Peaceful Demonstration In Rashid

September 29, 2007

A few short years ago in Iraq, when Saddam was still in power, scenes like this would never be allowed to happen. The citizens would be too frightened of the repercussions, were they to do something like that. If they hadn’t experienced the horrors that awaited someone who did something that Saddam didn’t like, they knew someone who had. They don’t have that worry any longer and it’s a huge relief to many Iraqi citizens.

Today however, the citizens feel comfortable taking to the streets and demonstrating in a peaceful manner, as was evidenced on September 26th, in the West Rashid District of Baghdad. The demonstrators, numbering between 600-1000 people, marched throught the streets of Saydiyah in the morning hours, holding signs that showed their support and approval of the ongoing reconciliation that is occurring in the area. The banners said: “The Baghdad Brigade is the best evidence for the brotherhood between Shia and Sunni.”

Toops from Company C, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment “Vangards” were on-hand and observed the event. Their presence was to ensure that the people in attendance were able to express their opinions without incident.

“A peaceful demonstration on the streets of Saydiyah is one of the most powerful symbols of a growing democracy there is,” said Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. “Seeing the citizens marching in support of the Iraqi Security Volunteers serves as an important reminder of the positive impact the SISV are making in Rashid and how far the security situation there has come in recent weeks.”

As often as we hear the anti-war protestors claim that the Iraqi people don’t want us in their country, I wonder how they would explain this blatant show of support for the Iraqi Security Forces and the reconciliation that is occurring in their neighborhoods? It’s obvious to me, that there are many Iraqis who are supportive of our efforts in their country and the possibilities for a free society our Troops are helping to bring to their neighborhoods.

1st Cavalry Division Daily Charge, September 28, Page 1


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