Waiting for the End
How is the atmosphere among Iraqis in the Jordanian capital city?
Ali Abdul Amir: Waiting. What else can the Iraqis do but wait? It is what they have been doing for years. As long as they are not able to convert their ideas and feelings into reality, there is nothing to do but wait. Besides, there is now a very promising feeling of hope, hope of a return home to an Iraq without Saddam. In addition to waiting and hoping, there is also endless anxiety about the results of the bombing, which the people may face or anxiousness about Saddam’s “revenge”. As he once said, he is not going to leave Iraq until it has been levelled to the ground!
How is the European stand towards the Iraqi crisis being evaluated?
Abdul Amir: If you mean the German-French stand with your question, I may tell you that there is a strong feeling of resentment among Iraqis here towards Schröder and Chiraque. The German Chancellor is looking for a “national” role for Germany through opposing the USA, but he is doing so at the expense of the Iraqi issue. It seems that the Chancellor, who claims that the American war is not fair, has turned out to be a marionette in the hands of the German arms industry, which helped Saddam rebuild his chemical arsenal, and after 1991, secretly helped rebuild many weapons production factories. The Chancellor says that the Germans have most experience of war, but he forgets that it was the American intervention in war that freed Germany. Not to mention that Germany would never have been able to enjoy its present economic and political level (democracy and unification) without the help of America. That’s how the Iraqis see Germany – they mock its Chancellor who has turned out to be a national hero for Saddam.
As for Chiraque, I don’t expect that he’ll remain in office longer than two months after the fall of Saddam.
Is there understanding for the American stand?
Abdul Amir: Yes, complete understanding. It is enough to have a quick look at all the Iraqi Web pages on the Internet to find tens of daily articles and comments (though different in points of view). They regard the American stand as a friendly one. This doesn’t however mean that there is a homogenous unity of opinion, since there are also the “Islamic” opinions which are suspicious of America and there are the historical positions of the Iraqi communist Left.
What are the expectations with regard to Europe and the dominating opinions among the Iraqis on peace demonstrations in different European countries?
Abdul Amir: The demonstrations shall increase but many Iraqis shall feel sorry and pained to see them. Those people did not react at all to the 400,000 Iraqi deaths caused by Saddam through the Kuwait war.
How are the responsibilities of the Arab World and the Arab leaders being discussed?
Abdul Amir: I think that, in an Iraq without Saddam, there shall be a new way of dealing with every Arab issue. The Arab regimes and their peoples have not cared very much about the massacres in Iraq. They do not want the ordeal of the Iraqis to come to an end because it gives them a cover to hide their own incompetence and inability.
Interview: Mona Naggar, Qantara.de
Translation from Arabic: Hassan El-Sherief
Ali Abdul Amir is an Iraqi journalist and correspondent of the Alhayat newspaper, who currently lives in Amman, Jordan.