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Old 04-01-2003, 11:29 PM   #1
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Iraqis Feeling More Free To Express True Feelings

Looks like many Iraqi civilians don't exactly agree with war protestors...

Civilians 'Increasingly Willing' to Support Allies in South

Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Associated Press

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar British forces said they saw signs Tuesday that the tide of the war in southern Iraq may be turning in their favor: Iraqis were starting to warm to their presence in towns firmly under their control, where troops felt safe enough to replace helmets with berets.

Lights flickered on for the first time in months in the port city of Umm Qasr, and schools and shops were reopening. Significantly, more civilians were informing foreign troops about the whereabouts of paramilitary forces and members of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, British officials said.

"Within the southern area of Iraq, we see a large degree of normality starting to appear amongst the Iraqi population," said Group Capt. Al Lockwood, a spokesman for British forces in the Gulf.

Around Nasiriyah, where the coalition has met with stiff resistance, civilians are now helping U.S. special forces find troops loyal to Saddam, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks told reporters Tuesday at a news conference in Kuwait.

Brooks said local Iraqis are "increasingly willing" to aid the U.S. and British forces throughout the main areas of fighting.

Marines were aided by 100 tribal fighters who helped fight Iraqi forces and remove explosives from a bridge north of Nasiriyah. In the western desert, civilians helped Army troops remove explosives from a hospital and check buildings, he added.

Lockwood stressed that tensions were still high in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city where British forces have skirmished almost daily with forces loyal to Saddam while trying to provide humanitarian aid to the city's 1.3 million people.

And military operations continued in the region, including a raid on Baath party members in the town of Safwan, said another British spokesman, Col. Chris Vernon.

But Lockwood said residents were increasingly willing to approach British troops who have ringed Basra to give information about known paramilitaries and other loyalists.

"They realize that we are there to liberate them, not to occupy," he said. "Certainly, there are still military engagements happening with the paramilitary forces, but the aid is flowing into Basra now."

The British appear confident that they have reached some level of security in four southern towns. On Tuesday, British troops had changed their combat helmets for berets in Umm Qasr, As Zubayr, Rumeila and Safwan, British officials said.

Lockwood said the berets makes the soldiers appear more friendly and approachable, and serve as a confidence-building measure on both sides.

"It shows that we have confidence in them, and they can have confidence in us," he said.

In addition, more humanitarian aid was flowing into the region, including from the United Nations and other aid organizations, he said.

U.S. and British officials have acknowledged the expected uprising by anti-Saddam Shiite residents of Basra and other southern towns in support of coalition troops hasn't borne out to any large degree.

They have attributed the residents' wariness to the fact that when Shiites did rise up in 1991, allied forces largely abandoned them and left them to be punished or killed by the Iraqi leadership.

"They have suffered tragically, enormously under the Saddam Hussein regime," Lockwood said. "And although it's taken some time because of the events of 1991, they're beginning to gain the confidence now, they know we're not going away. They know we will be there to protect them."
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:49 AM   #2
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"CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar British forces said they saw signs Tuesday that the tide of the war in southern Iraq may be turning in their favor: Iraqis were starting to warm to their presence in towns firmly under their control, where troops felt safe enough to replace helmets with berets."

haven't we heared that over and over again? If all of these news were true about 200% of the iraqi people stand up against saddam. Let's see when this really hapens. I'm sure lots of oposition Iraqis remember how they were treated 10 years ago by the same army who came to help them. So i guess this time they will wait longer with their protests.

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Old 04-02-2003, 09:32 AM   #3
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Klaus, the reason "200 %" of the Iraqis don't stand up to Saddam is because most of the population is in Baghdad, with guns pointed to the back of their heads. When the Coalition wins this war, you will see that the average Iraqi is happy that Saddam is gone.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:50 AM   #4
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A poll release today says 71% of iraqis consider coalition use of b52's as WMD

51% don't think the US will win
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:10 AM   #5
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I'm curious as to who conducted that poll; ie: who's able to poll the Iraqi population? Al Jazeera? If so, that speaks to its accuracy...
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:13 AM   #6
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I don't know but they showed the poll on Canada AM.

I'll try and find out, however

Even if it was al jazeer I think it's more accurate than you think. Otherwise, why not put the number who think the US will lose up to 80%?
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
When the Coalition wins this war, you will see that the average Iraqi is happy that Saddam is gone.
You mean I will see that the average Iraqi is happy that his brother is damaged collaterally?
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:03 AM   #8
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Why is Al Jazeera automatically suspect?
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:15 AM   #9
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It isnt, in fact I am wondering what the trouble is about. In Europe some journalists say they get pretty good accurate info from this station. It may be biased, but which source isnt. Considering that it comes from the Near East Hemisphere, I prefer it to CNN (if it was about an American tax reform, I would prefer CNN, get it).

Ah that hurts: propaganda functions both ways, not only in democracies.
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:50 AM   #10
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yes, and Saddam wins with 99.5% of the vote!!! (other .5% have head on a stake)
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


You mean I will see that the average Iraqi is happy that his brother is damaged collaterally?

Maybe he means you will see the average Iraqi happy to be rid of the torture chambers......
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Old 04-02-2003, 12:02 PM   #12
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Every news source has some sort of "bias" or opinion. The most "uncensored" news is the *opinion* of the Iraqi people, in my view, because the end strategy is to give them a democratic state, right? I'm looking forward to them starting to discuss election politics. What do they want? Who do they want to lead them? What sort of parties would they like to choose from in a free, open and democratic election? That's the only way to end this, and everyone does agree there's got to be some sort of closure to this action.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
Why is Al Jazeera automatically suspect?
Doh, sorry! I meant "Iragi state run TV", but had a brain fart and typed Al Jezeera instead. I don't think the poll was from Al Jezeera, because I doubt anyone at all can get a poll of the Iraqi population at this point. I think the "poll" must be from Iraqi state-run TV.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:02 PM   #14
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Originally posted by browneyedgirl



Maybe he means you will see the average Iraqi happy to be rid of the torture chambers......
That's very much what I meant! Thank you.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


You mean I will see that the average Iraqi is happy that his brother is damaged collaterally?
Huh? Read what I wrote. It couldn't be more clear -

"the average Iraqi is happy that Saddam is gone"

Good grief.
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