Thousands Protest U.S. Pact
Posted on Nov 21, 2008
Nothing says “go home” like 10,000 people yelling at you in a language you don’t quite understand. And nothing says “go home” with more irony than an effigy of your president hanging at the very spot where a statue of Saddam was famously toppled after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
The New York Times:
More than 10,000 supporters of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr gathered in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on Friday to protest the Iraqi government plan to sign a security agreement which would maintain American troops in the country for up to three years.
With powerful symbolism, demonstrators hanged an effigy of President Bush from the plinth that once supported the statue of Saddam Hussein that was toppled after Baghdad fell to U.S. troops on April 9, 2003.
Preachers and political leaders supporting Mr. Sadr, along with some Sunni opponents of the pact, erected their podium in the same colonnaded traffic circle. The Iraqi crowd applauded the downfall of Mr. Hussein’s regime, and also placed a black hood over the effigy of President Bush. They put a whip in the effigy’s right hand and, in its left, a briefcase on which were written the words “the security agreement is shame and dishonor.”
AP photo / Hadi Mizban
The 10,000-strong rally occurred at Firdous Square, site of the famous image where a statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled and covered in an American flag after U.S. forces took Baghdad.