Thursday, July 20, 2006

Reactions from Iraq

In contrast to virtually every other Arab state, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. 'The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure,' Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. 'I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression.' His reaction isn't surprising, given that it will almost certainly shore up his Shia political base (by demonstrating that he is not simply a stooge of the Americans) and given his already close links with Iran. The NYT report goes on to say that 'A growing number of Iraqi officials have stepped forward in recent days to condemn Israel. On Sunday, in a rare show of unity, the 275-member Parliament issued a statement calling the Israeli strikes an act of “criminal aggression.” The militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose followers play a crucial role in the government, said last Friday that Iraqis would not “sit by with folded hands” while the violence in Lebanon raged.'

[Here's a short political theory lesson: response to political base = representative democracy. This is what democracy looks like. Do the neo-cons get this? Or do they still think democracy = liberal capitalism = pro-US / pro-Israel]

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