December 24, 2007

A Unity March That Will Escape Media Notice

Given all the concern over the rift between Sunnis and Shi'ites in Iraq, would a show of unity be considered newsworthy? Would the American media report a march for peace along the border between sectarian neighborhoods in Baghdad if it attracted a thousand marchers? We should find out, as the Iraqis have provided the material if anyone wants to report on it (via SondraK and CapQ reader Stoo):

Approximately 1,000 Iraqi citizens, of both Shia and Sunni religions, joined together on the sectarian fault line in Rawaniyah, the Karkh District of Baghdad, to march with one another in what they called a “Peace March”, Dec. 19.

It was an Iraqi initiative to ease sectarian tensions, solely driven by Iraqi Neighborhood Council (NAC) and District Advisory Council (DAC) leaders and Sheiks from both religious sects in the area, said Capt. Marcus Melton, commander of Pale Horse Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

With Iraqi Army and Iraqi policemen maintaining the security on the streets and within the crowd during the event, they were able to successfully complete the march for united peace among all Iraqis.

Silly string has become quite popular in Iraq. The soldiers originally started asking family members to include it in care packages in order to determine where tripwires had been installed by terrorists for booby traps. Children used it in this parade to celebrate the sharp decline in its need for security. It went along with drums, songs, and hope.

Will the American media report this? It occurred five days ago; the military put out a press release on it yesterday. A Google search on Rawaniyah shows only a few hits from blogs. It's not too late for journalists in Iraq or their editors here in the US to report on a hopeful sign of ground-up reconciliation in the Iraqi capital. That is, if they have any interest in providing the same level of reporting for success and peace as they did for sectarian violence.


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