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Iraqi's phone in Their Last Wills

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YellowTimes.org News Update March 19, 2003:
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"In the coming weeks, YellowTimes.org is going to be releasing more articles than usual. Because war may erupt in Iraq, YellowTimes.org wants to keep its readers well informed of current events."
"Iraqis phone in their last wills"
Printed on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 @ 02:19:05 EST
 http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=1169

By Firas Al-Atraqchi
YellowTimes.org Columnist (Canada)

(YellowTimes.org) - Baghdad, Iraq is in a state
of psychological disarray.

Families with financial means have started to
crowd buses leaving Baghdad for the outlying
villages, towns, and cities within Iraq, and for Syria,
Jordan and Iran.

Iraqis abroad have scrambled to send money to
third-party intermediaries in Jordan, Syria, and the
United Arab Emirates, hoping their families in
Iraq will receive these necessary funds within the
next 48 hours.

"I just sent 500 dollars (U.S.) to my sister in
Dubai," said an Iraqi living in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, who preferred not to be identified. "I hope
she can get it to my mother in Saddam City. She
has no one to take care of her -- if the American
smart bombs don't kill her, I am afraid of the
civil strife."

Baghdadis are preparing for the worst after U.S.
President George Bush's latest threats and are
fully aware that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
will destroy Iraq before letting someone else take
it over.

"We know he will burn [Iraq]. He will burn the
oil, and he will burn himself if need be. He will
never surrender. The only way to take Iraq from
him is to kill everyone in Iraq first," said Azad,
38, from Amman, after slipping across the
Iraq-Jordan border earlier this morning.

Iraqis are expecting to die in the next few days
and seem resigned to whatever faith befalls them.
Many Iraqis with the means to do so have phoned
relatives living abroad and given them last minute
instructions concerning estates, finances, family
concerns and wills.

"He told me to look after my children and, after
the war, go and look for my father's home," said
a tearful Inas, an Iraqi widow living in Houston,
Texas, as she recalled her brother's last phone
message to her from Iraq.

"He told me to keep my faith in Allah because he
is bigger than Bush, bigger than Saddam and
bigger than life and death

The impending death and carnage has put Iraq's
neighbors in high alert status as they rush to
erect makeshift sanctuary for an expected 900,000
Iraqi refugees in the next few days. International
aid agencies, however, are baffled by the low
dedication and involvement of the U.S. government to
ensure that they have adequate water, health, and
food services for such contingencies. United
Nations relief officials have admitted they have less
than 30 percent of the funds they were promised.

The chaotic planning and rush to get out of
Baghdad comes on the heels of the U.N.'s announcement
that its entire remaining staff was pulling out
of Iraq within the next 24 hours.

At approximately 11:00pm EST, IAEA chief Mohammed
Al Baradei received a call from U.S. officials
advising him and UNMOVIC head Hans Blix to pull
their inspection teams from Iraq immediately.

Former U.N. inspectors interviewed on early
morning news broadcasts revealed that the inspection
teams currently in Iraq are likely to express
frustration and anger over the derailment of a
process they believed was working in disarming Iraq of
alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Political and military analysts have said for
some time now that the marching orders of the
inspections team would serve as the most telling sign
that war is imminent.

Meanwhile, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein vowed
to fight the invading U.S. and British forces with
knives and stones if need be "wherever there is
air, land, sea."

In the days to come, as the Independent's Robert
Fisk has pointed out, most news from Iraq will be
censored. Despite a less than glorious track
record, Al Jazeerah news will likely be the most
reliable source of news.

Thankfully, the American public will be spared
the scenes of carnage, devastation and mass death
about to be inflicted on the Iraqi people.

They will only be told war stories of heroism and
compassion.

The compassion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The only thing that remains right now is to pray,
although I believe the Iraqi people may have
given up on that temporarily.

So pray for the Iraqi people. Pray for a people
caught between the brutality of two leaders.

God bless the Iraqi people. God bless Iraq.

Good night.

[Firas Al-Atraqchi, B.Sc (Physics), M.A.
(Journalism and Communications), is a Canadian journalist
with eleven years of experience covering Middle
East issues, oil and gas markets, and the telecom
industry.]

Firas Al-Atraqchi encourages your comments:
 fatraqchi@YellowTimes.org

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