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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Iraqi-Americans on the war.

The Globe talks to a few of the 300 Iraqis now living in the Boston area: "Their opinions differed on various issues, but they agreed on one point: Hussein must go." One of the women, Zainab Al-Suwaij, fled after joining the rebellion that rose up against Saddam Hussein in 1991; she describes her experience in more detail in an essay for the New Republic.

Iraqis on Americans.

Elizabeth Neuffer covered the disastrous 1991 uprising, which George Bush cynically abandoned. She recently returned to see how Iraqis might respond to a war to topple their dictator. Her conclusion: "While many Iraqis may hate Saddam Hussein, that does not mean they trust President George W. Bush's pledge to 'liberate' Iraq." She describes their many reasons to distrust us.

John F. Burns interviews Iraqis in exile in neighboring Jordan, and points to a bitter irony: "[T]heir hatred of Mr. Hussein had an equally potent counterpoint: for them, the country that would rid them of their leader was not at all a bastion of freedom, dispatching its legions across the seas to defend liberty, but a greedy, menacing imperial power." But he follows up:

The men refused to accept that their image of the United States might be distorted by the rigidly controlled Iraqi news media, which offer as unreal a picture of America as they do of Iraq. But when it was suggested that they could hardly wish to be liberated by a country they distrusted so much — that they might prefer President Bush to extend the United Nations weapons inspections and stand down the armada he has massed on Iraq's frontiers — they erupted in dismay.
"No, no, no!" one man said excitedly, and he seemed to speak for all. Iraqis, they said, wanted their freedom, and wanted it now.

The United States is about to do something so drastic, so expensive, and so dangerous that the mind reels. But this time there really cannot be half-measures. It would be barbaric to destroy what little remains in Iraq if we don't leave something better, and it is scandalous that President Bush isn't even talking about the expense. Even Andrew Sullivan is complaining.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 18 February 2003 at 1:39 PM

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