Sunnis Demonstrate in Baghdad: 1 Million Iraqis say "US Out"! 

By Juan Cole

07/30/05 "ICH" -- -- Maher al-Thanoon of Reuters reports that one thousand Sunni Arabs staged a demonstration outside the Green Zone (barricaded government offices) against the elected Iraqi government, which is dominated by Shiites in coalition with Kurds. They accused the Jaafari government of using torture and death squads on a sectarian basis against their community, which they called "the new Iraq of fire and steel." Al-Thanoon says, "Simulating torture, they dressed up as soldiers and used drills, wooden clubs and electric wires to act out what they said were the techniques used by government forces against them."

The Muqtada al-Sadr followers say they have collected the signatures of one million Iraqis asking that US and other Coalition troops leave the country immediately. In his sermon at an East Baghdad mosque, Shaikh Abdul Zahra al-Suwaidi told the congregation, "We obtained the Iraqi signatures demanding the withdrawal of the occupation troops as asked for by Sayyed Moqtada Sadr . . . The goal of this petition is to show the world the rejection by Iraqis of foreigners in Iraq . . ." 

Then on Friday evening in south Baghdad, guerrillas cut down Faisal al-Khaz'ali, a major leader of an important Shiite clan.

Juan Cole is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Visit his blog

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