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7/19/04 - IRAQI RALLY - 2004-07-20

Thousands of Iraqis marched this month in Baghdad. Some waved Iraqi flags. Others carried photographs depicting atrocities committed during the reign of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The protest was organized by a number of Iraqi humanitarian groups and the National Islam Independence party. Jafar Jasim, a party member, told the Reuters news agency that “It’s crucial we don’t forget the past.” Isa al-Musawi carried a picture of his son who in 1981 was murdered by the Saddam Hussein regime. “If Saddam was in my hands,” Mr. al-Musawi told Reuters, “I would eat him alive...but even that isn’t enough punishment.” Jalal Juma, went to the Baghdad march because he heard there was a protest against Saddam’s murderous regime. “I had to take part,” says Mr. Juma. Saddam Hussein is in custody and will receive a fair trial -- something he denied to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis his regime murdered. President George W. Bush says, “The dictator who caused decades of death and turmoil, who twice invaded his neighbors [Iran and Kuwait], who harbored terrorist leaders, who used chemical weapons on innocent men, women, and children, is finally before the bar of justice”:

“Iraq, which once had the worst government in the Middle East, is now becoming an example of reform to the region. And Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat the terrorists and foreign fighters who threaten their nation and the world.”

Now that Iraq’s interim government is running the country, terrorists are likely to become more brutal. “There are difficult days ahead, and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic,” says President Bush. “ power of the enemy will stop Iraq’s progress.”