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

Monday, March 31, 2003

More evidence of why there are not a lot of defectors.

Fallah, 42, was a sergeant in the Iraqi regular army until he surrendered to U.S. forces Sunday near the Shiite holy city of Najaf.

Wearing a loose civilian robe and eating military rations given to him by American troops, Fallah appears gaunt and weary. He says he had not eaten in days.

He says that weeks before the start of the war, Saddam dispatched trusted members of his paramilitary force, the Fedayeen, to towns in central and southern Iraq to quell civilian dissent and to intimidate regular Iraqi army troops in the field. Fallah says the Fedayeen threatened to execute his family if he refused to fight the Americans.

Many Iraqi regular army defections and desertions have been reported since the war began 12 days ago. Coalition officials say they now hold as many as 8,000 prisoners of war, many of whom have surrendered. But Fallah says he believes many more Iraqis would surrender if it were not for Fedayeen threats and strong-arm tactics.

Fallah predicts once Saddam is gone, the people will rise up and retaliate against the Fedayeen. He says he believes the Fedayeen fighters know that and that explains why they are fighting so hard not to lose this war.

< email | 3/31/2003 07:52:00 PM | link

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