The WaPo's Baghdad Bureau Chief, Loveday Morris, posted a link to this video showing "some of the panic in the Green Zone earlier [today] as politicians tried to flee the protesters." Quite dramatic, with SUVs pushing aside traffic barriers to clear a path for politicians fleeing the crowds of angry Sadrists, and police making half-hearted attempts to control the rioters. If they did a modern day remake of Doctor Zhivago, that is what the end of the first reel would look like.
Is that a white Suburban I see at around the midpoint of the video? Hmm. Maybe there's a Chevy dealership in Baghdad.
The protestors had a very good day, and at one point they came within about 500 meters of the U.S. Embassy. See the WaPo story here: State of emergency declared in Baghdad as protesters take Iraqi parliament:
Security forces declared a state of emergency in the Iraqi capital after demonstrators climbed over blast walls and broke through security cordons to enter Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, also home to ministries and the U.S. embassy. Many were followers of Iraq’s powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has been urging his supporters onto the streets.
Lawmakers fled the building in panic, with some berated and hit as they left. Others were trapped in the basement for hours, too afraid to face the crowds who complain that the country’s political class is racked by corruption.
-- Snip --
Entering the parliament building, which, like the rest of the Green Zone, has been off-limits to the public for the past 13 years, protesters reacted with jubilation. To many, the area has become a symbol of corruption, the place where Iraq’s political elite live walled off from the rest of the country.
-- Snip --
The [U.S.] embassy denied that it had begun evacuating staff or provided had safe haven for Iraqi politicians. Organizers urged protesters not to attack embassies or other properties in the area.
Still, members of parliament, many of whom live in the Green Zone, went into hiding, and some left the country.
-- Snip --
Many politicians said it marked a turning point.
“This is an end to the political system put in place after 2003,” said Dawoodi, speaking by phone after he fled the parliament building. “A big part of the blame for this is on America, which left Iraq without solving this crisis it created.”
Here's a thought: if the end of the post-Saddam political system comes before our election year is over, which candidate would that favor?