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Voices from Iraq


BBC News Online speaks to six Iraqis about their lives, fears and hopes.

Dr Mohammed Muthaffar Adhami has been an Iraqi MP for 12 years. He lived in London in the late 1970s and gained a doctorate in political science at London University. He now lives in Baghdad. He has four children, two in their 20s, and two in secondary school.

The people of Iraq are living their ordinary lives now. During Eid [the feast at the end of Ramadan] the mosques were crowded. People went there to pray and also to pray to God that this war can be avoided.

Everybody is worried about the threat by the Americans to launch an aggression against Iraq. As Iraqis we believe there is no reason for this war.

Now the general situation under sanctions is a little bit better than before. Now if you go to the market you can buy anything. The government rations are better than before
Now the general situation under sanctions is a little bit better than before. Now if you go to the market you can buy anything. The government rations are better than before, because the government is organising the amount of food that is given to the people free of charge – rice, wheat, tea, the basic things for living.

But the problem now is that it's very difficult to make ends meet, because of inflation resulting from the sanctions.

Will there be a war? It's really very difficult to say, but it seems to me that the war is coming. I don't know what kind of war it will be, but it is coming because they keep threatening.

When the inspection teams came after we accepted resolution 1441, the Americans kept saying: "No, they are not co-operating, their co-operation is not encouraging." So this means the inspections are only a pretext. They wanted resolution 1441 to be a cover through the UN to launch a war.

The US plan is to occupy the oil fields, to overthrow the Iraqi national government, to re-divide Iraq, and to solve the Palestinian question to the benefit of the Israelis. It will allow the Americans to control the whole world
The Americans' plan is to occupy the oil fields, to overthrow the Iraqi national government, to divide up Iraq, and to solve the Palestinian question to the benefit of the Israelis. It will allow the Americans to control the whole world because if we talk about oil, Iraq is a lake of oil. The last drop of oil in the world will be in Iraq.

Really sometimes their speeches and these threats are disgusting. It's not right. When they say they want to protect human rights, they actually want to overthrow the national government. This is interfering in our internal affairs, which is against the convention of the UN, against international law and against human rights.

That's why I feel it's not fair, it's not just. It is humiliating when we find ourselves co-operating and complying with everything they want. And, in the end, the US administration ignores it and says: "We are not satisfied… we are going to attack." Nobody should be expected to accept this.

Bombing all the time

My memories of the 1991 Gulf War are very sad. Forty-three days of bombing. I remember the first night. The sky was lit up just like day. My kids were very frightened, and I took them to my mother's house outside Baghdad.

The UN resolution at the time was about pushing the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. What happened was the Americans led the allies and destroyed the country. They destroyed the basis of life – there was no electricity, there was no water. It was very difficult to get food. Every moment there was bombing.

I don't like war, but if the war comes we have to fight. Of course everybody is worried about their children, because the children will be frightened, or might be killed or injured
Are people preparing for war? What can they do? Iraqis, as Muslims, believe that God has already decided the day of their death and inside everybody believes that.

Everything is ordinary now. There are no troops in the streets. There is nothing showing that the people are panicking or worried. But when the war comes, that will be a different matter. What do you do with rockets and airplanes bombing you? You sit with your family at home. Civilians can do nothing.

I would hate war, but if the war comes we have to fight. Of course everybody is worried about their children, because the children will be frightened, or might be killed or injured. But that doesn't mean we have to surrender.

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