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Anti-War

Freelance Writer Interviews Iraqi Students About US Occupation
by dahr
Monday Dec 22nd, 2003 4:46 PM
Dahr went to Mustansariyah University to ask students their opinions on the occupation.
I visited one of the major universities in Baghdad, Al Mustanceria, and asked several students what they thought the solution to the current situation in Iraq might be. In addition, I asked how the current situation is affecting them personally. Rather than write it up as an article, I feel it is better to simply let the students speak for themselves.

Most of the news from here is not good. What can you do about it? Voices in the Wilderness is a great group that was involved in humanitarian work in Iraq during the sanctions. They have a great website with information on many different things you can do to help out here. Here is the link:

http://vitw.us/what_we_can_do/

In addition, as you might guess, I feel that honest news about Iraq is imperative. I understand that all you continue to hear about in the states are the various US soldier deaths.

Another great site with honest news about Iraq:

http://www.juancole.com

Or you could email the UN a letter something like one a good friend of mine did:

Dear UN Representative:

A journalist friend of mine has traveled to Iraq to get the truth about the American/British occupation of Iraq. In the attached story he reports of US troops conducting executions of Iraqi's and it doesn't appear to be an isolated incident. Troops would not be conducting executions without those orders being issued from the highest level in the US military.

These stories are made more credible after hearing of the strong handed tactics being used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please tell me how a formal complaint be filed against Occupation forces?

I thank you in advance for protecting the freedom of innocent people.

*You can mail this to this address, and feel free to attach either the Ramadi or Samarra story, or both:

"'inquiries (at) un.org'" <inquiries (at) un.org>

Finally, spread the word. Feel free to send my dispatches to anyone/everyone that you feel would be willing to learn about everyday goings on in Iraq.

Here is what some of the students here have to say:

Hasan Ali, 21 year old man, College of Science, Chemistry Department
“We need to find a solution for ourselves. Maybe with some help from the United Nations, to find the real democracy here. But it will take steps, and for that we need UN help. The US troops don’t understand the people here, and how to work with them.”

Hala Jabard, 20 year old woman
“I want the American army out of Baghdad. They should move to a base on the border. They are killing innocent people here. I want all of the US out of Iraq.”

Husan Namji, 22 year old man, Chemical Engineer
“I want a safe Iraq, like we had with Saddam. I want our people to unit and help rebuild Iraq themselves. But no fucking way will this happen with the Americans here. They need to get out of here.”

Usam Aljour, 21 year old man, Chemistry department
“It’s a bad situation now. I want the American soldiers to be peaceful here. I don’t really want them here more than six more months. Everyone here wants peace in Iraq.”

Sirmid Muhammad, 20 year old man, studying translation
“I hope Iraq will be good like it was with Saddam, but more free now.”

Saad, 23 years old man, Computer department
“Maybe there is a government now with the CPA, but the problem is that nobody here listens to this government. We need a real government here, a strong government, that needs to be tough. The most important thing is that this government needs to be chosen by the people of Iraq. Not the government the US has put in. None of us will listen to them. I don’t want the Americans here any longer than for one year total.”

Ahmed Jin, 23 year old man at Baghdad University
“The Americans have put in this IGC. It is wrong to change the leader every month. This will never work. They are all from different cultures with their own goals and religions. This will be a big problem. They Americans have had a good chance to do something-they have already been here 6 months and they haven’t done anything good for us. Iraqis can make our own new, strong government.”

Afir, 23 year old man, studying computers
“I want the American army to leave the country. They haven’t done anything for us. They can leave the country. They can live at the border if they want to be near Iraq. We can fix our own problems. We are Iraqi and we know how to deal with our own problems. The Americans don’t know how to deal with Iraqi problems.”

Uday Daham, 23 year old man, Baghdad College
“The American army can live in the desert. They should leave the city, they should leave the villages, they should leave all of Iraq. They should leave and give the Iraqi people a chance to decide for themselves. We choose our own government, not the Americans choosing things for us.”

“They need to leave, and then we’ll have freedom. I don’t think the Americans have given us anything like freedom here.”

“The Americans let the looters destroy everything. The Americans are the real looters, and teach everyone to be free to steal everything This is the freedom they bring.”

18 year old woman, translation department
“We are living in a miserable situation. We never though it would get worse with Saddam gone. But it has. We are Iraqi and Iraqis don’t have any hope to survive these problems.”

“The US can’t find a solution for our problems? They are the most powerful country in the world and I don’t have water and electricity for 7 months now. Saddam did better.”

“George Bush doesn’t love us. He crossed the ocean for our oil. He doesn’t feel sorry for us, Iraqi people have been killed under Saddams regime, and now under the Bush regime. He is a big thief, that’s what he is!”

“Saddam was defending Arab people. He was trying to stop the Israeli government from killing Arabs.”

“Could you forgive my people if they were killing your people like the Americans are doing to us here?”

“George Bush talks about terrorists, but HE is the big terrorist!”

“We are not children, so we don’t need George Bush to come here and tell us what to do. He should leave here. What a teacher he is! Look what he’s teaching here!”

“I want to be safe as a woman here, and I am not. I was before, but not anymore. We didn’t have these problems of rapes and kidnapping before, but now it is every day.”

20 year old woman, translation department
“Maybe there were some bad things with Saddam’s regime, but we didn’t see much of it. Now we see bad things everyday in Baghdad that the Americans have caused. So which do you think we want? Saddam or Bush? We prefer Saddam right now.”

“We used to be able to go to Mosul and eat food and have drinks, but not anymore. It’s too dangerous.”

Tara Sinon, 20 year old female translator
“We need to choose our own government. We can do a good job for ourselves, and Iraq can be a great county and everything will be good here.”

“George Bush shouldn’t be chosen as president next year. He is a terrorist and he was working as a terrorist in Afghanistan by killing all those people. He didn’t do anything good there, and he hasn’t done anything good here. I don’t like him.”

Tricia Ahmed, 20 year old woman, translator
“Saddam was very bad. We hated him. I prefer that he is gone. But the Americans don’t do good things to Iraqis. They promised us a lot of things, but they haven’t done any of them.”

“I hope for a good government, to be free, for safety. I want security and other things.”

“These are not difficult things we want-we just need true elections here.”

“Saddam and Bush are the same. Bush hasn’t done any good things in Iraq. They promised us many things, but they have done nothing. Why? Answer this-why do we not have electricity and water? This is the eighth month, and we only have 6 hours a day of electricity during the day, off and on.”

http://www.wildfirejo.org.uk/feature/display/52/index.php