel alone they just have to fight -have a go at each other that should show them how silly this looks to the rest of the world.
You tell 'em, Chad. Wait, both Hans von Sponecks and Cndido Grzybowski signed the petition? Now I don't know what to think.
Just for the record, this conflict is not "as old as the bible" nor is it the bible itself.
The bible doesn't depict Muslims as being any better or worse than any other group. If anything, it depicts them as a great nation in that God declares to Abraham that Ishmael will be made in to a great nation. On the other side of things, the Qur'an doesn't depict the Jews as necessarily bad either and actually praises them in some areas. At worst, the Jews are accused of attributing things that aren't true to Allah and even in that the Qur'an never says they should attacked because of that (it basically just says they like lies and that they should be avoided)
Further, even the extreme version of Islam basically says that EVERYONE needs to either convert to Islam or die; it makes no special note of Jews.
At best, you could say that there is some religious root to this in that Muslim countries would certainly like control of certain landmarks that have historical relevance but even that is no different than Saddam wanting Kuwait or any number of other land grabs that have happened over the years.
The issues here are cultural not religious. People, for whatever reason, don't like the Jews and it has rarely been about their religion. Hitler didn't have a problem with the Jewish religion he had a problem with the Jewish heritage (they're two different things). Same here ...
The Bible doesn't depict Muslims at all, because Muhammad wasn't even born till the sixth century CE. Ishmael wasn't depicted as the progenitor of the Muslims, he was the ancestor of the Arabic peoples.
Muslim and Arabic are not the same thing thing. There are Arabic Christians, as in Lebanon, for example.
The largest majority Muslim population in the world is in Indonesia, whose people aren't Arabic. An Arab isn't necessarily Muslim, nor is a Muslim necessarily Arabic. The Bible has nothing to say about Muslims, because they didn't exist in Biblical times. Get your facts straight, Tom, before you start preaching.
Right, Islam is a religion, not a racial group. It should be obvious that Ishmael could not have been a Muslim, anyway. Tom is confusing ethnicity with religion.
Brother Noah: The Qur'an depicts Islam as starting with Ishmael. It even goes so far as to substitute him in to stories where the Bible uses Isaac (for example, Abraham almost sacrifices Ishmael, not Isaac, in the Qur'an). So, as far as they are concerned, their religion goes back to Abraham and Ishmael it did not begin with Muhammad.
No Speech: You're just being stupid here. My POINT was that the issue isn't religion but culture (to use your words, an Arab issue not a Muslim one). I use Muslim as the identifier because I was refuting the point about religion. I even said "The issues here are cultural not religious."
Mr Morwell See both responses above ...
Tom, you're right that Muslims see Muhammad as a prophet of their religion that started with his relationship with Abraham, but you clearly said that the Bible depicts Muslims as a great nation. I wanted to make clear that Muslims follow Islam and are not a racial "group".
Sorry. I should have said ,"...their religion that started with Abraham's relationship with God..."
Aaah, your mother wears army boots, Tom. Take a bong hit, dude. Life's too short. I love you, man.
"Sorry to the facists but a young girl on the beach is not a military target unless you are a nazi."
The "young girl on the beach" fraud turned out to be a Hamas op, not an Israeli shell (the Israeli boat that supposedly fired it was too far away, with the added complication that the Palestinians collected all of the evidence and made it disappear).
If you want to blather about fascism, talk about the various groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, which are classic fascists in action as well as intentions.
With Bush linking Hezbollah to 911 on 7/28, Cheney declaring that "MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE IS REASON TO VOTE REPUBLICAN" on 7/28, and Gingrich stating that we should declare WW3, declare war with no definable enemy, just the tactic of terrorism. These along with your post, SUGGESTS THAT THE REPUBLICANS WILL FINANCE A TERRORIST ATTACK BEFORE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. The cry fear, fear, fear and more fear AND THEN THE CREATION OF FEAR BY FUNDING A TERRORIST ATTACK AGAINST ITS OWN CITIZENS. YOU BETCHA. Remember the Main, Gulf of Tonkin. WMD'S[we know where they are], this is nothing new.THIS IS A CRIMINAL ADMINISTRATION AND THEY ARE AFRAID OF DEMOCRATCS WITH SUBPEONA POWER,the congress.An administration that claims no secrecy but is secretive is worried.
Wow that's some of the CRAZIEST SHIT I'VE EVER seen. We're all a LITTLE BIT EMBARRASSED for you. SERIOUSLY.
Is this your personal comment, Rogers?
"So the U.S. is simultaneously supplying bombs to Israel for use against Hezbollah; encouraging a ceasefire to stop the bombing; working with Sunni Arab states who fear a Shiite alliance across Iran, Iraq and Lebanon; propping up a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government; and protecting Iraqis eager to join Hezbollah and wipe Israel off the map."
Do cops in the US protect a protesting mob? Is that what they are doing? Or, are they there to control any effort to riot and go on a rampage?
What if the troops had been there to suppress the mob? Would you be calling them fascists ... jackbooted thugs of the Bush regime? What is it with you subversives attempting to gain political advantage at the expense of the entire US? Why attempt to embarrass the US at every opportunity?
This actually demonstrates the relative political freedom of Iraq, doesn't it? Doesn't this verify America's dedication to free political expression, if done without violence?
"No matter which side you've taken in the Middle East, America is on your side."
You actually are one of those who try and profit from war and its horrendous consequences...
Pretty sick sort of partisan, that's all I have to say on that ...
You actually are one of those who try and profit from war and its horrendous consequences...
Yes Rogers, by guiding the evolution of RSS, providing useful Web services, authoring computer books for the rest of us, and occasionally offering Constitutionally protected personal expression, you are actually one of those horrendously profiting from war.
I wholehartedly agree with the nimrod who made such a fantastic assertion.
It would be easier to drop a few H bombs, I agree. That would solve these annoyances soon and quickly. America may be on everyone's side as you say, but these arabs are just never happy as well: is that a match?
So you find irony in the fact that U.S. troops provided some of the security for the rally in Baghdad where thousands of Iraqi Shiites demonstrated for Hezbollah?
I think that for sheer galling irony, nothing compares to the traitor, Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North, helping to broker the arms-for-hostages deal to sell arms (with Israel's complicity) to the Iranian sponsors of the Hezbollah terrorists who bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, October 23, 1983, killing 241 U.S. servicemen.
We tried to create order. Nothing more. Nothing less.