With the Withdrawl of American Forces from Iraq, there is still much to consider when it comes to protecting what so many American soldiers died for. If we don’t make sure Iraq continues on the path we started, we stand to dishonor the soldiers who fought and died making a difference in Iraq. Story courtesy of The Huffington Post.
BAGHDAD — Hundreds of Sunni Muslims gathered in Baghdad Friday to celebrate the Withdrawal of American Forces from Iraq, but in a sign of the sectarian divisions that re-emerged immediately after their departure, Shiite Muslims did not join the event.
The celebration took place near the Abu Hanifa mosque, the main house of worship in the primarily Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah in northern Baghdad. To secure the event, Iraqi troops blocked traffic on roads leading to the mosque and searched people approaching the area.
During the rally, men and children waved Iraqi flags and raised banners praising those who resisted the U.S. presence in Iraq.
“Baghdad is the castle of resistance,” one banner read. “The deeds of the heroes are stronger than the weapons of the occupiers,” read another banner. Women threw chocolates to the crowd as a sign of joy.
In his sermon, the mosque’s preacher, Sheik Ahmed al-Taha, accused the Americans of stirring up sectarian tension among Iraqis.
“The occupiers created the sectarian conflict as an exit from the quagmire they found themselves in when they were facing 200 military operations against them every day. By dividing Iraqis, the Americans made Iraqis attack each other instead of attacking them,” al-Taha told worshippers.
The preacher also called on the government to demand compensation from the Americans for the loss of lives and damage caused during the occupation.
The lingering sectarian divisions Iraq faces was clear during the prayer service and rally, which was almost entirely Sunni. Shiites had been invited to join the celebration but did not show up.
Shiites have even given the departure of the U.S. forces a different name than the Sunnis have. Sunnis generally call it the “evacuation day,” whereas Shiites often refer to it as the “fulfillment day” as a way to show that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who leads a Shiite-dominated government, fulfilled his promise to get all the troops out of the country.
With the Withdrawl of American Forces from Iraq, it’s evident we didn’t leave the impression there that we had hoped. We at Gun Rights For All are terribly concerned that Iraq will become a lawless state. Although many Americans believe that we’re much better off now that our soldiers are out of harms way, if Iraq becomes an enemy of the U.S. after all that’s been sacrificed, we will dishonor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
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