'You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious' - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-22-2003, 04:34 PM   #1
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 07:15 PM
'You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious'

'You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious'

'I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand'

James Meek in Safwan
Saturday March 22, 2003
The Guardian

Yesterday afternoon a truck drove down a side road in the Iraqi town of Safwan, laden with rugs and furniture. Booty or precious possessions? In a day of death, joy and looting, it was hard to know.
As the passengers spotted European faces, one boy grinned and put his thumb up. The other nervously waved a white flag. The mixed messages defined the moment: Thank you. We love you. Please don't kill us.

US marines took Safwan at about 8am yesterday. There was no rose-petal welcome, no cheering crowd, no stars and stripes.

Afraid that the US and Britain will abandon them, the people of Safwan did not touch the portraits and murals of Saddam Hussein hanging everywhere. It was left to the marines to tear them down. It did not mean there was not heartfelt gladness at the marines' arrival. Ajami Saadoun Khlis, whose son and brother were executed under the Saddam regime, sobbed like a child on the shoulder of the Guardian's Egyptian translator. He mopped the tears but they kept coming.

"You just arrived," he said. "You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave."

"For a long time we've been saying: 'Let them come'," his wife, Zahara, said. "Last night we were afraid, but we said: 'Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem'." Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran.

"He was a farmer, he had a car, he sold tomatoes, and we had a life that we were satis fied with," said Khlis. "He was in prison for a whole year, and I raised 75m dinars in bribes. It didn't work. The money was gone, and he was gone. They sent me a telegram. They gave me the body."

The marines rolled into the border town after a bombardment which left up to a dozen people dead. Residents gave different figures. A farmer, Haider, who knew one of the men killed, Sharif Badoun, said: "Killing some is worth it, to end the injustice and suffering." The men around him gave a collective hysterical laugh.

The injustice of tyranny was merged in their minds with the effects of sanctions. "Look at the way we're dressed!" said Haider, and scores of men held up their stained, holed clothes. "We are isolated from the rest of the world."

The marines took Safwan without loss, although a tank hit a mine. "They had to clear that route through. They found the way to punch through and about 10 Iraqi soldiers surrendered immediately," said Marine Sergeant Jason Lewis, from Denver, standing at a checkpoint at the entrance to the town where, minutes earlier, a comrade had folded a huge portrait of President Saddam and tucked it into his souvenir box.

The welcome, he admitted, had been cool. "At first they were a little hesitant," he said. "As you know, Saddam's a dictator, so we've got to reassure them we're here to stay _ We tore down the Saddam signs to show them we mean business.

"Hopefully this time we'll do it right, and give these Iraqis a chance of liberty."

But the marines' presence was light. They had not brought food, medicines, or even order. All day hundreds of armoured vehicles poured through the town. But they did not stop, and the looting continued. Every government establishment seemed to be fair game. People covered their faces in shame as they carried books out of a school. Tawfik Mohammed, the headmaster, initially denied his school had been looted, then admitted it. "This is the result of your entering," he said. "Whenever any army enters an area it becomes chaos. We are cautious about the future. We are very afraid."

Safwan yesterday was a place where people were constantly taking you aside to warn in veiled terms that it was necessary to be careful. Everywhere was the lingering fear that the revenge killings that swept the area in 1991 - a product of US encourage ment and then abandonment of the southern Iraqi revolt - could happen again.

"Now, we are afraid [Saddam's] government will come back," said Haider, as the Safwan Farmers' Cooperative was being looted behind him. "We don't trust the Americans any more. People made a revolution, and they didn't help us."

Safwan is a crumbling, dead-end place, full of poor, restless young men, and reliant on the tomato trade for its income. Farmers were panicking yesterday as they asked journalists, in lieu of anyone better, how they were supposed to sell their tomatoes.

A handful of soldiers, mainly US marines but with a few British, are struggling to cope with the chaos and the lack of health care or aid.

At a checkpoint just north of the town two British military policemen with paramedical training and a US doctor rushed to treat two Iraqi men brought in on the back of a beaten-up pick-up truck. Their legs were lacerated by shrapnel. The military policemen did their conscientious best, and may have saved their lives.
__________________

__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 03-22-2003, 05:20 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 04:15 PM
I think it is this type of story that will show why regime change is more important than disarmament. We could have inspected Iraq for months, discovered and destroyed whatever WMD they had, but this suppression would continue.
__________________

__________________
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 03-22-2003, 06:10 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
womanfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: moons of Zooropa
Posts: 4,199
Local Time: 12:15 AM
Agreed, it's not having WMD's, it's WHO has them.
__________________
womanfish is offline  
Old 03-22-2003, 10:33 PM   #4
Registered User
 
filledeperle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 203
Local Time: 07:15 PM
Some parts of this story was touching and sad to read.
I hope that the Iraqis would never feel abandoned again.

Perle
__________________
filledeperle is offline  
Old 03-22-2003, 11:14 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
hiphop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the jungle
Posts: 7,410
Local Time: 02:15 AM
Re: 'You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious'

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Safwan is a crumbling, dead-end place, full of poor, restless young men, and reliant on the tomato trade for its income. Farmers were panicking yesterday as they asked journalists, in lieu of anyone better, how they were supposed to sell their tomatoes.

A handful of soldiers, mainly US marines but with a few British, are struggling to cope with the chaos and the lack of health care or aid.
Good article. I can imagine some inhabitants are happy, others maybe not, but it is a good story.

I wonder what the marines answer when they┤re asked by farmers how to sell tomatoes. I don┤t think there are a lot of development workers at that place right now. What will the U.S. do about that, once the whole country is bombed and ruined (more than before, even if liberated or whatever)?

The United Nations Organizations will have to clean up the mess. So, I would expect the U.S. to give a few bil $ to the UNDP after the war, so they can do their job.
__________________
hiphop is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 02:37 AM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Michael Griffiths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Posts: 3,925
Local Time: 12:15 AM
Yes, hiphop, I agree that it is a good article. After watching a documentary on the people of Iraq, it is quite apparent not many have good feelings toward America or Saddam. It's a perception thing. After the first Gulf War, the US kind of left many of the Iraq people to fend for themselves. After Bush (Snr.) called for the uprising against Saddam, the people were pretty much abandoned to deal with Saddam's raids. And when the US imposed sanctions against Saddam, it was the people who suffered, obviously, and they attributed it to the US, not Saddam. Saddam uses religion as a form of propaganda to mold anti-Americanism. In the end, the Iraqi people's perception of the US isn't very favourable. Whether they are right or wrong is really beside the point. Their perception is their reality. I sincerely hope that this time the US takes great steps to mold a different perception.
__________________
Michael Griffiths is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 09:21 AM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
80sU2isBest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,970
Local Time: 07:15 PM
Michael Griffiths, I can't believe I agree with you. I didn't know until recently how Bush Snr's administration left the Iraqi rebellion out to dry after the first gulf war. I have lost almost every bit of respect for the man as a president. As a soldier in WW2, I stil, respect him, but as a pres, it just makes me mad that he encouraged the rebellion and then ordered our armed forces to stand by and do nothing when Saddam was able to regroup and slaughter the rebels. I really can't imagine G.W. Bush not fulfilling his Iraqi obligations, however.
__________________
80sU2isBest is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 10:03 AM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,573
Local Time: 07:15 PM
Is tomato farming the entire economy of Safwan? It sure seems like it, based on a few other articles I've read.

While their business is being disrupted, maybe the US or UN should send them seeds of other vegetables so that they don't have to live on their tomatoes for the next n weeks.
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 11:01 AM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
hiphop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the jungle
Posts: 7,410
Local Time: 02:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Is tomato farming the entire economy of Safwan? It sure seems like it, based on a few other articles I've read.

While their business is being disrupted, maybe the US or UN should send them seeds of other vegetables so that they don't have to live on their tomatoes for the next n weeks.
I agree, speedracer. First, though, the US or UN (or Europe, for a change) should find out what can be planted there. Seeds would be useless if they don┤t grow.
__________________
hiphop is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 03:45 PM   #10
Acrobat
 
cloudimani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 483
Local Time: 12:15 AM
There is no legal basis for regime change in this war though. Come to think of it, there's no legal basis for this war
__________________
cloudimani is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 05:46 PM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Michael Griffiths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Posts: 3,925
Local Time: 12:15 AM
Cloudimani - that is one argument. Many believe it to be a violation of international law, and some say there may be the possibility that Bush could be charged with war crimes. However, given his position and the fact that the entire country is now behind him, I can't see how anything could be enforced. But what do I know. I must say, I don't fully trust Bush. I do suspect there is more to this than meets the eye. What's that saying? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I find it odd how quickly the focus changed from Al Quada to Iraq. It happened in a rather peculiar way to say the least. But, as I've said, now is no longer the time to question how we got here, but to deal with the present situation.

Oh, 80sU2isBest:

You hardly ever agree with me? I didn't think I was that extreme in my views.
__________________
Michael Griffiths is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 06:16 PM   #12
Acrobat
 
cloudimani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 483
Local Time: 12:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
Cloudimani - that is one argument. Many believe it to be a violation of international law, and some say there may be the possibility that Bush could be charged with war crimes. However, given his position and the fact that the entire country is now behind him, I can't see how anything could be enforced. But what do I know. I must say, I don't fully trust Bush. I do suspect there is more to this than meets the eye. What's that saying? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I find it odd how quickly the focus changed from Al Quada to Iraq. It happened in a rather peculiar way to say the least. But, as I've said, now is no longer the time to question how we got here, but to deal with the present situation.
I dont agree with the notion that now the invasion is underway and that Bush has the support of the majority of Americans that we should all put away our arguments and wave our lovely little stars and stripes (fat chance of that happening with me anyway )

You might say ok, so the US are making a mockery of international law, but look they're toppling an oppressive regime. But where does it stop? Why does the US have the divine right to decide who needs dealt with and who doesnt, and how?

No of course Bush will never face action for what he is doing, unfortunately thats just representative of the world order today. Who would dare go and get him even if charges were to be brought?
__________________
cloudimani is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 06:22 PM   #13
I'm a chauvinist leprechaun
 
Lemonite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Notre Dame, IN, 46556
Posts: 1,072
Local Time: 12:15 AM

Nice attempts to sabotage the thread.. Arguments can be made that it is Bush and Blair who are actually trying to keep the UN legitimate. But that's another thread..

While we're on Appreciative Iraqis...

Excerpt from an Article I lost the Link To:
"The men, a few children, and one woman spoke to at least three soldiers who got out of their vehicles. Many shook the soldiers' hands or embraced them, and some kissed the soldiers' cheeks.

God bless you, thank you very much," said some of the villagers, according to translations by Kuwaiti TV.

"We do not want the oil. Take it. Take it. But build the country. We want to live, we want to travel, we want to walk. It cannot always be the pressure of war, war, destruction, destruction," one villager said. "Enough, enough. We are fed up, fed up. Long live the soldiers."

Mr. Pink
__________________
"When People Feel Uncertain, they'd rather have somebody who is Strong and Wrong than somebody who is Weak and Right."

--Bill Clinton
Lemonite is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 09:17 PM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Michael Griffiths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Posts: 3,925
Local Time: 12:15 AM
There was no sabotage. This is all part of the topic. The topic was how some Iraqis are appreciative, but there was also some mention of the anti-Americanism in that very article, which also needs to be addressed. This issue is so much more complicated than one superficial viewpoint. There are many viewpoints that need to be expressed.
__________________
Michael Griffiths is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 09:24 PM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Michael Griffiths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Posts: 3,925
Local Time: 12:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by cloudimani


I dont agree with the notion that now the invasion is underway and that Bush has the support of the majority of Americans that we should all put away our arguments and wave our lovely little stars and stripes (fat chance of that happening with me anyway )

You might say ok, so the US are making a mockery of international law, but look they're toppling an oppressive regime. But where does it stop? Why does the US have the divine right to decide who needs dealt with and who doesnt, and how?

No of course Bush will never face action for what he is doing, unfortunately thats just representative of the world order today. Who would dare go and get him even if charges were to be brought?
No, I don't think we should stop all criticism, either. It's just that now we must deal with the reality of the situation. What is the best way to deal with what is going on now? How should the US utilize the scenario so it results in the least possible damage, overall? How should the US and others rebuild the country and what kind of government should they (or the UN) install, consisting of which people? What measures are they going to take to ensure the Iraqi people benefit the most and not resent this invasion? These and many other issues need to be addressed, now that this war has already begun. That's all I was saying.
__________________

__________________
Michael Griffiths is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright ┬ę Interference.com