Iraqi Lawmakers Walk Out of Parliament to Protest "Humiliating" US Treatment
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This post, written by GottaLaff, originally appeared on Cliff Schecter's Brave New Films Blog
Iraqi lawmakers are the latest to protest US troops. See how easy it is to win hearts and minds?
Dozens of Iraqi lawmakers walked out of parliament Wednesday to protest what they view as overly aggressive and humiliating treatment by U.S. soldiers as representatives enter Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where the legislature is located.
What next, protesting Blackwater? Perish the thought.
Feryad Rawandozi, a high-ranking official with the Kurdish parliamentary bloc [said] U.S. soldiers "are very arrogant and impolite when they talk to us, especially with those who don't speak English."
All the security apparently doesn't help them to feel very secure:
Legislators, like everyone else entering the Green Zone, must submit to a gauntlet of physical searches, and allow their vehicles to be inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs. They must line up with the throngs of other residents and employees seeking to enter the area, which is also headquarters to U.S. operations in Iraq. The process can take up to two hours.
"This is unacceptable," Rawandozi said.
They say it's understandable to go through security checks. The two-hour wait and their demeaning treatment isn't so understandable.
Army Maj. Anton Alston, a spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, acknowledged that U.S. soldiers guarding checkpoints might be misconstrued as hostile, but said the troops were simply trying to ensure security. [...]
"If we come off as aggressive, it might be a cultural thing," Alston added.
::slaps head:: Of course. It's that cultural thing. Verbal abuse and humiliation is just something we American invaders do because we're, well, American.
So the culturally indignant lawmakers vented.