Baathists Protest in Baqubah
About 5,000 Sunni Baathists demonstrated in Baqubah on Friday against the new constitution, condemning its provisions for loose federalism as a threat to the unity of the country. They also chanted to Bush that they love Saddam Hussein.
Baqubah is about an hour’s drive northeast of Baghdad (in normal circumstances) near the Iranian border. It is in the mixed province of Diyala, which has Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Shiite Arabs. Being near to Iran, it is under the influence of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which used to be based in Tehran and which infiltrated Iraq from that side. Sunni Arabs in Baqubah are therefore a formerly powerful minority elite that has been reduced to being a powerless and despised minority all of a sudden.
Reuters reports that in Diwaniyah on Friday, supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr who demonstrated, carried posters showing Iraq being violently carved up, as a protest against the constitution.