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News :: War and Militarism
Occupiers Must Leave!
11 Apr 2007
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanded the immediate withdrawal of the US-led occupation forces.. The US invasion is blamed for the continuing chaos and escdalating violence in Iraq.

By Rudiger Gobel

[This article published in: Junge Welt, 4/10/2007 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

A special kind of peace demonstration occurred. On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis under the red-white-black flags of their country demanded the immediate withdrawal of the US-led occupation forces. They followed a call of the Shiite cleric Muqtada Al Sadr who called to a mass protest in the pilgrim cities Nadschaf and Kufu four years after Saddam Hussein’s overthrow. Many Sunni clerics joined in the anti-war march for a free Iraq dominated by Shiites. At almost the same time, the Senate ruled by democrats approved more billions for war for president George W. Bush.

“Yes to Iraq,” “No, no, no to America!” the demonstrators shouted according to reports. “We will die but we will not give up.” The occupiers must withdraw. This demand united all of them. The demonstrators waved countless Iraqi flags “but no posters of politicians or clerics was visible as is common in Iraq demonstrations,” the dpa press service noted.

In a declaration published in Nadschaf, the prominent opponent of the occupation Al Sadr blamed the US invasion for the continuing chaos and escalating violence in Iraq. He described the US Defense Department as the “greatest danger” for peace. The Shiite preacher urged the Iraqi armed forces to end their collaboration with the US. He called his fighters organized in the Mehai-militia to intensify their resistance against the occupiers. According to AFP, Al Sadr urged ending the battles in the city of Diwaniyah where intense struggles between armed adversaries of the occupation on one side and the occupation army and its auxiliary Italian troops on the other side have been waged for weeks. The challenge was “not to fall in America’s trap.”

“Iraq has had enough bloodshed. The occupation forces led by the greatest evil, America, works at sowing disagreement either directly or through its agents,” Al Sadr declared. “Enough of this fighting and killing.” “My counsel is that respectable resistance fighters offer God only two things: victory or martyrdom.” According to observers, this is a clear turn from his call announced two weeks ago to peacefully resist the US-led occupation forces.

In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the US-supported government of Nuri Al Maliki imposed a ban on driving for fear of attacks, according to the official announcement. The premier flew out of the country. In Japan, Al Maliki negotiated a massive credit for the Iraqi oil industry. On Sunday, his cabinet declared April 9 as a normal workday. The transition Iraqi government installed by the US in 2003 declared the media-saturated day of Saddam Hussein’s overthrow by US troops in Baghdad as an official national holiday.

The US army reported yesterday more attacks on its soldiers in Iraq. On Sunday and Monday, at least ten GIs were killed. In Washington, the Democratic Party declared the budget for the occupation forces would not be touched. “We will not cut the money for US troops,” assured the chairperson of the Senate Armed Forces committee, Carl Levin. President Bush asked for another $100 billion for his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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