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   Undertoad  Thursday Dec 11 01:50 PM

12/11/2003: Iraqis rally



Yesterday ten thousand Iraqis took to the streets in a demonstration against terrorism and for Democracy. With Iraqi police protecting the event, the people found voices that they have never had before.

The blog Healing Iraq has a massive gallery of photos of the demonstration, and much commentary on what the demonstration meant to the author, Alaa, an ordinary Iraqi.

At one point it struck me that our many differences as an Iraqi people meant nothing. Here we were all together shouting in different languages the same slogans "NO NO to terrorism, YES YES for peace".

I spent most of the time taking pictures. heh, I really enjoyed playing the role of a journalist. Everyone was tugging at my sleeves asking me to take their photos mistaking me for a foreign reporter. Some people recognized a reporter from Al-Arabiyah station and they started taunting him. One old man shouted to him "For once, speak the truth".

What was interesting, a group of Al-Sadr supporters showed up and started shouting "NO NO to occupiers" obviously in an attempt to hijack the demonstration. They drowned in the rest of the crowd.


Unfortunately, the march did not fit the narrative of most of the foreign media and so they pretty much saw fit to ignore it. Here are some of the shots from Healing Iraq. These shots were taken by a digicam sent to Alaa by a blogger in the US. Together two "regular people", with websites and a little cash, told the story better than the New York Times. So there are two revolutions in these pictures. I include Alaa's captions.



A tribal leader



"Terrorism is humanity's shame"



Iraqi reds



"Our people are for the reconstruction"



"To bribed Arab stations:Killing Iraqis and destroying their civil facilities is NOT resistance"

And then Chris Muir of Day By Day put his two cents in:




Tobiasly  Thursday Dec 11 04:28 PM

Amazing, UT.. both the protests, as well as the lack of coverage from the conventional media. Thanks for the find.



Insane Frog  Thursday Dec 11 04:54 PM

Thank you for finding these pics. I mean, there was like, a second of media coverage and then okay no more of that.

I didn't even hear about this...but that could just be because I don't pay a lot of attention to the news.

Bad, bad, person! *slaps self*



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 11 05:07 PM

I had seen the "DaybyDay" and wondered what it was about since I was out of the loop yesterday. Thanks UT.
Welcome to the Cellar frog.



julius  Thursday Dec 11 08:57 PM

In case people don't get the cartoon, perhaps this will jog your memory:

<img src="http://www.a1agifts.com/images/29586monkeys2.jpg">



Undertoad  Thursday Dec 11 11:24 PM

Apparently the demonstrations were not just limited to Baghdad but were all over.

Here is a remarkable account of another demonstration in another town, from an Army officer. In his location, a little counter-demonstration developed that might have endangered a civil affairs team, and he describes how he decides to deal with it. The account is more about how he decides not to take a warning shot... fascinating stuff.



Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 09:27 AM

This morning Instapundit points out that the Washington Post decided to cover a much smaller protest which was against an American decision.

Why? It fits their narrative. The media writes the story first, and then covers that story it as if it WAS the story... reality be damned.



goethean  Friday Dec 12 02:26 PM

Here we have the amusing spectacle of little green trolls fantasizing about their martyrdom at the hands of mythical Liberal Media Bias.

Not only is every newspaper, television, and radio station in America in on the conspiracy---including the well-known bastions of liberalism the WSJ, Washington Times, Fox News, etc.---but also every world newspaper, television, and radio station.

As Calpundit puts it:

Quote:
In other words, as near as I can tell, this just isn't big news. CNN and Fox covered it briefly because demonstrations make for good TV images, but aside from that neither liberal nor conservative news outlets cared much. This isn't any kind of anti-war bias, it's just news judgment: there was lots of other news yesterday, some of it Iraq related, that was more important.

Hawks have been working themselves into a lather trying desperately to find good news out of Iraq, but I've got news for them: it's just not going to work. Sure there's some good news, but the fact is that the bad news is overwhelming it these days. Things just aren't going well, and burying your head in the sand and chanting "liberal media bias" isn't going to change that.

Wake up, folks.



Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 03:16 PM

When thousands of Iraqis take to the streets for this sentiment, even though they can be identified for later attack by the minority fascists, it's huge news. Now that there is evidence of assassination lists by the fascists, that danger is extremely real.

The previous protest was smaller; the next one will be larger; they are all extremely meaningful, as evidence of the continuing approach of rule of law and an understanding of how freedom of speech actually operates. All of which are excellent signs of Democratization.

The only question is why being against this sort of thing is suddenly a leftist take. Last I looked, the left was against fascism. And assassination, and torture, and minority rule. Those are supposed to be bad things. Remember?

And I haven't read LGF in weeks.



Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 03:19 PM

(shuddup, syc)



goethean  Friday Dec 12 04:00 PM

Quote:
Together two "regular people", with websites and a little cash, told the story better than the New York Times.
Where "better" equals more pro-Bush, and more pro-war.


dar512  Friday Dec 12 04:07 PM

I think this news is extremely important. If the locals are going out of their way to say "yea democracy" then it's not something we are forcing on them - which I wasn't sure of.

If the major news media aren't covering it, then it's just one more reason I'm glad I read the cellar.



goethean  Friday Dec 12 04:16 PM

Quote:
The only question is why being against this sort of thing is suddenly a leftist take. Last I looked, the left was against fascism. And assassination, and torture, and minority rule. Those are supposed to be bad things. Remember?
Disingenuousness doesn't suit you.

Obviously, the left isn't against Iraqi citizens demontrating. The left is against painting Bush's pathetic adventure as successful when Bremer can't even step out of Saddam's palaces without getting his ass blown up.

But please, don't let me get in the way of your spin.


Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 04:30 PM

You're spinning me, man. OK, let me back up.

I just say what I think. It's not really partisan at all; I regard partisanship as the modern equivalence of superstition. I want reality.

I really have no side in the battle; I'm trying to see the facts we have for what they really are and what they really mean. If my collection of facts is weak and my analysis wrong, hit me back on those things rather than painting me politically.

I say the left because I'm mad that the left has gotten it so wrong in this case in my opinion. I have many other positions where the right annoys me even worse.

I didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and I don't know yet who I'll vote for in 2004.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 12 04:39 PM

The demonstrations are fact. Everyone can draw their own implications as to what they signify. So why not report facts? Isn't that what news media is supposed to do?



Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 04:50 PM

Speaking of which, I got the name of the blog author wrong... it's Zeyad. Alaa is a different Iraqi blogger. There are several of them.

Not afraid of corrections



Undertoad  Friday Dec 12 05:26 PM

The Mercury-News covered it.



warch  Saturday Dec 13 01:33 AM

I welcome a little good news and I want some more.



Torrere  Saturday Dec 13 04:09 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
The demonstrations are fact. Everyone can draw their own implications as to what they signify. So why not report facts? Isn't that what news media is supposed to do?
No. The news media is supposed to sell media to customers, stories to the people, eyeballs to advertisers, and people to politicians.


elSicomoro  Saturday Dec 13 01:36 PM

I believe I read about the rally on MSNBC...and in Metro (yes, the free daily handed out by SEPTA here in Philadelphia). I've been mostly out of the loop this week due to work.

Ummm...Goethean, Fox News is by no means even suspected of being leftist. Quite the opposite, actually.

I'm not trying to make any excuses for the major news media, but let's be real here: good stuff on a small scale doesn't get viewers or sell papers in a time of relative calm. Now, 10,000-25,000 people is nothing to sneeze at, mind you...but that's peanuts. Get 500,000 to a million or so...THAT'S a story. Having said this, I am surprised that this didn't get more attention b/c the media seemed so hellbent on showing "good stuff" coming out of Iraq in the days leading up to the fall of Baghdad.



GlassJaw  Saturday Dec 13 08:16 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
Now, 10,000-25,000 people is nothing to sneeze at, mind you...but that's peanuts. Get 500,000 to a million or so...THAT'S a story.
I dont know, 10-25K in a country 83% of size of California, across multiple cities, where a year ago this kind of demonstration might as well have just ended their parade in a mass grave site? Seems pretty significant to me; left, right, craniorectal, or otherwise.

Thanks to the cellar for pointing it out. Unfortunately, my tunnel vision of late caused me to miss it originally on the news.... um, yeah.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Dec 14 12:37 AM

Craniorectal. Hmm.. I'm stealing that word. Thanks GlassJaw. BTW, I agree with you 100%.



elSicomoro  Sunday Dec 14 01:42 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by GlassJaw
I dont know, 10-25K in a country 83% of size of California, across multiple cities, where a year ago this kind of demonstration might as well have just ended their parade in a mass grave site? Seems pretty significant to me; left, right, craniorectal, or otherwise.
I do think it's significant as an event, or events. But we're talking about a relatively small amount of people doing a "happy feel good" thing in a country half way around the world. Joe Blow in East Bumfuck, USA could probably care less.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Dec 14 01:35 PM

Syc, I think you underestimate the concern of Joe and the rest of the Bumfuckians about what's going on in Iraq. Joe may not be cognizant of all the nuances, but he knows everything going on there is important to us(U.S.) right now.



elSicomoro  Sunday Dec 14 01:45 PM

I disagree, Bruce. I think Joe cares more about what happens to our troops, not necessarily the Iraqi people.



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Dec 14 02:07 PM

That's what I mean about the nuances. Joe doesn't know what's important and what's fluff, so he listens to everything about Iraq with equal interest. I guess he depends heavily on the media spin also.



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