February 26, 2003

IRAQIS TO AMERICA: PLEASE DON’T BACK DOWN AGAIN!

“We want the Americans to come, and if they come tomorrow it will not be too soon,” said an unemployed 23-year old visiting from the southern Iraqi city of Basra. “People are nervous, people are afraid, we don’t want war. But do we want to change the government and we will welcome anyone who comes to get rid of Saddam.”

Well, that’s pretty much how I feel. And other Americans agree — here’s a Minnesota group that has given away over 5,000 “Liberate Iraq” signs in the past two weeks. They’ve got a cool informational video on the web, too. Just more of that grassroots pro-liberation activism that I’ve been writing about!

UPDATE: This article by Amir Taheri, on the anti-war movement’s unwillingness to listen to actual Iraqis, is worth reading, too. Excerpt:

“Are these people ignorant, or are they blinded by hatred of the United States?” Nasser the poet demanded.

The Iraqis would have had much to tell the “antiwar” marchers, had they had a chance to speak. Fadel Sultani, president of the National Association of Iraqi authors, would have told the marchers that their action would encourage Saddam to intensify his repression.

“I had a few questions for the marchers,” Sultani said. “Did they not realize that oppression, torture and massacre of innocent civilians are also forms of war? Are the antiwar marchers only against a war that would liberate Iraq, or do they also oppose the war Saddam has been waging against our people for a generation?”

Hey, those are the same questions that I’ve been asking!

UPDATE: Here’s more on the subject, from an Iraqi exile in the Christian Science Monitor.