Monday, August 08, 2005

Samawa update.

I was flipping TV channels an hour ago when I cam across Al-Jazeera.
I usually skip this channel but something caught my attention. There was an interview via phone with the representative of Muqty in Samawa city and he was talking to his host about the situation in Samawa (which Mohammed talked about yesterday).
What he said was really upsetting; he twisted facts in the most unfair way and showed the case as if it was Muqty's office that arranged the protest not the normal citizens.

He was saying something like "The protests and demonstrations will
continue until our demands are answered…" and at the same time, there were new images from Samawa in the background showing Muqty's version of protestors; hooded men carrying machineguns and grenade launchers with policemen cautiously watching from a distance and... empty streets!

Yesterday's images and clips that appeared on news stations and blogs showed a few thousands of unarmed men who didn't exceed the limit of throwing stones at the policemen who responded with bullets. I can see clearly that today's protestors are different from yesterday's ones and let's not forget that one of the main demands of yesterday was putting a limit to militias' influence in the city (Sadr's name wasn't mentioned but everyone knows that the word "militias" referred to his gangs).

It's a very sad case of hijacking the people's efforts and sacrifices and Al-Jazeera is also involved in this crime as they ignored the reality of the situation and handed the mic to the perpetrators.
Actually if we go back to the document (Arabic) that called for the protest in the first place, we'll see that the call was made by the "independent people's parliament" and there's absolutely no mention of any party or religious group taking part in the planning for this activity and the 1st and 5th paragraphs of the announcement was calling the authorities to protect the city from the groups that want to destabilize Samawa and adds "civilized nations use dialogue to solve their differences and problems and not force…" and this has got nothing to do with what happened today which suggests that the players have changed.

Moreover, the announcement designated one day (the 7th of August) for the protest "so that the National Assembly hears our voice" and there were no plans to extend the action "until our demands are answered" like what Muqty's guy said.

I (and so does our Samawi fellow blogger said) believe what happened is more likely that the unrest of yesterday been diverted to become a battle over power partisan interests in the city.

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