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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] ----- Original Message ----- From: Stasi To: Anti-NATO Cc: Anti-War ; IAC Discussion Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 9:44 Subject: [iac-disc.] Reuters: Kuwaitis seethe with anger at "cowboy" Bush Kuwaitis seethe with anger at "cowboy" Bush By Michael Georgy (Reuters) - January 1 2003 22:54 KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwaitis in American-style shopping malls, coffee shops and mosques are hoping for Saddam Hussein's downfall. But they no longer trust the old friend who ousted the Iraqi leader's forces from their country in 1991 -- the United States. As thousands of U.S. soldiers train for war in Kuwait near the Iraqi border, some of the people they have promised to protect are growing tired of what they call U.S. President George W. Bush's "cowboy" style of leadership. "We don't like Saddam. But we hate the Americans," said Ramiz Abu Qweidar, a civil engineer who lives in the poor town of Jahra, a 30-minute drive from the capital. Perhaps the United States thought its liberation of Kuwait in 1991 would give it unlimited political mileage in the country, where many people still drive big, gas-guzzling American cars. Many Kuwaitis -- from Islamic militants to lawyers to parliament members -- would disagree. Although they believe only the United States has the military firepower to topple Saddam, many Kuwaitis complain that Washington has gone too far in its war on terrorism and unilateral calls for regime change in Iraq. Those mixed emotions were palpable at a diwaniya, an informal gathering of parliamentarians, lawyers and businessmen. WAR JITTERS AND ANGER At a spacious villa, two elderly friends in flowing robes sat twirling worry beads through their fingers while speculating on the date of a possible war. "January 21," said one. "No February 21," said the other. There were few kind words when the subject turned to the man whose father helped save Kuwait from Iraqi tanks -- Bush. "This is highway robbery. It is the policy of a cowboy. Bush can just say 'I don't like that leader's face so he must be removed'. If he removes Saddam he will do the same in the whole region," said lawyer Ali Radwan. "If anyone removes Saddam it should be the Iraqis." Anti-American sentiment in Kuwait boiled over in November when a Kuwaiti policeman shot and seriously wounded two U.S. soldiers. There have been a number of reports of shots fired at U.S. troops training in the Kuwaiti desert. While many Kuwaitis condemned the attacks, some said U.S. policies in the Middle East invited hatred and violence. "The attacks in Kuwait were not surprising and I expect more to take place. The Americans talk about democracy in the Arab world but that is not their motivation. Everyone knows that," said Mahmoud Awadi, a retired businessman. The U.S. embassy in Kuwait has warned Americans to avoid apartment buildings and public places where Westerners gather. Anti-American sentiment was even running deep at a coffee shop where teenagers puffed on cigarettes and water pipes while watching U.S. pop stars in music videos. On the wall, a large photograph of a Kuwaiti official aiming a Kalashnikov rifle who was killed in the Gulf War reminded customers that oil-rich Kuwait remains vulnerable. "It is a game. The Americans are just trying to impose their influence on Muslims. We hate the Americans," said Salih al-Bishr, 17. For now, Kuwaitis are preparing for war by simulating chemical weapons attacks in the event that Baghdad takes revenge against the land it once called Iraq's 19th province. "When the Americans liberated Kuwait my wife used to make drawings for them and I used to give them art as presents. But now things are clearer. We know why they are here. It is not for the sake of the beautiful eyes of Kuwaitis," said Khalifa Ikhrafi, a municipal council member. Yahoo! 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