It is like deja-vu all over again. How many times will the media declare Iraqi Sovereignty and us bloggers are expected to stand up and respectfully applaud? First Bremmer handed over Iraqi Sovereignty in June 2004. There was a new sovereignty again with elections in January 2005, then again with the vote over the new constitution, and again in November 2005, when the Americans let the Iraqis have their own palace back, etc. The list is seemingly endless.
So please forgive the Iraqi bloggers for not jumping on this new bandwagon. In fact I have only one reaction from Iraq about the withdrawal albeit a happy one. Mosul 4 All reports from his home town:
Today 30 of June 2009 ,
I woke up at morning on the sounds of cars in the street , the government considered this day as a national holiday so all my family was in the house , people were celebrating in the street , and exactly at 9:01 am the helicopters were throwing clippings in the air on the streets of mosul and I was able to see them brightly , but it was two streets away from the house and it said that they contain a ” congratulation speech ” from the chief of ministers of Iraq .
This is the first day in Mosul city that we wouldn't see any soldier in the city , this would be very good.
People were celebrating at the streets and some was serving-out candies and juice to the people in the streets and some were putting on an national songs in the cars.
Actually the american army didn't quit from the city finally but they still around the city of Mosul but not inside it .
First reaction came from Layla Anwar who stayed up late to write an urgent post:
There are HUGE misconceptions surrounding U.S troop withdrawal on the 30th of June.
Both Iraqi and American/Western media are using the term withdrawal. This is a propaganda spin and I need the reader to become very aware of the usage of words. There is NO American withdrawal from Iraqi cities. What there is, is a pull back to the 15 or so American bases AND in parallel a redeployment of American troops on the edges of the cities.
The official Iraqi version wants us to believe that this is victory. Suddenly the official language of PM Al-Maliki, is full of patriotism with statements like “This is the end of violence and sectarianism in Iraq”.
This is BULLSHIT, because only today there has been a massive campaign of arbitrary arrests in two neighborhoods – Adhamyia (sunni) and Shula'a. (I dont know what Shula'a is anymore. It used to be mixed.) …
The Americans are not leaving Iraq, they are just pulling back to their bases and redeploying on the outskirts. In the Nineveh province they are staying put. This means there is no pull back. So please stop believing this term withdrawal because it does NOT exist and it is very misleading. This is a ploy to confuse the layperson and make believe that Iraq is now a success case – an American success.
The occupying troops only pulled few kilometers from the cities centers to rest on well equipped bases in very strategic positions which are all over controlling these cities. In fact the occupiers have strengthened their control and reduced their losses… It is not the end of the occupation to call it this. On the other hand the Iraqis were happy to see the occupiers have left the streets taking with them their arrogance and destructions however the only way to gain the sovereignty is when the last solider leaving Iraq for ever.
Nibras Kazimi was interviewed on Al-Jazeera:
I said that the troop withdrawal today is the result of a U.S. and Iraqi victory against the ‘mutinous’ insurgents… I thought it was funny that I was openly speaking from Baghdad, from Abu Nawwas Street, while the mouth organs for the ‘resistance’ were in exile or in hiding. Oh, and I got a free PhD to boot, ‘Dr. Nibras’ this and ‘Dr. Nibras’ that. Grad school is for suckers.
Raed Jarrar gives his reaction in a video interview:
With a new wave of bombings in Iraq that coincide with the American pull-out from cities, Iraqi Mojo worries about new sectarian tensions. He writes: “The Iraqi Shia withstood two years of bombings before militias began rounding up ordinary Sunni Arab men and killing them. I hope the Iraqis do not allow their enemies to ignite another sectarian war.”
Raed's mother, Faiza, has hopes for the future. She writes:
Hope it will be the beginning of a real Iraqi sovereignty ,and the right way towards national reconciliation , then the country can have peace and start the reconstruction process soon.
Our political Iraqi leaders should act as national leaders , no sectarian no ethnic discourse we want to hear any more.
Hopefully they can be awared enough to understand the difficult challenges facing the future of Iraq.
I have a big HOPE that Iraqis can pass over all the pain and the bad memories of the last years, to accomplish a better future.
And Attawie preferred to talk about jellyfish-shaped crop circles.