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Journal vidarh's Journal: What Iraqi's think of the war

The last few days more and more articles are showing up in non-UK, non-US press about ordinary Iraqi's response to the war. Why aren't US and UK news sources interested in these stories?

Perhaps because the picture they paint of the US and UK is almost exclusively one of the imperialist occupation forces not wanted by the people.

I've kept from discussing the war for a long time because I simply (unfortunately) don't have the time to follow it up. But this lack of journalistic integrity shown by most of the UK and US press is simply too ugly to stay silent on.

Last week it was Iraqi's in Jordan that wanted to go back to fight for Saddam - according to Jordian authorities some 5000 are estimated to have gone back to Iraq, and a Jordanian border guard was apparently visibily happy that he could tell western media that Iraqi's are a proud people that will fight for their homeland.

It was also citizens in Baghdad, chanting anti US slogans and telling how, while they're against Saddam (most of them anyway), they saw the US and UK as just as bad - or even worse. One of the sentiments expressed was that Saddam has been working with the UN for the last 12 years, and despite that the US and UK rewarded them with 12 years of sanctions bringing the country to it's knees and follow up with a war.

Today it is this article, in the conservative, often hawkish, Norwegian newspaper "Aftenposten". They were also my source of the article on the Iraqi's returning from Jordan.

For those that dont read Norwegian, here's a few selected quotes. The occasion was the Kuwaiti Red Crescent handing out food parcels in Safwan. Foreign journalists were brought in in order to show the world how grateful the Iraqis would be... The title of the article is "Iraqis need water, got food".

"They smile and wave, but the words they greet us with are expletives so fould that our interpreter would prefer not to translate it. And the picture of Saddam that greeted the entrance to the city is gone. It's not the citizens, but the Americans who removed it."

"We don't need this food. We have food at home. But we need water. We had water, in a 40km long pipeline from Kor Al-Zunker. But last Friday, when the Amnerican helicopters came, the pipeline was bombed. Our electricity supply and phone exchange too. Now we stand here without water, says 50 year old Mohammed Jasem"

"Everyone we talk to among them says the same: We need water, not food. They are also united in another question: Their condemnation of the war. Of Americans and Brits, of bombs, dismemberment and abuse.

- Many here don't like Saddam Hussein, and would love to get rid of him. But this war isn't the answer. We don't trust Americans. We rose up against Saddam last time, in 1991, but the Americans betrayed us, Mohammed says."

"- Why should 25 million people suffer just because they want to get rid of one person, Mohammed asks" [on the question of it isn't a good thing that US and UK are now trying to get rid of Saddam]

"The situation in Safwan is tense. People are afraid of Saddams agents, and they fear Brits and Americans.

- They don't let us get out of here. All roads out of this area is closed. We can't contact our relatives, says 19 year old Kassim.

- We aren't allowed to bury the fallen Iraqi soliders out on the hillside their, either. Now they're getting eaten by dogs.

They defend Saddam here in Safwan:

- He's at least an Arab, and Iraqi. This is our country, we don't want the Americans here, says the people around Kassim."

"People are also angry about the good distribution, that it happens this way , on the side of a dusty road.

- We have a community building here. Why can't they distribute the food there? Why do it in this unworthy way? We're an old civilization, a people with a rich culture. Now they are killing our brothers. The people who fight against the USA are brave and noble. If they'd had as good weapons and planes as the Americans, it wouldn't be foreigners who controlled us.

- We don't like Saddam, Mohammed continues, but we're Iraqis, we're Arabs. And in this region, are there anyone that likes their government at all, he asks rhetorically.

- But don't you want democracy?

- Democracy is created by the people, not by the Americans. Now they only give Saddam an opportunity to destroy the country. Everyone here is against the war.

- USA says this is a war against Saddam, not against the Iraqi people?

- Whatever, but it is the Iraqi people who gets bombed."

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What Iraqi's think of the war

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