More than a thousand Kurds poured into the streets of the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah Wednesday in a growing wave of outrage, blaming authorities for the kidnapping and murder of a young Kurdish journalist.The US has suffered 4,390 dead and a long term cost of about $1 trillion to replace one horror story with another. And the cost is not just the cost to the US. The Iraqis have lost around 120,000 people and have had their country devastated by foreign war and civil war for 7 long years.
Throngs of protesters waving banners and carrying pictures of 23-year-old Sardasht Othman marched through the city in the largest protest yet since the discovery of Othman's body May 3. There have been nearly a dozen demonstrations over the past week in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region calling for his killers to be brought to justice.
Othman was snatched in front of the campus of University of Salahuddin in the regional capital of Irbil, and his handcuffed and bullet-riddled body was found four days later.
"We accuse the Democratic Party and its security forces of assassinating Sardasht because they are in full control of Irbil," said writer Nabaz Goran, referring to the Kurdish party running the capital.
The accusations have particularly focused on the Kurdish Democratic Party of President Massoud Barzani. The party controls Irbil and has been accused by international rights groups of being intolerant of criticism.
Othman was a reporter for the biweekly Ashtiname newspaper and contributed to a number of Kurdish websites, often writing about corruption, according to the online Kurdistan Post, to which he also contributed. He reportedly had received threats over his articles.
His friends say he particularly enraged authorities with a piece he wrote for the Kurdistan Post saying the only way to become successful in such a nepotistic society would be to marry the president's daughter.
His supporters say his body was dumped outside the Kurdish region in Mosul, which has been a haven for al-Qaida in Iraq, to shift the focus away from Kurdish authorities.
"There are 11 checkpoints between Irbil and Mosul and it would be difficult to pass them with a dead body in the car unless vehicle belongs to the government," Karawan Saleh, a member in the security committee of Kurdish parliament, told The AP.
Is nobody accountable in the US for making such horrible policy mistakes?