Iraqis angered by a proposed security pact with the United States have rallied in Baghdad, stomping on, then burning an effigy of U.S.
President George Bush.Thousands of followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gathered in Firdous Square, hanging the effigy in the same place that, in 2003, U.S. soldiers and Iraqis tore down a statue of Saddam Hussein.
The protesters Friday called the security pact "shameful" and "humiliating." Al-Sadr, believed to be in Iran, sent a message to the crowd that he will help make U.S. forces leave. Minority Sadrist lawmakers have disrupted a parliamentary reading of the agreement. If approved by the Iraqi government, as expected, the pact would allow the American military to remain for three more years.
The White House has said the deal does not need U.S. lawmakers' approval. Some in Congress are complaining about secrecy surrounding the agreement, the English-language version of which has yet to be officially released.