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Resentment on streets of Baghdad By Owen Bennett Jones BBC correspondent in Baghdad Monday April 14th 2003 One week after American troops entered Baghdad, the people of the city are still waiting to hear what form of government the Americans are planning for them. "We need a government. The last week was a disaster. The Americans should have made arrangements for what they planned to do now," said a civil servant who didn't want to be named. He rejected the American plan to have a transitional military government run by a retired general, Jay Garner. "Why should an American general come here? Iraqis should govern themselves." On the streets of Baghdad, many Iraqis agree with him. "Why should the Americans rule us?" asked one man, a teacher. "They say they came here to liberate us. We have paid a heavy price for the removal of Saddam Hussein, so the Americans should go now." The growing anti-American sentiment is a result not only of the military campaign and the casualties that it caused, there is also acute resentment that the Americans have allowed a situation to develop in which there is looting and continued insecurity in the Iraqi capital. The US marines have secured a limited area, just a few blocks of buildings, in the centre of the city, but elsewhere there is great insecurity. 'Fayed is dead' US marines are still coming under fire from Saddam Hussein loyalists and some residents of Baghdad are wondering whether the fighting could go on for weeks or even months. Some are trying to organise security for themselves. Doctors armed with Kalashnikovs are guarding their hospitals. Elsewhere armed civilians have set up road blocks to deter looting. But those manning the check points say they fear the Americans will see their weapons, mistake them for Saddam Hussein loyalists, and shoot them dead. The sense of uncertainty is not helped by the fact that throughout Baghdad families are coming to terms with the casualties caused by the war. In a middle class district in the north of the city, I witnessed a professor of politics, Moyed al-Windawi, tell his two daughters that one of their friends who lived on the same street, a 16-year-old boy called Fayed, had died as the result of injuries sustained when the Americans came in. "Fayed is dead," he said. "He is dead." His daughters at first did not believe him. "He was gorgeous," said one. "I played football with him, and Playstation. What will his brothers think?" While many Iraqis grieve, the Americans are still working on their plans for the governance of Iraq. Many believe that there will be a prominent role for the Iraqi National Congress, an organisation made up of Iraqi exiles, many of whom opposed Saddam Hussein from abroad. But on the streets of Baghdad there is little support for the INC. "Why should we be governed by people who have got rich in London and New York?" said one. "We must have someone who comes from Iraq and who has suffered with us." _______________________________________________ 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