Why would Shi’ites attack Allawi? Why would they pelt him with shoes (a “sign of contempt in Iraqi culture”)? These are questions that you folks in the State Department should be eager and ready to answer. Extra credit if you can explain why there would be so much hostility among Iraqis to the very idea of democracy — as I noted over two years ago. Points off if your analysis refers to an American failure to win hearts and minds. A Democracy On The March Alert from Iraq: “Allawi Claims Assassination Attempt,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BAGHDAD, Iraq “” An angry crowd confronted Iraq’s former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi at a Shiite shrine south of Baghdad on Sunday, forcing him to flee in a hail of stones and shoes. Allawi called the attack an assassination attempt….
The confrontation in Najaf began when about a dozen men, some armed with clubs, tried to block Allawi from entering the Imam Ali mosque, one of the holiest Shiite shrines in Iraq. Allawi’s bodyguards fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd.
Hmmm. That may have led some in the crowd to believe they were at a wedding.
Once Allawi and his entourage were inside, the crowd grew to about 60 and as the group left, they were showered with stones and shoes “” a sign of contempt in Iraqi culture. Allawi and his security force knocked over barricades as they scampered to their vehicles and sped away.