What the Bush administration had in mind when it liberated Iraq, and started that pivotal nation on the road to a normal existence, was illustrated today. Iraqis expressed their displeasure over many Jordanians’ hailing as a martyr a suicide bomber who killed more than 100 Iraqis:
Thousands of Iraqi Shi’ites protested Monday after hearing reports that relatives of a Jordanian suicide bomber suspected of killing 125 people in the town of Hilla celebrated him as a martyr. After breaking into the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad and tearing down the flag, protesters called on all foreign Arabs to leave the country and denounced Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Anti-Jordanian sentiment has been spreading since Iraqis read newspaper reports that Jordan’s Raid al-Banna blew himself up beside people lining up for jobs in the Shi’ite town of Hilla last month in the single bloodiest attack in postwar Iraq.
“We call on the Iraqi government to close all Arab embassies,” said a protestor in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Sadr City district as others yelled “No to Syria.”
Petra quoted the Jordanian interior ministry as saying that the journalist who ran a story saying a Jordanian had carried out the Hilla bombing was arrested for publishing false information that harmed the country.
The photo below shows Iraqi demonstrators about to burn a Jordanian flag to show their disgust with the Jordanian suicide bomber:
And let’s take just a moment to honor the courage of an Iraqi who gave his life rather than endanger his friends:
Gunmen killed an Iraqi cameraman working for a Kurdish television station in Mosul, a Kurdistan Television official said. Hussam Habib was kidnapped 12 hours before he was killed.
“They tried to use Hussam to guide them to other employees, but he refused and they fired four rounds at him in front of passers by,” station manager Akram Suleiman said.
Tragedy and disaster have been constants in the Middle East for a long time. Now, for the first time in a long while, many good things are happening, too.
UPDATE: Dafydd ab Hugh points out what should have been obvious, namely, that the flag being burned isn’t the actual Jordanian flag, but a dummied-up one that, for no apparent reason, includes a Star of David. Dafydd writes: “So even the Iraqis protesting vicious Moslem thugocracies cannot resist the siren call of antisemitism.