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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Iraqi Kurd Supports War

“What most people have to realize is that Iraqi people are dying by starvation, by malnutrition, by Saddam [Hussein]’s brutal security apparatus,” says Vahal Abdulrahman, a twenty-one-year-old Political Science major and senior at UMass Boston. Like much of the UMB population, Abdulrahman is passionate about his views concerning the war in Iraq. Protests, buttons, and signs pronouncing faith in or disgust for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” have become commonplace on campus. This Iraqi-Kurd and proponent of the war, however, offers a unique perspective on to the debate.

“This war is not turning a peace-filled nation into a chaotic one,” Vahal asserts. “Iraqi people are already dying. I support the removal of Saddam Hussein one hundred twenty percent. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who must be removed by any means necessary, including by war.”

Drawing from his own awareness as a former resident of Northern Iraq, Vahal dispels the notion that the Iraqi people support their current regime. “It’s safe to say that the majority of Iraqis are whole-heartedly against Saddam Hussein, but at the same time if the U.S. and the so-called coalition must appeal to the Iraqi people as liberators, they must do it right.” He adds that assessing the degree to which liberation takes place will take time. “That will be determined in the post-Saddam period, and by whether a government that is pluralistic, representative, and democratic is installed as opposed to U.S. or U.K. military rule.

Abdulrahman rejects the idea that democracy is an unrealistic option for Iraq. “In response to those that say democracy isn’t a possibility – those people are underestimating the will of the Iraqi people, that not only deserve, but are perfectly capable of living in a democratic society,” he says.

Despite his convictions, Abdulrahman acknowledges the significance of the anti-war movement. “I think it’s a legitimate and god-given right for citizens to protest and question their government. Those that protest the war should think of the Iraqi people who don’t have that right,” he offers. Further, he rejects the anti-war mantra “No Blood for Oil.” “In my personal opinion, for whatever it’s worth, I don’t think this is entirely about oil, and Iraqi oil revenues are not currently being used for the prosperity of the Iraqi people.” He continues, “The United States has a set of its own interests, but that doesn’t mean that the Iraqis won’t benefit from this. I think that the Iraqi people will celebrate the end of the regime of Saddam Hussein regardless of who the liberator is.”

Abdulrahman feels that the real test of the validity of U.S. and coalition motives will follow the actual conflict. “If Saddam and all the Ba’athi institutions are eliminated and a government of Iraqis is formed, then it would be a liberation. The outcome of this conflict will determine whether it is a war of liberation,” he explains. “Iraqi people are dying. The bottom line is, the end of Saddam’s regime will be the end of decades of oppression and suffering. That said, I pray that this war will quickly end with minimal civilian casualties.”