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

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

More Iraqi exileshelping in the effort to end Saddam's rule.

Half a world away from the bombs in Baghdad and the desert firefights, the Naamas are waging their own campaign from the family's dining room in Chula Vista.

Abbas, Sabria and Esra Naama are Shiite Muslims who fled Iraq a decade ago and have since offered to help the U.S. government with information that could benefit American troops and defeat Saddam Hussein.

They urge their fellow Iraqis to do the same.

"It's because of our troops that we have freedom here," said Esra Naama, 23. "Oil, if that is the reason the United States is there, so be it.

"We would pay any price to be free. People ask, 'Aren't you afraid?' Our people are already dying, already suffering. Who is going to speak for them?"

Esra works through Women for Iraq. Her mother, Sabria Mahdi Naama, also belongs to the national organization.

"We need to share the responsibility to support our troops and also to participate in the great mission of Iraqi freedom," Abbas Naama said.

Meetings are held once, twice, sometimes more, each week. On Sunday, he spoke with an Iraqi from the same city where the American POWs might be imprisoned.

"We try to give them information," Naama said. "We actually contacted the FBI. As part of this society, we do what we can to serve this great country. We are trying to explain all the tricks that Saddam uses."

When they call their family in Iraq, they use a code to speak to them in order to convey information, Abbas Naama said.

"We are very proud of their work," Yousif said. "They have a big following in Iraq and when they say something, they speak for the people in the south of Iraq. They are a very well-respected family."

Abbas and Esra Naama will speak out again today in El Cajon at a news conference with other Iraqis living in San Diego County.

"We all like peace, but Saddam does not understand the language of peace," said Alan Zangana, director of the Kurdish Human Rights Watch. "For years, we tried to deal with him peacefully, but that doesn't work."

< email | 3/26/2003 11:26:00 AM | link

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