At 10:01 UTC Friday the Associated Press tweeted that "hundreds" gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.
Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that "hundreds of thousands" are protesting in Baghdad against the US troop presence in Iraq.
When AP sent the misleading tweet the commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Forces Jaffar al-Batat had already announced that the number of demonstrators exceeds one million.
That number may well be correct. Reports said that the column of protesters was already eight kilometers long even while many were still arriving.
Muqtada al-Sadr, who had called for the protests but is hardly a 'radical', demanded that the US follow the decision of the Iraqi parliament and end its occupation. All US bases in Iraq must be closed, all security agreements with the US and with US security companies must be ended and a schedule for the exit of all US forces must be announced.
Meanwhile the US is pulling strings and tries to carve a new Sunni state out of western Iraq.
Al-Sadr promised to temporarily halt the resistance against the US occupation if the US commits to leaving orderly.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.