The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Going home to fight; and the unwelcomed 'liberators'

Here are three articles from the Star (Malaysia) that
are somewhat at variance with the USUK and other western

1-- "Exiled Iraqis want to fight 'invaders'"
Thousands of Iraqis in Jordan have gone home to defend
their country.

2-- "British media question the liberation issue"
The would-be USUK 'liberators' are nonplussed by the
absence of cheering welcomes in southern Iraq, home
of the Shi'a. So _expert_ opinions are offered:

They are still afraid, says Geoff Hoon. Wolfowitz is
expecting an "explosion of joy and relief" later on.
Dr. Burhan al-Chalabi, an Iraqi, explains that Iraqis fell
for the liberation propaganda in 1917 - this turned out to
be colonization. Now Iraqis want to "protect their home,
land, dignity and self-respect", he says.

Toby Dodge, an expert on Iraq at Warwick University,
attributes the lack of welcome to a "tenacious sense of
nationalism in Iraq". (It may have slipped his mind that
such "tenacity" is not uncommon. His own compatriots are
rejecting the foreign Euro, which is relatively harmless
compared to the presence of foreign invaders.)

3-- "Iraqis still waiting for food and water"
Anger - no celebrations or victory signs

Sorry this is a bit long - I wanted to keep it together.

Elga Sutter

---------------Start fwd---------------

[Star Publications (Malaysia)]

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Exiled Iraqis want to fight 'invaders'

AMMAN: Thousands of Iraqi exiles have been returning home
over the past week from Jordan, with many insisting they
want to defend their country against US and British

Jordanian records show that 5,284 Iraqis have crossed the
desert border overland into Iraq since March 16, Col Ahmad
al-Hazaymeh, director of Jordan's al Karama border post,
said on Monday.

Iraq's consular office here said it issued at least 3,000
temporary passports for exiled Iraqis in the last three
days. Of those, half have already returned to Iraq,
spokesman Jawad al-Ali said.

"They all said they wanted to take part in the fight
against the Americans," al-Ali said.

An estimated 350,000 Iraqi exiles live in Jordan. Most
have arrived since the 1990-91 Gulf War and stayed, most
of them illegally. Some were persecuted by Saddam's
regime, while others were seeking to escape the hardships
under UN sanctions imposed on Iraq following its 1990
invasion of Kuwait. - AFP

---------------Start fwd---------------

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

British media question the liberation issue

By Tan Kah Peng in London

LONDON: The White House has billed its military action in
Iraq as a war of liberation, but six days into the
fighting why have the people in southern Iraq not welcomed
the American and British soldiers as liberators?

This question was raised by the British media, which said
there were no signs of uprising in the south by the Shia-
majority, who have been oppressed by the Saddam Hussein
regime and thought to be keenest to see his overthrow.

A Financial Times report from the ground quoted a British
officer as saying that it seemed as if many people did not
even want to get rid of Saddam, adding that this is not
what we expected. British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon
said after years of oppression, the Shia Muslims were
still afraid, especially when Fadayeen, the feared
paramilitary militia, was around in the urban areas.

US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the BBC:
I think that when the people of Basra no longer feel the
threat of that regime, you are going to see an explosion
of joy and relief, but right now there are still under

Adnan Pachachi, a former Iraqi foreign minister living in
exile in the Gulf, told The Times that while Iraqis hated
Saddam, they are hesitant because they are not sure yet if
he will stay in power.

According to Richard Beeston, The Times diplomatic editor,
anecdotal evidence suggests that ordinary Iraqis have
decidedly mixed views about the war, and regard the new
arrivals with deep suspicion.

The view was confirmed at Safwan, scene of one of Saddams
most brutal purges in 1991, and the first settlement
reached by British and American forces, said Beeston.

Although some villagers clapped and cheered at the sight
of the first coalition armour, others demanded to know why
the troops had come. One asked: Are you going to steal our

The mood became darker when civilians were injured and
killed by accident during fighting. Heavier casualties in
Basra, where reports suggest scores of civilians have been
killed in allied bombing, could further erode support.

A Guardian report from Nassiriya said Mustafa Mohammed
Ali, a surgical hospital assistant, was outraged by the
civilian deaths caused by US cluster bombs, which he
claimed, were dropped after American dead bodies were
brought in.

We dont want Saddam, but we dont want them (the Americans)
to stay afterwards, he said. They are fighting Islam.
Theyre entering under the pretext of targeting Baath
(ruling party), but they wont leave.

So why are the Iraqis not living up to US Vice-President
Dick Cheneys expectations that we will be greeted as

Dr Burhan al-Chalabi, chairman of the British Iraqi
Foundation and a member of the Royal Institute of
International Affairs, was not surprised.

Writing in The Guardian, he said when Iraq was first
colonized by Britain in 1917, Iraqis were fed the same
propaganda about liberation through occupation, but fought
the best part of the last century to get rid of

Iraqis may wish for the current regime to change, but
anyone who understands our culture will know that in this
war Iraqis will fight and die, not to save President
Saddam Hussein, but to protect their home, land, dignity
and self-respect from a new world order alien to their way
of life, he said.

Toby Dodge, an expert on Iraq at Warwick University, told
The Times that fear of the regime was only one factor for
the lack of welcome for the American and British forces.

I have always been struck by the tenacious sense of
nationalism in Iraq, he said.

---------------Start fwd---------------


Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Iraqis still waiting for food and water

SOUTH OF NASSIRIYA (Iraq): Days into the US-led war,
Iraq's civilians are still waiting for the food, water and
other help Washington and London promised they would
distribute behind their advancing soldiers.

But with unexpectedly tough combat holding up the
humanitarian aid convoys, hope is rapidly turning to anger
against the invaders.

"This war has quickly turned us into beggars," an old man
who gave his name as Farak said as he sat on the side of a
road in southern Iraq Monday.

In this part of the country, at least, years of UN
economic sanctions that stripped cupboards have now been
replaced by a fierce war which is depleting the few
remaining valuable provisions, resulting in a severe

With no running water, electricity, or food, the
inhabitants of the desert south have slipped into despair,
no longer believing in the US promises they would be taken
care of. There are no celebrations to greet the Western

"We've been abandoned to our fate. Nobody has given us
anything to eat. Nobody is providing security. All they do
is arrive here, attack Saddam's forces, then leave," said
Hussein Yaber, a 20-year-old shepherd living in a barn
south of Nassiriya.

On Monday, he was forced to buy 300 litres of water
because his family had no more drinking water.

According to the only doctor in Safwan, Ali, basic
medicine is urgently needed, including analgesics,
antibiotics, and drugs for gastroenteritis - a constant
health problem because of frequently contaminated drinking

The nearest hospital is in Umm Qasrwhere a small group of
Iraqi fighters have been able to hold out and fire shots
at coalition soldiers for four days despite aerial
bombings and artillery shelling.

"If the (US and British) soldiers are among us for only a
short time, we could try to respect them. But if they have
come to stay, there are going to be a lot of problems
because the United States only wants to destroy Islam,"
affirmed a young Safwan man.

Although Safwan was the first town to fall to the
coalition troops without resistance last Friday, by Monday
the British patrols were receiving no victory signs from
the children in street.

Near one of the tanks stationed next to a torn-up portrait
of Saddam, a local man said: "The United States hasn't
understood that it's not going to be able to kill Saddam
Hussein with this war. For better or for worse, he has
already become a legend." - AFP

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]