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]
Here are three articles from the Star (Malaysia) that are somewhat at variance with the USUK and other western media. 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--------------- http://www.thestar.com.my/iraq/story.asp?file=/2003/3/26/iraq/raqarabys&sec=ir aq [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 "invaders." 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 ---------------End--------------- ---------------Start fwd--------------- http://www.thestar.com.my/iraq/story.asp?file=/2003/3/26/iraq/iraqkpa26&sec=ir aq 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 threat. 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 oil? 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 liberators? 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 colonialism. 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. ---------------End--------------- ---------------Start fwd--------------- http://www.thestar.com.my/iraq/story.asp?file=/2003/3/26/iraq/thirst&sec=iraq  thestar.com.my 1. http://thestar.com.my/ 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 penury. 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 troops. "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 water. 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 ---------------End--------------- _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk