Apparently a bunch of Iraqi people are ticked off by the car bomb that killed 125 people the other day. No surprise there, I would be too. But these guys are ticked off enough that they put together a 2,000-strong demonstration to protest it. Holy crap. I mean, for the first time in decades, these people won't be summarily executed by the governing power. That's freedom, right? But the thing that really strikes me is that they're willing to face the possibility of retaliation by terrorist forces. I mean, think about it. If you're Al-Zarqawi, and you just killed dozens of people outside a hospital for trying to join the police force, and dozens more who just happened to be in the wrong place when it happened, what would you do if thousands of people started standing out in the open, publicly chanting "No to terrorism!"? When the people at large start having the courage to openly protest terrorism, I think that's a sign of hope. Does it mean they support the U.S.-appointed government there? No, probably not. In fact, some of the protesters are asking for Allawi to step down. Others blame the local police force for failing to prevent the bombing. But the fact is, they feel safe enough to gather peacefully and speak their minds; that's saying something! If I am fortunate enough to have any Iraqis reading my blog, God bless you. Stay strong, and take heart. If you can all, individually, just see this through, then you will see a better day.
I think the only thing that bothers me about this whole affair is the news coverage so far. Thus far, I can only find coverage on a handful of news sites, like ABC News and the Guardian. But notice that they only mention a sentence or two about the protest at the top of the story, and then launch into an unrelated story about a French journalist before finally providing a few more details about the demonstration. Maybe it's just too early to judge, but it sure does seem like a shabby way of reporting things. Don't you think?