News




DATE=6/9/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-40637
TITLE=IRAQIS AGAINST SADDAM
BYLINE= ED WARNER
DATELINE= WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRODUCTION:  IRAQIS WHO ARE OPPOSED TO SADDAM HUSSEIN HAVE BEEN
ORGANIZING PROTESTS IN VARIOUS U-S CITIES WITH THE AIM OF HIS 
EVENTUAL OVERTHROW.  THEY HAVE BEEN WELL RECEIVED AND HARDLY 
ENCOUNTER ANY DISAGREEMENT, BUT AS V-O-A'S ED WARNER REPORTS, 
ANALYSTS SAY THEY ARE A LONG WAY FROM REACHING THEIR GOAL.

TEXT:  THERE ARE COUNTLESS GRIM STORIES OUT OF IRAQ -- WITH 
COUNTLESS VICTIMS.  ONE IS A YOUNG KURDISH MAN NOW IN THE UNITED 
STATES WHO RECALLS THE DEATHS OF HIS PARENTS AND TWO SISTERS AT 
THE HANDS OF IRAQI SECURITY FORCES.  HE SAYS THE FAMILY WAS TAKEN
TO AN OPEN PIT, SHOT AND PUSHED IN.  THE BOY, 11 YEARS OLD AT THE
TIME, WAS WOUNDED BUT SURVIVED.  HE MANAGED TO REACH A HOUSE 
WHOSE ARAB OCCUPANTS HID HIM AND NURSED HIM BACK TO HEALTH.  IN 
TIME, HE WAS TAKEN TO AMERICA.  

WITH THIS AND OTHER ATROCITIES IN MIND, A GROUP OF IRAQIS HELD A 
DEMONSTRATION RECENTLY AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL IN WASHINGTON.  IT
WAS THE LAST STOP OF A BUS TOUR ACROSS THE UNITED STATES INTENDED
TO IMPRESS AMERICANS WITH THE CONTINUING BRUTAL OPPRESSION IN 
IRAQ.

IN BRILLIANT SUNSHINE, WITH HELICOPTERS WHIRRING OVERHEAD, MAZIN 
YOUSIF ASKED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COURT TO PUT SADDAM HUSSEIN ON 
TRIAL FOR HIS MANY ALLEGED CRIMES AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE:

                                // YOUSIF ACT //

         WE ARE DEMANDING TO FREE IRAQ FROM SADDAM HUSSEIN.  WE 
         ARE DEMANDING TO FREE IRAQ OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.  WE 
         ARE DEMANDING TO FREE IRAQ OF THE UNITED NATIONS 
         SANCTIONS THAT ARE ONLY CRIPPLING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
         OF IRAQ, BUT  NOT  EVEN PUTTING A DENT INTO THE 
         GOVERNMENT OF SADDAM HUSSEIN.

                                 // END ACT //

MR. YOUSIF, NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE FREE IRAQ CAMPAIGN, SAID ALL
OPPONENTS OF SADDAM HUSSEIN ARE UNITED IN AN EFFORT TO REMOVE HIM
-- CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, TURKMEN, SYRIANS, ARABS, KURDS. 

THAT IS THE AIM, BUT IT IS  NOT  QUITE REALIZED, SAYS DANIEL 
BYMAN, A POLICY ANALYST AT RAND, A WASHINGTON RESEARCH 
ORGANIZATION.  HE SAYS THERE ARE SERIOUS DIVISIONS AMONG THE 
OPPOSITION, AS WAS THE CASE IN NORTHERN IRAQ WHEN TWO KURDISH 
FACTIONS FOUGHT EACH OTHER, AND ONE ENLISTED HELP FROM SADDAM 
HUSSEIN. 

BUT MR. BYMAN SAYS MEMBERS OF THESE GROUPS COULD CONSTITUTE A 
GOVERNMENT IN WAITING IF THE IRAQI LEADER BEGINS TO FALTER: 

                                // BYMAN ACT //

         THERE ARE CERTAINLY MANY IRAQIS BOTH IN THE UNITED 
         STATES AND IN THE REGION ITSELF THAT ARE SUITABLE IN 
         TERMS OF WHAT THE UNITED STATES IS LOOKING FOR.  THEY 
         ARE SKILLED.  THEY ARE WELL EDUCATED.  THEY HAVE THE 
         RIGHT DEMOCRATIC AND HUMANITARIAN IMPULSES.  BUT THEY 
         ARE NEITHER ORGANIZED, NOR DO THEY HAVE A LOT OF 
         SUPPPORT FRANKLY, AMONG PEOPLE WITH GUNS.  AND RIGHT NOW
         THAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN WEAKENING SADDAM'S CONTROL 
         OVER IRAQ ITSELF, AND THE OPPOSITION AT THE MOMENT IS  
         NOT  CAPABLE OF DOING THAT.  

                                   // END ACT //

MR. BYMAN SAYS THE OPPOSITION GROUPS MUST OVERCOME PERSONAL 
ANIMOSITIES, SINCE THEY ALL SHARE A COMMON AGENDA.  (SIGNED)

NEB/EW/MMK

09-Jun-98 2:36 PM EDT (1836 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.