Baathists Protest for Saddam Today in Iraq
Protesters shouted “We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Saddam” as they demonstrated in Iraq today.
Is that George Galloway behind the wheel?
Hundreds of supporters of ousted president Saddam Hussein demonstrated against Iraq’s draft constitution, which brands his outlawed Baath party as a terrorist group. (AFP)
Protests were held in the restive town of Baquba, just north of the capital, as well as the ethnically divided northern oil centre of Kirkuk.
Some 500 demonstrators from the disenchanted Sunni Arab former elite, which dominated Saddam’s regime and all previous Iraqi governments, took to the street in Baquba, carrying posters of the former dictator, along with banners saluting him and his Baath party.
“The Baath remains steadfast…Your constitution has no support,” said one banner.
“We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Saddam,” said another, taking up a refrain common under the personality cult of the old regime.
Iraqi security forces cordoned off the area around the provincial governor’s office and fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators.
Protesters carry a poster of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as they rally against the new constitution, in Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Friday, Aug. 26, 2005. (AP)
In Kirkuk, hundreds of Sunni Arabs demonstrated, calling for the omission of the article branding the Baath party as a terrorist group and opposing a federal constitution for Iraq.
“Baathists are faithful Iraqis… No to federalism,” said one of the banners brandished by the demonstrators in the mixed Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen city that the Kurds want incorporated as the new capital of their autonomous region.
“We will fight against those who attempt to erase our Arab identity,” said another.
Protesters wave Iraqi flags and carry banners and a poster of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as they rally against the new constitution, in Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Friday, Aug. 26, 2005. In the predominantly Sunni city of Baqouba, about 5,000 people rallied to protest against the proposed charter. Demonstrators carried photos of Saddam Hussein _ the first time they have been seen in public since the former dictator was arrested in December 2003. (AP)