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, April 09, 2003

Kuwaitis are happy fr the Iraqis because they still remember.

Ahmad, a 40-year-old, was watching events unfold as he had his hair cut at a barber shop in Kuwait City.

"It's all very interesting. The images of the statue are amazing. It's a new era in the Arab world, and we're happy to see that. We hope there will be new democracy in the Arab world ... yes, the war was worth it," he told AFP.

"People in Kuwait are happy with these scenes but they want the man himself," said Sulaiman Ibrahim.

"Kuwaitis have a personal vendetta with Saddam. It's interesting that the Arab television stations are stunned, unable to understand what's going on while Kuwait was many steps ahead in anticipating the Iraqi response," Sulaiman said.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah congratulated Iraqis "on their liberation" and praised "the enormous efforts by the coalition forces."

"The brotherly Iraqi people have suffered from several wars over these long years. They have the right to enjoy freedom and benefit from the wealth that has been stolen from them," he said in a statement.

Abdul Aziz, a Kuwaiti financial advisor, said he felt "great, but we wish they would catch Saddam, this is really what we want. And we want the Iraqi people to judge him."

"I feel very, very happy," said Fatma Mulla. "I'm so happy for the Iraqi people. They're dancing in the streets. It's good the war has ended.

"But where is the Republican Guard and the Iraqi resistance? I think it was all lies," said Mulla, who confessed to watching television non-stop since the start of three-week war.

"I want them to catch Saddam alive, and his two sons ... then hand them to the Kurds and to the Iraqis in the south, then I'd like to see what will happen. This is my dream," said civil servant Talib Abbas.

The Iraqi people "are being liberated. They couldn't even talk about Saddam before the liberation," Abbas added.

Virtually everywhere here, the response was the same. Kuwaitis say they have waited more than 12 years to watch the downfall of Saddam, whose seven-month occupation and repeated threats thereafter tormented this tiny emirate.

"This is a natural development following (US-led) military operations which started three weeks ago to liberate Iraq and bring freedom for the Iraqi people," a senior Kuwaiti official said of Wednesday's events.

"It's what we expected in fact, from day one," the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

"I've been glad since the war started ... this was an expected end," said Mohammed al-Jassim, editor of the mass-circulating Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan.

"Sure, I welcome it, not just as a Kuwaiti but as an Arab who wants to see a good future. The fall of Saddam will give the other states enough indication that they have to do something for their own people or they may face the same future.

"Today is a clear lesson for dictatorships in the Arab world. I think they should start looking for ways to change their people's lives," said Jassim.

< email | 4/09/2003 03:38:00 PM | link

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