Monday, May 19, 2003

Today there was a large protest in Baghdad against American plans to put off the formation of an Iraqi interim government. The Western media just calls it a "Shi'ite" protest, but the articles generally describe people and places associated with the Sadriyun, the most anti-American faction and the one with the strongest organization, though not necessarily the largest base of support. Al-Jazeera spells out their complaints in detail, but I haven't unpacked my Hans Wehr yet and I don't feel comfortable translating it without that - I do plan to do so later, and will update accordingly. Even if this is just a Sadriyun thing, however, that doesn't mean that SCIRI and even other parts of the Iraqi population won't have some sympathy.

Incidentally, I'm noticing a growing trend of at least the English-language Arab media referring to the Iraqis as glad to be liberated from Saddam. Last week there was a Gulf News article to that effect, and today the Lebanon Daily Star briefly mentioned the Iraqis as "relieved Saddam's 24-year rule is over."


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