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Tens of 1000s Iraqi Kurds Hail US Liberators

"I was born today," said Ahmad Yussuf, 25, surrounded by young men and women waving PUK banners and the flags of Kurdistan and Iraq. "May Bush and Blair live forever; they have made our dearest dream come true," they yelled.

Kind of says it all doesn't it?
Wednesday April 9, 11:50 PM
Tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds hail US "liberators"
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AFP Photo


Thousands of jubilant Kurds took to the streets of two key cities in their autonomous region of northern Iraq to celebrate the fall of Baghdad to US troops.

A carnival atmosphere reigned in Sulaymaniya as tens of thousands of people danced and sang at the news that US tanks controlled the heart of Baghdad.

With a sense of liberation after years of tyranny and repression at the hands of President Saddam Hussein, they brandished pictures of US President George W. Bush and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani.

The joyous crowd hailed as conquering heroes a dozen members of the US special forces operating in the area, who had been keeping a low profile.

As the Americans were paraded through the streets, they were jostled and embraced amid a shower of kisses from all sides.

"I kissed them, I kissed them," shouted Mahmud Kerim, tears of happiness welling up in his eyes, "and I kiss the hands and feet of George W. Bush," he added before carrying on his way, kissing everyone in sight.

The soldiers have kept a discreet presence since being parachuted into the area a week ago to engage in operations aimed at the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, but emerged from their makeshift headquarters to join in Wednesday's impromptu celebrations.

Cars paraded around the town, horns blaring, and many of their occupants fired shots into the air in high spirits at the impending demise of the hated Baath party regime.

Kerim confided that "like every Kurdish family" his had suffered under the iron rule of Saddam. "They killed 10 of my family and today feels like a rebirth for me," he said.

The Kurds have never forgotten the vicious chemical weapons attacks on them at the end of the eight-year war with Iran in 1988 or the way their uprising against the regime was cruelly quashed in 1991 after the last Gulf War.

As television images from Baghdad showed effigies of the hated Saddam being burned on the streets of the capital, the Kurds danced, laughing uncontrollably, with a sense that the years of hoping for his overthrow was finally nearing fruition.

At the same time, Kurdish peshmergas (fighters) were massing in the town of Chamchamal and reinforcements were being brought in by road, ready to push on to the key towns of Kirkuk and Mosul.

But in Sulaymaniya, as the crowd chanted incessantly "Bush, we kiss your hand", they were beginnng what one Kurd anticipated as "a celebration which will last a whole week".

"I was born today," said Ahmad Yussuf, 25, surrounded by young men and women waving PUK banners and the flags of Kurdistan and Iraq. "May Bush and Blair live forever; they have made our dearest dream come true," they yelled.

Behind him a comrade yelled: "We are free." But his words seemed to reignite the anger at Saddam and as one, the crowd yelled: "Let him be torn limb from limb, cut up into little pieces and turned into a kebab."

Iraqi Kurdistan has enjoyed autonomy under the protection of US and British air patrols since the the end of the Gulf War, with government shared between the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani.

At Arbil, in KDP territory, some 1,000 people also took to the streets in celebration, also firing in the air and waving portraits of Barzani.

"I was watching television when I realized that US forces were in control of most of the Iraqi capital, and I saw Baghdadis going out en masse to express their joy. I found myself spontaneously going out too," said 19-year-old Zana Sami.

"You can't imagine how happy I am. I have family in Baghdad and (the northern city of) Mosul, and I will at last be able to visit them," he said.

Some of the people fired in the air, others turned on car radios playing Kurdish songs and some raised portraits of Mustafa Barzani, the KDP leader's legendary father.

The crowds included residents of Kirkuk who had been displaced by Iraqi forces from the oil-rich northern city that Kurds hope will become the capital of their autonomous region in a federal post-Saddam Iraq.

They expressed relief that the threat of chemical weapons from Saddam's regime now seemed remote, but the euphoria could not totally erase the memory of the poison gas attack that left about 5,000 Kurds dead in the town of Halabja on March 16, 1988.

"I am very happy that we no longer need fear a chemical attack. Arbil residents were until now living with the dreadful prospect that such an attack may recur," said Mohammed Hussein.

"Saddam, it's over to us now. And we have not forgotten Halabja," echoed his friend, who gave his name as Ari, 23. "Saddam and all his aides must be tried for war crimes."

But Saad Fafar, a 30-year-old Christian, while sharing the general happiness, had other priorities.

"I have been without news of my parents in Baghdad for several days. I hope they have not been hurt by the bombardments" by US and British forces since war began on March 20, he said.
the first gone now bush/blair 09.Apr.2003 11:04

wElp

the fucking first fascist gone and now the two next ones.

Heres my argument.

Saddam is a really big fascist. Thats understandable. Everyone knows that he a bad bad man. So why do we have to create sanctions for the last 10 years that have killed over 500,000 children? Those kids werent fascist. Why do we have to start a war thats going to kill that many more civilians to take out one dictator?

2nd point. I want you warmongers to ask every dead iraqi kid who cant make a choice whethor they are happier now or with saddam because there brains are laying on the ground next to them because of the us imperialist war machine. Ask them whethor there US freedom and liberty were better then there life.

FUCK YOU! You shitheads. Fuck all the people who say that any childs life is worth that fascism that will be installed by the u.s. FUCK YOU!

liberated limbs 09.Apr.2003 11:26

li'l kebab

I'd like to wave my flag Mr. Bush, but unfortunately you bombed my arms off. That's OK though. After watching American TV news, I've learned people don't mind losing their limbs for the right to take orders from the American empire.
liberated limbs
liberated limbs

Gee Mr thank u 09.Apr.2003 11:46

critical thought

That was so beautiful I have a tear in my eye. Yes. It reminds me of a very beautiful and inspiring film I once say. Maybe u remember it? It's called "Triumph of Will."

and the point of this post? 09.Apr.2003 12:16

ranger

The Iraqis don't want Saddam and they don't want the U.S. Pretty much a known fact. This was none of our damn business, in the first place. Oh, remember Osama. I wonder where he went? What about Anthrax, you know the pharmaceutical rep or gov't lab tech that sent this stuff out to you all? Gee, then there's 9-11. What was the result of the investigation? Let me see; Kissinger was pulled off the case, oh that's right Saddam did it! Now I understand. Okay, we can all go soundly to sleep again. zzzzzzzz