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Author Topic: Iraqi Exiles Put Patriotism First As They Return Home To Fight Invaders
Babbler # 3214

posted 26 March 2003 04:21 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From The Guardian.

"I'm against Saddam but I'm not for America," said a young man yesterday behind a shop counter full of music CDs and cassette tapes of speeches and lectures by Shia scholars.

Until two months ago Abdullah, 25, (who did not want to give his real name) was a student of engineering from Kerbala, a town south of Baghdad which contains one of Shia Islam's holiest mosques.

The tapes he can sell openly in Syria are banned in Iraq, where Abdullah passed them out clandestinely to friends until he felt the risk of being jailed was getting too great.

Now he is planning to go home. The patriotic drive to defend his country has overcome his hatred of Saddam's regime, he said, though there are other factors too - peer group pressure and anxiety about his parents' well-being.

"Many of my friends have gone back already in the last few days," he said. "Even if I just dig a trench by our house and sit in it with a gun, I might kill one of the invaders. They're coming down in parachutes so you might hit one."


Young Iraqi men in Jordan, which like Syria hosts several hundred thousand exiles, have also been flooding back home since the war started.

Jordanian records show that 5,284 Iraqis have crossed the desert border overland into Iraq since March 16. Iraq's consular office in Amman issued at least 3,000 temporary passports for exiled Iraqis in the war's first three days.

I think Americans are beginning to find they don't have a monopoly on patriotism. And that they didn't pay enough attention to the case of Stalin and Soviet patriotism--real, fight to the death to defend your country patriotism--during the Second World War.


[ 26 March 2003: Message edited by: drgoodword ]

From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3214

posted 27 March 2003 02:50 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Follow-up to above article by Seumas Milne, also in The Guardian.

There was little public preparation for the resistance that is now taking place. Third World peoples have after all been allocated a largely passive role in the security arrangements of the new world order - the best they can hope for is to be "liberated" and be grateful for it. There has been little understanding that, however much many Iraqis want to see the back of Saddam Hussein, they also - like any other people - don't want their country occupied by foreign powers. No doubt Ba'athist militias are playing a coercive role in stiffening resistance. There are also those who cannot expect to survive the fall of the dictatorship and therefore have nothing to lose. But the scale and commitment of the resistance - along with reports of hundreds of Iraqis struggling to return from Syria and Jordan to fight - suggests that it is driven far more by national and religious pride. Most of these people are not fighting for Saddam Hussein, but for the independence of their homeland.

To fail to recognise this now obvious reality is not only condescending, but stupid. But then we have been subjected to such a blizzard of disinformation in recent days - from the reported deaths of Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein to the non-existent chemical weapons plant and Tuesday's uprising in Basra - that it should come as no surprise to hear everyone from British and US defence ministers to BBC television presenters refer to Iraqis defending their own country as "terrorists".


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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