Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, February 21, 2003

There are reports that the Shia Muslims of southern Iraq are prepared to rebel against Saddam as soon as British and American troops arrive.

Shia Muslims of southern Iraq will mount an uprising against Saddam Hussein as soon as US and British troops invade, according to travellers reaching Iraqi Kurdistan from government-controlled territory yesterday.

"I think there will be an intifada [uprising] in the towns and villages of the south," said one man, from the Shia holy city of Najaf on the Euphrates. The man, who did not want his name published, had left Najaf, south-west of Baghdad, to escape arrest by Iraqi security men the day before and fledby paying bribes at checkpoints.

The same story was repeated by other travellers reaching Iraqi Kurdistan, which is outside the control of the Iraqi government. "If there is any sign of weakness on the part of the government there will be an uprising," a shopkeeper from Baghdad said. He expected that the several million Shia Arabs in the capital would rebel in the districts where they predominate such as Al-Thawra, Al-Zaafarania and Al-Shulla.

< email | 2/21/2003 03:03:00 PM | link

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