BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) – Thousands marched in adoring praise of Iraq’s deposed leader Saddam Hussein on Friday, offering a stark display of the loss of power and leadership felt by some of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs.
Drawing inspiration from the Baath party strongman, who now languishes in jail awaiting trial, marchers in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, danced and chanted his name and condemned plans by the Shi’ite and Kurdish-led government to push through draft constitution to create a federal Iraq.
They accused the Shi’ite Islamists in government of kowtowing to Iran, Iraq’s non-Arab neighbor where many Shi’ites sought refuge during Saddam’s rule, and the United States, which backs the government with some 140,000 troops.
"Bush, Bush, listen well; We all love Saddam Hussein!" crowds chanted. "We reject the American and Iranian constitution" and "No to a constitution that breaks up Iraq," their placards read.
Okay. It’s Baquba, a heavily Baathist part of Iraq. But still…. thousands?
If nothing else, it puts the whole neo-con "this was like ilberating the Jews in WWII" meme in perspective. How many Jews liberated from concentration camps in WWII held "We love Hitler" rallies? I’m going to guess — none.