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Posted by Alexander from ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 11:39PM :

Miss Goodman, reporter

Mr. Abbas, interviewee

MG: Abbas, how r u?

MA: I am well, you?

MG: Just fine, thank you...
now, Abbas, what was it you were saying about war and how the Iraq war has affected you and your family?

MA: Oh, I was saying how we were liberated.

MG: Hmm, could you clarify that statement?

MA: Why, I've been liberated...What more is there to say?

MG: Well, it says here, on my notes, that your house was not affected by bombing.
How is this, and is it something that helps you determine whether this war was justified or not?

MA: Listen madame, I told you, I've been liberated.

MG: What is liberation?

MA: What do you mean?

MG: Define liberation, for me please...

MA: uh, ok...Well, uh...Liberation is being freed...Like, if you have a dictator, you are then set free, and then you say you have been liberated. Like that.

MG: Hmm...And how were you not free before?
Were you allowed to walk in public without fear?

MA: Yes, why not?

MG: But now, you have to be careful, your son might get shot on the way to market, or your wife raped at night- by US soldiers no less...

MA: Well, that is the price of freedom. But I am willing to take that risk, since we are free of Saddam Hussein.

MG: Well, what about your job?

MA: I lost my job.

MG: Why? How? Is having a job a form of freedom? or is it a form of tyranny.

MA: I don't understand the question...

MG: Hmmm...Well, what about food. How is that different?

MA: We don't have much food, we have to wait in lines for small rations, and we don't even like the way it tastes. US soldiers look at us like we're beggars, not worthy of eating. But we have to, it is our livelihood, to wait in line, trying to get a plate of food to eat.

MG: How was it before this war?

MA: It was better, but we still did not have much, that is why, even though it is hard now, I can bare with it, because when before the US came to save us, we still had very little food to eat. Saddam was starving us, and he was eating good food all day, while the US was trying to bomb him. They were trying to help us by bombing him.

MG: This is a very different story from what I've heard. But first, explain to me how it was before 1991.

MA: Before 1991, we had everything, food, electricity, vacation, life, family, everything was great. We had it all, we were a great nation.

MG: Well then, what happened?

MA: Well, Saddam made a violent move into Kuweit, and cause our demise. Our present situation.

MG: Saddam Hussein and his dealing of Kuweit had nothing to do with US invasion in 1991. That was propigated by the move to knock out Iraqi hard installations and soft positions while they were dug in and accessible(ie: bombable), so that they could weaken him for a future battle, which they intended to wage in the future, after the country had been doing without much for a decade or so, so that the people would consider Saddam to be their cause for suffering, and would therefore support a US move to oust Saddam.

MA: ...?...How does all this relate to our freedom? We are free now...

MG: Free from what?

MA: From the tyrant.

MG: Saddam? What did he do, that was so tyrannical?

MA: He, he killed people...Anybody he didn't like.

MG: Like?

MA: Well, just anybody.

MG: You can't remember one incident?

MA: Well, one time, this man was executed because Saddam didn't like him...

MG: What did the man do?

MA: He was working to sabotage a government facility, in order to collect payment from the US.

MG: Well, then, Saddam has reason to not like him. The US put to death innocent children and women who were simply living apart from the tax system, and simply wanted to live without paying taxes. It was Waco. That was much different from trying to sabotage a government.

You think maybe such acts by Saddam were really acts of control? The attack against Kurds was in order to defend his country, which has had its share of Kurdish conflict. And as for the Assyrians, they do not try to make peace with Iraq, but instead take to the mountains to fight. Why? Mabdayeen are able to live peaceably within the government. They have representatives and even office headquarters in Iraq, at least until recently. They did not take up arms against Iraq, but instead, integrated themselves with the official government. And even if the rival factions in Iraq did not like Saddam, certainly, they shouldnt wish the death and destruction of such a beautiful country by the savages- excuse me... I can't say that on the air- ahem, Americans...the Americans did not go to Iraq to solve Kurdish porblems of rivalry or to build a nation of Assyria. They don't even know Assyria exists. I remember, talking to a man, who told me he had been to Iraq in the fifties. He told me how the Assyrians were the most feared, or, if not feared, they were regarded by their fellow countrymen as the most valiant or brave Iraqis in the land. Assyrians, said he, were quick to learn new technology, and learn how to work oil pumps, and so many got jobs at such industries. Yet, he said, it was their failure to accept the government that led to their dislike by some other Iraqi nationals, and in addition, the Iraqi government always had to keep an eye on them, being a little suspicious of them. This was before Saddam Hussein. Maybe, what I am trying to say, is that none of this has anything to do with Saddam Hussein, but rather with deeply routed feelings of nationalism and varied beliefs about what government should exist. Perhaps, if one stepped back and looked at the whole picture, one would see that this war, this last thirty years in Iraq, has nothing to do with Saddam Hussein, but rather with how other countries see Iraq as a potential oil center, about how interanl rivalries compete for their own independence, always causeing Iraq to remain in flux. And when, for a certain period in time, this country- Iraq, is stable, and there is health, and there is education, and there is governence, and medical, and luxury, and pleasure, and freedom, only those rival factions still in the mountains complain about the fruits of their nation which have "been taken away" yet it is they who fled to the mountains, in spite of what seeds of success lay before them at the time of their departure, regardless of these seeds having grown to great fruits...This fruitful nation, which has been attacked by the aggressive western capitalist faction, in order to increase their own oil profits, has to withstand the tensions between such rivalries and internal complications, while at the same time defending itself from foreign invaders- this rivalry is therefore destructive, and the claim that Saddam is a tyrant who murders recklessly is invalidated when the actions from supporting the US-led war result in far more deaths than would ever have occurred in Iraq, the fruitful nation, from Saddam's actions. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that you have not yet defined "liberated," Abbas, and you circumvent the issue by mentioning Saddam as many times as you can. We already went over this, and came to the understanding that Saddam is nothing but a name with which evilness is used synonomously for the purpose of oil-profits. Certainly, you can provide some definition for what you percieve is freedom, can you not?

MA: ....(speechless)...But we have been liberated. I told you that! What more is there to tell you?...Saddam, he did bad things, he killed people, he was- is- evil! Don't you understand that, you cannot see- you are not Iraqi, we are poor, you are not- you do not see what happens............

(and so the interview proceeds...)

-- Alexander
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