1
   

Iraqi (exile) views on war?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Mon 17 Feb, 2003 07:32 pm
Anyone have any sources on what Iraqi exiles - refugee dissidents, defectors, or emigrants of prior generations - say on the sense or nonsense of war?

I know many of them are against the war currently proposed - Iraqi refugees here have been quoted in papers and on TV on it, and some marched along in the peace demo this weekend. But of course many are also in favour, and not just the exile politicians the Bush government has gathered round for advice and a possible future role in post-war Iraq. I was wondering if we could bring together sources here in a thread.

One English-language source is this:

'We're dreaming about a democratic society'

It's a series of interviews. I read a few, it's impressive, also because they are with people of such a variety of backgrounds.

"Eleven Iraqis who left their homeland and settled in the west describe the trauma of parting from family and friends, and list their hopes and fears for the future.

Some, such as Hamid Ali Alkifaey, support a US-led attempt to topple Saddam Hussein: 'Saddam has been a disaster for the whole region and removing him is not a luxury. It is a necessity. '

Others, including Salih Ibrahim, are opposed to the conflict: 'It is heartbreaking, western policies have devastated Iraq, plundering oil and people. This is genocide.'"
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 5,079 • Replies: 27
No top replies

 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Feb, 2003 07:43 pm
I've heard some bits on the radio from Iraqis living outside of Iraq. They seem to want saddam out desperately, but they also seem to want to avoid war.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 11:25 am
That's sad, really, we're all claiming this or that, pro- or anti-war, about what is best for Iraq - and nobody seems to have much in the way of "from the horse's mouth" to draw from. I've also heard precious few Iraqi's of any political colour at word on TV or in the newspapers. The odd Iraqi refugee has turned up in the newspapers here - mostly to plead against attacking Iraq - and there's the Iraqi National Congress and the like figuring in photo opps with the President - but not interviewed much. Don't know quite what that says, but it says something, and it's not good.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Feb, 2003 07:50 pm
NRC Handelsblad wrote:
'My sweet war, come fast'

21 februari 2003
(translated from Dutch)

Warlords in pinstripe suits keep Kurdish youths imprisoned in their own country. The youths long for a war that is to bring a new beginning.

SULEYMANIYA/ARBIL 21 FEBR. Through the glass panes that separate the computers in the internetcafe, one can see the pink colour of nude bodies. In Kurdish North-Iraq regained press freedom is mostly used to discover the female body. [..]

Between all this porn violence is Sarwar Amin (22). He is the school example of a modern, young Kurd; he speaks English, works as a local assistant for the UN and translates Nietzsche books into his native language as a hobby.

In his internetcorner Sarwar types an empassioned plea about the "anti-war demonstrators in Europe who do not realise that the Iraqi's have to live with an old, open wound." Only when the wound is closed, can the Iraqis go on with their existence. "As long as they remove Saddam. I am sending this mail to all my penpals in Europe to make sure they won't demonstrate with the rest."

Had Sarwar been born in the west, a shining future had awaited him, but Sarwar is a Kurd from the provincial town of Suleymaniya and has never been able to leave that 'prison'. A university education, the dozens of books he has read and his modern ideas do not get him beyond the reception of one of the UN-buildings, where he answers telephone calls. "My only chance for a better future is an illegal flight into the West."

Every year more students register at the universities of the capitols Suleymaniya and Arbil. Almost half the newcomers are female. English is boundlessly popular as discipline. Still depression rules. For there are no jobs after the studies, and without income there's no chance of marriage. "We look glad, but inside we're destroyed", says Twana Jemil (22). [..]

It's no fun to be young and modern in the autonomous Kurdish zone in North-Iraq. Inside satellite stations show European commercials, music and films, but he who steps outside, sees unemployed men, dilapitated buildings and all 37 variations of the Kalashnikov gun. The two parties who rule the area are led by warlords in pinstripes; old men who think that the youth should be imitating them, instead of listening to a new sound. If you are not interested in a party existence or -job, and you don't want to herd sheep in the mountains, your would do better to seek your fortunes abroad.

But [..] whoever hasn't got both an Iraqi passport and a Kurdish exit visum, is not allowed through at the border control posts. [..] Which is all the harsher as the Kurds would need to get their passport in hostile Bagdad, where you pay 600 dollar for a document. And after that you have to pay the same amount in Kurdistan for the exit visum. "Our country is a prison", Sarwar says decisively. [..]

"If I go to the cinema, I see 97 moustaches and 3 butterflies", says Ferhad Pirbal (42), proprietor of the biggest (private) library in Arbil. [..] The isolation of their country and the separation of the sexes are the biggest problems for the Kurdish youth. Pirbal fights both: the first with his foreign books and films, the second by bringing girls and boys together in his library. [..] If the literature teacher considers certain books important for the youth he buys them abroad. The latest purchase: a book by Montesquieu. "His ideas have inspired the French revolution, perhaps they can help our country too."

Pirbal may be tackling Kurdish society with his cultural crowbar, he knows it's not sufficient. He shares the opinion of most youths that a war is the only opportunity for a better future.

"They are no longer Iraqis, but are no people in an independent country either. Our leaders live with the memory of Saddam's dictatorship, but the youngsters want to get ahead in the world." "It's time for a new start", he thinks. Pirbal made a short poem about it: "My sweet war, come fast, destroy everything and liberate us."
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Feb, 2003 08:51 pm
GL Magazine wrote:
January 2002
translated from Dutch

Do leftwing people in Europe really understand how bad the Saddam Hussein regime is, and how severe the repression? Why does Europe do so little, and leave so much up to the US? The Iraqis that the Green Left magazine spoke to arrived at different conclusions regarding the war, but on many points their stories coincide.

Mariwan Kanie, Iraqi Kurd, freelance journalist [..]: "Saddam Hussein is not the product of Iraqi society but of foreign powers: in the first place of the US, but also of the eastern bloc, France, Germany. They have all supported Saddam when it suited them, all delivered technology and weapons to them when they could earn money with it. So you cant say now that it is up to the Iraqis themselves to deal with him", he seethes.

The Iraqi political scientist Isam Al Khafaji, who resides in Holland, is annoyed about what he sees as the impersonal attitude of the left. "You can't maintain the position that it is not 'our' task to liberate Iraq. You have to look at what happened in the past period of time and who is responsible for it. In 1991 the Iraqi population rose up in insurrection from north to south. That insurrection was bloodily beaten down by Saddam, with sixtythousand deaths. That happened practically under the nose of the Western troops. But the West did nothing, when they could have easily intervened. The Americans at the time thought that it was not in their interest to topple Saddam Hussein because it would lead to instability in Iraq."

"Leftwing people always keep on talking of the danger of instability in the region, when they should be concerned in first instance with the humanitarian drama taking place in Iraq" [..].

Kanie and Al Khafaji draw opposite conclusions from that. Kanie: "In Iraq it is impossible for anything to become better as long as Saddam is there. This regime is not just any dictatorship. It is not comparable to other non-democratic regimes in the region. 24 million Iraqis are being held hostage by Saddam. Only when this regiime is gone can something be built up again. If you ask me very simply whether I am for or against the war I say: I am for the elimination of Saddam, and it is not possible to rid ourselves from him through any other means than war. Now there is a crisis and I dont want saddam to survive this crisis. Because if that would happen Iraq would be left with him and his sons for another 50 years.

Khafaji disagrees with this: "Of course I am against a war. The Iraqi people has nothing to gain from it, and I think the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people is against a war." But he adds that just taking position against war is not enough, especially for the left. Khafaji: "[..] They also have to say in a positive sense what they do suggest."

The third partner in this conversation, Ala Hussai of the Organisation for Human Rights in Iraq OMRI, is unreservedly against the war. "We have to fight against the regime with all possible means, by armed resistance as well, and this does take place in Iraq. But the people in Iraq do not trust the US. The US have their own intentions with the region and are out to strengthen their hegemony, and the Iraqi people has little good to expect from that."

For [..] Kawie the dominant American position is a given. [..] "Of course the US are out to establish dominance in the Middle East and of course they want a pro-American government in Iraq. The US strategy is to make Iraq into an alternative for the present role of Saudi-Arabia, and that provides us with a chance to get rid of Saddam Hussein."

He totally agrees that the US in the Gulf War very deliberately neglected to topple Saddam's regime. But, is his positioon: 'any change in Iraq is a change for the better', 'and', he adds, 'The Middle East will be under the dominance of the US in any case. Europe does much too little. What it does do, it does too late. It's better to acquire some influence on the Americans by supporting their struiggle agaisnt Saddam, than to stay on the sidelines." [..]

All agree that the economic sanctions have worked contraproductively. The population has been hurt and the position of the rgeime has been strengthened rather than weakened. But what should alternative 'smart' sanctions look like [..]?

Ala Hussai pleads for military and political sanctions. Support to the oppposiution, both financially and politically. "The US have promised support to the opposition already three years ago, but in reality they only support one of the opposition groups. There is one group also that is supported by Iran. That's all. In South-Iraq villages and cities are regularly destroyed by the regime because oppositional activities are undertaken there. There has been a UN resolution for ages in which it says that inspectors should go to these areas, but that has never happened. There are a lot of other things like this that can be done to strengthen opposition".

Green Left parliamentarian Farah Karimi [of Iranian origin] adds as suggestions blocking the bank credits of members of the regime, imposing visa restrictions, indicting and persecuting these members for the crimes they committed and supporting the development of a democratic Kurdistan in North-Iraq. That can have an important exemplary function.

Isam Al Khafaji thinks its important to politically isolate the regime. He too pleads for judicial steps against members of the regime. [..] One problem with supporting the opposition is that it is hard to determine, in a country with such murderous repression, what the opposition looks like and what the role of the different groups is.

Ala Hussai: "The Iraqi opposition is a mosaic, just like the Iraqi population is a mosaic of different ethnic and religious groups." Still, according to Hussai, there was a large measure of agreement about fundamental issues at a conference of opposition groups in London mid-December. To name but two: the necessity of a democratic and federalist Iraq, and a transitional phase under international oversight.

That there is no such agreement about a war he doesnt consider a fundamental problem. Hussai: "There are really only two groups within the opposition who do not reject the war, but they too have signed the final statement in London".

Karimi: "On a visit to Syria and Jordania in december I have extensively spoken to representatives of Iraqi opposition groups. They are very concerned about the plans of the US and fear a factual American occupation of their country. They are absolutely against that. They also point to how they are almost fully ignored by the US. The Americans pick out a few people whom they want to function as walk-ons. [..]"
0 Replies
 
steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Feb, 2003 02:31 am
In fact, there is no chance for Iraqis to build a modern democratic society providing basic individual rights without replacement of existing regime by the outside force. If Saddam is toppled in course of popular uprising, it is quite probable that the tribal leaders will come to power, and they are not much better rulers than Saddam is (maybe even worse). Iraq is surely on the higher stage of social development than majority of the Sub-Saharan countires are, but the African-type scenario when one tyrant is being changed by another, appropriating results of the popular uprising does not seem improbable. Remember just Iranian Islamic revolution: which regime came to replace the corrupt and oppressive regime of Shah?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 10:31 pm
Good news!

http://www.iwpr.net/iraq_index1.html

The IWPR - using a collective of independent journalists and thinkers from all the different ethnic and political sides of the conflict - reporters who, often, could write for IWPR what no paper in their own country would have published - has been a brilliant source of information during the Yugoslav wars.

In each of their reports, there were contributions you would fiercely disagree with, and comments you would heartily agree with - from Serbs, Albanians, Kosovars and Croatians, all proclaiming views their own authorities would not be glad with, and digging a little deeper than your average war reporter adventure story with its taxi driver source and picturesque location description.

The IWPR now has started an Iraqi Crisis Report: "A Platform for Iraqi Voices".

I am very curious. This could become, over time, a very valuable info source.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Mar, 2003 01:16 am
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0226/p11s02-coop.html

I posted a link to and comment on this article on another thread somewhere here a day or two ago. Its thought-provoking. From what I gather from blogs, it is not an uncommon "Man-in-the-street" sentiment. While no assumption to such effect should be made, it is possible the Iraqis themselves object less strenuously to this war than do some Europeans ... an interesting phenomenon if proven true.



timber
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Mar, 2003 07:20 pm
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 06:28 pm
Tantor wrote:
Simply put, the Iraqis want out from under Saddam. Even a war is better than more Saddam. The irony of the "peace" demonstrations is that the Left is exercising all its freedoms to deny freedom to the Iraqis.


Thanks Tantor, for the materials you contributed. Appreciated very much <nods>.

Your conclusion is a bit rash, though, I think, or at least suggests you haven't read up in this thread much. From what I've read (and what you can read here) there seem to be about or almost as many Iraqi exiles against the war as there are for it.

An additional comment pertains to another observation that struck me. I don't know exactly how to formulate it ...

... Some of the sources I saw were written by Iraqi exiles/refugees themselves, or were registrations of interviews in which they got to speak out at length. They were often focused on outlining and arguing political positions or perspectives concerning the war. Compare for example the interviews in the Guardian in the first link I posted.

... Other sources were more the "field report" kind, articles by American/etc (war) reporters, who, sketching the scene, would quote the Iraqi "man in the street" (whether in Arbil or Auckland) or tell a person's or family's tragic story. They were mostly personal-emotive and highly narrative, with the journalist recounting the story to us in a usually gripping way. Compare for example the NRC piece from Kurdish Iraq that I posted above.

Though both kind of sources suggest that, as timberland proposes, "it is possible the Iraqis themselves object less strenuously to this war than do some Europeans", the latter kind does seem to paint a much starker picture in this, more neatly fitting the Iraqi perspectives in a template, of victims yearning for liberation by America. While the former kind more often than not shows a pretty mixed reaction, in which the US intervention is at best defended as the lesser of two evils.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 06:35 pm
Current affairs programme on Dutch public TV tonight had a report on "what Iraqi refugees think". Sadly not a very long one, with in the end only three voices. Wrote down two of them, expressing almost stereotypically the pro and contra in the matter -

One A. Moussawi, a painter and refugee from Iraq, was against the war: "There are thousands of means the US must have to kidnap Saddam or take him and his clique out. I don't understand why they have to fight a war and use thousands of bombs and kill so many people, just to get Saddam."

S. Mahmoud, a Kurdish Iraqi refugee, however, supported the US: "I am against war too, but there is no other way to tackle Saddam. What the US is doing is good."

I am beginning to detect a trend in Kurdish Iraqis being more likely to support the war than, err, Iraqi Iraqis. The question is whether that trend will last if and when Erdogan allows the US army to open a second front from the Turkish-Iraqi border though, which will almost automatically enable the Turkish army to move into North-Iraq with it - see this thread for the risks involved in that.
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 08:38 pm
nimh wrote:

Tantor wrote:
Simply put, the Iraqis want out from under Saddam. Even a war is better than more Saddam. The irony of the "peace" demonstrations is that the Left is exercising all its freedoms to deny freedom to the Iraqis.


Thanks Tantor, for the materials you contributed. Appreciated very much <nods>.

Your conclusion is a bit rash, though, I think, or at least suggests you haven't read up in this thread much. From what I've read (and what you can read here) there seem to be about or almost as many Iraqi exiles against the war as there are for it.


Maybe you need to read more. You might ask yourself if the Iraqi exiles approve of the way things are back home in Iraq, why are they in exile? There are four million exiles out of a population of 20+ million. That's a pretty big chunk of the population to flee.

nimh wrote:

An additional comment pertains to another observation that struck me. I don't know exactly how to formulate it ...

... Some of the sources I saw were written by Iraqi exiles/refugees themselves, or were registrations of interviews in which they got to speak out at length. They were often focused on outlining and arguing political positions or perspectives concerning the war. Compare for example the interviews in the Guardian in the first link I posted.

... Other sources were more the "field report" kind, articles by American/etc (war) reporters, who, sketching the scene, would quote the Iraqi "man in the street" (whether in Arbil or Auckland) or tell a person's or family's tragic story. They were mostly personal-emotive and highly narrative, with the journalist recounting the story to us in a usually gripping way. Compare for example the NRC piece from Kurdish Iraq that I posted above.


nimh, interviews with Iraqis in the street in Auckland are not equivalent to those in Iraq. You can not speak freely in Iraq. This week Saddam's henchman cut out the tongue of an Iraqi man in the street who said something bad about Saddam, tied him to the middle of the street, and let him bleed to death. That tends to squelch criticism of Saddam. If you are relying on interviews with everyday Iraqis in Iraq to give you an accurate feeling for their position, you are barking up the wrong tree.

nimh wrote:

Though both kind of sources suggest that, as timberland proposes, "it is possible the Iraqis themselves object less strenuously to this war than do some Europeans", the latter kind does seem to paint a much starker picture in this, more neatly fitting the Iraqi perspectives in a template, of victims yearning for liberation by America. While the former kind more often than not shows a pretty mixed reaction, in which the US intervention is at best defended as the lesser of two evils.


nimh, I doubt anyone would opt for an American shock and awe attack on their hometown, just as nobody would opt for chemotherapy if they could avoid it. However, when you have no future without it, you might just well accept it. A couple weeks of hell might be just be worth it if it means your children would grow up with a future, would be able to speak freely, own property without it being stolen by Saddam's mafia, walk the street without being picked up by Saddam's henchmen arbitrarily to be tortured, imprisoned, or killed. Every family in Iraq has a story of Saddam's cruelty. Really, how hard is it to believe that the Iraqis would be willing to do anything to be rid of him?

Tantor
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 08:45 pm
Some more links for the unconvinced:

Iraqi-Americans Support War, Deride "Peace" Protesters:
"They speak out of ignorance.... they haven't lived under Saddam."
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030317-32874750.htm

Torture
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3284-614607,00.html
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/071/nation/Captured_torturer_tells_of_brutality_of_Iraq_regime+.shtml


Tantor
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2003 09:26 am
Tantor wrote:
Maybe you need to read more. You might ask yourself if the Iraqi exiles approve of the way things are back home in Iraq, why are they in exile? There are four million exiles out of a population of 20+ million. That's a pretty big chunk of the population to flee.


OK, I truly hope I need to say this only once ever in this thread:

Opposing this war does not equate approving "of the way things are back home in Iraq" under Saddam's regime.

Now that's out of the way, here comes question two: did you actually read any of the posts/links above? Because several of them do feature refugees, who fled Iraq because they were personally endangered by the Iraq regime and now live in the West, yet who do not favour the war the US is now proposing as solution.

I am not saying there aren't a lot of refugees and exiles who do favour war. I'm just saying there are many others - almost as many others, in fact, from what I have seen, who are deeply opposed to Hussein, yet oppose the war. I'm a bit astonished that you seem to deny the existence of the latter when they are pasted in right here!

tantor wrote:
nimh, interviews with Iraqis in the street in Auckland are not equivalent to those in Iraq. You can not speak freely in Iraq. [..] If you are relying on interviews with everyday Iraqis in Iraq to give you an accurate feeling for their position, you are barking up the wrong tree.


I hate to sound as outraged as I do now, but again, have you actually read anything I posted here, anything you quote here, even?

Nobody ever referred to interviews with Iraqis in the street in Baghdad - of course those would be unreliable sources (duh).

What I was in fact observing was merely that there seemed to be a slight difference between one kind of reporting on Iraqi exile views (interviews, guest comments by exiles) with another kind of reporting on Iraqi exile views (narrative, emotive field reports by Western reporters quoting Iraqi exiles).

Those are not two clearly separate categories, of course, but the first seem to include a more sizable chunk of opponents of war than the second, and that made me wonder about the role of journalists in choosing and mediating the narrative of the story they choose to tell.

tantor wrote:
nimh, I doubt anyone would opt for an American shock and awe attack on their hometown, just as nobody would opt for chemotherapy if they could avoid it. However, when you have no future without it, you might just well accept it. A couple weeks of hell might be just be worth it if it means your children would grow up with a future, would be able to speak freely, own property without it being stolen by Saddam's mafia, walk the street without being picked up by Saddam's henchmen arbitrarily to be tortured, imprisoned, or killed. Every family in Iraq has a story of Saddam's cruelty. Really, how hard is it to believe that the Iraqis would be willing to do anything to be rid of him?


Again .. - I'm sorry, but I get really exasperated if somebody attacks me on something I haven't actually said - can you please read the quote you are reacting so passionately to?

I wrote: "Though both kind of sources suggest that, as timberland proposes, "it is possible the Iraqis themselves object less strenuously to this war than do some Europeans" [..] "the former kind more often than not shows a pretty mixed reaction, in which the US intervention is at best defended as the lesser of two evils."

So ... I don't know where, from that, you got that I find it "hard to believe that the Iraqis would be willing to do anything to be rid of him?" I have actually posted several "Iraqi exile views" that do favour the war up here in this very thread.

It is clear that a group of Iraqis, especially Kurdish Iraqis, indeed "yearn" for the war to start. It is also clear that a large group of Iraqis sees the war "as the lesser of two evils", and thus favours a go-ahead despite fears about the war, distrust about the intentions of the US and/or serious apprehensions about what will be once the US has won the war.

And there is also a sizable group of Iraqi exiles who want Saddam out but do not think this is the way to do it.

"Really, how hard is that to believe?"

Do please keep on posting what Iraqi exile views on the war you find in the media. I may be angry now, but I do always appreciate extra info. You can skip the other links, the ones that feature no views on the war but are merely meant to convince me that the Iraqi regime is bad, though. Don't bother - I'm already convinced.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2003 10:10 am
nimh wrote:
I am not saying there aren't a lot of refugees and exiles who do favour war. I'm just saying there are many others - almost as many others, in fact, from what I have seen, who are deeply opposed to Hussein, yet oppose the war.


As is the case with the rest of the world. The consensus is that there is no consensus. The issue has become so deeply divisive that perhaps Iraq is but a sideshow, and the main event is the restructuring of alliances and postures throughout The Community of Nations. It is nigh impossiblle to grasp the impact of history when standing wholly within its shadow. It will be many years before we are able to view these events in context, and understand their meaning and implication. Like it or not, things are changing.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2003 11:48 am
timberlandko wrote:
The consensus is that there is no consensus. The issue has become so deeply divisive that perhaps Iraq is but a sideshow, and the main event is the restructuring of alliances and postures throughout The Community of Nations.


I'm afraid you're very right.

If I felt this really was just about Iraq, I wouldn't mind the Bush plans about Iraq all that much at all. A dictator gets thrown out, good.

But you can't help feeling that there's so much more at stake. All the arm-twisting and bullying and declaring the UN irrelevant if it doesnt rubberstamp the US plans, the whole notion of pre-emptive strike, the astounding dyssynhronicity between public opinion and government policy in the countries that are taking part, the divisions in EU and NATO, the seeming end to a flourishing period for the UN, international law and the notion of 'international rules' itself, all that ...

You don't know where it's going to end, but as one headline had it today: "it's never going to be the same again".
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 02:40 pm
BBC News had two Iraqi exiles on the news just now, a young lady and an elder gentleman, proposing opposite points of view. I tried typing while they talked, so these are just extracts from what they said.

YL: This is something the Iraqis have been waiting for, they have been waiting for ten years for something like this. It is terrible to see these anti-war protestors wqhen you know what kind of killing and brutality has been going on in Saddam's Iraq. The troops are going to a place where they are welcome and they will be met with flowers.

EG: My greatest worry is that the US are not after creating freedom and democracy in Iraq. They have backed the Hussein regime for decades, they are supporting dictatorships in countries all around Iraq. The Iraqi people should topple Hussein, and they are able to topple Hussein themselves.

YL: If the Iraqi people were able to overthrow Hussein they would have done it long ago, there is no way for them to do this. The only way to overthrow Hussein is by force. I have relatives in Iraq, what I hear is they see the Americans as saviours, this is what they want.

EG: I have relatives in Baghdad, too, and they give me a totally different view. They hate Hussein and they want him out but they want to do it themselves. They distrust America. Foreign invasion, thousands of bombs, are not the way, so many people will die. This is not liberation, this is imposing American hegemony in the Middle East.
0 Replies
 
Tartarin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 02:48 pm
I heard a Boston Globe foreign correspondent who had been in Baghdad affirm in an interview (of which I only heard a part) that the Iraqis living in Iraq do not want a US invasion. Her understanding was that they see themselves as an old civilization, that it's important to retain the values of their civilization, their education, and that the US invasion followed by occupation is anathema to them. They prefer the horrors of Saddam to the horrors of American culture and imperialism -- or so it seemed.

You can hear the interview online on NPR's Fresh Air 3/20 program(WHYY.org) -- it should be available shortly.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2003 09:27 pm
So this time I did go to the demonstration against the war in Amsterdam, and what struck me was that there were a lot of Iraqis among the demonstrators. We have a sizable, though not especially large Iraqi refugee community here in the Netherlands, and there seemed to be quite a few of them present.

A girl was carrying a placard saying: "I've got relatives in Iraq, leave them alive", a woman in her fourties was carrying a smaller poster saying: "No war in my country". Another Iraqi was explaining to his Dutch fellow-demonstrators, and there were quite a few carrying Iraqi flags.

Of course that doesnt mean all Iraqis are against the war, perhaps even only a minority - the TV report on the demo was commented by a Kurdish Iraqi exile who derided the protestors for not knowing about how it really was in Iraq, for being naively idealist and unwittingly helping to keep a tyrant in the saddle. But his argument that "people from Iraq know better" than to be against the war was clearly disproven at the very demo he was reporting, cinsidering the numbers of them that took part.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Mar, 2003 06:40 pm
NRC Handelsblad, 25.03
DIARY - "Torn"

Quote:
[Former minister of Development Affairs] Pronk defended "the system" of the UN [..]. He fears a world surrendered to the caprice of one country [..]

To [Iraqi journalist] Mariwan Kanie, such arguments only benefit dictators like Saddam Hussein. "That system of yours", he says to Pronl, "has created someone like Saddam".

To him, the demonstrations against the war are a horror. "I read all the Iraqi newspapers and I know how the anti-war demonstrations are used by them. I come from a left-wing Iraqi family myself, and I feel very lonely within the left here."
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Iraqi (exile) views on war?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/23/2019 at 04:24:47