Arabs Wonder Where is Iraqi Army?

The Arab world is shocked by the rapid and unexpected course of events in Iraq. Arabs are wondering why Baghdad in contrast to a small city of Umm-Qasr was taken without force and surrendered so fast. "Where is the Republican Guard, where are thousands of tanks?" a Jordanian engineer Tahsin Taufiq is asking himself a question. If the guardians had surrendered or had been destroyed, CNN or BBC would have shown it by all means. But we can see neither Iraqi Army officers, nor thousands or at least hundreds of destroyed or abandoned tanks." Judging by the situation, Tahsin Taufiq and other people who share his opinion arrive at a conclusion that the Iraq Army has deliberately left Baghdad and the war has not yet come to an end. Nobody knows where the Iraqi Army is re-deployed now. But many people hope that it will offer a battle to the U.S. troops.

Arabs are not disappointed with the fact that Saddam Hussein's regime has fallen. The Iraqi president has never enjoyed general love. But the challenge he gave to the USA found approval and support of plain Arabs dissatisfied with the U.S. support of Israel, interference with home affairs of Arab countries and the U.S. military presence in the region.

The three weeks' Iraq war has stirred up a wave of resentment and anger throughout the region. Hatred towards the USA and the UK was increasing in proportion to the number of innocent victims of war. Hundreds of public rallies swept across Arab countries. One could see Saddam's portraits at every public rally and people swore to give their lives for him.

"I personally did not like Saddam as well as many other Arabs," Mustafa Hejralla, a clerk of a hotel in Amman says. "Iraqis did not like him either. They were afraid of him. But I will never accept this war as it claimed lives and inflicted damage on the country. I will never believe George Bush saying that he was eager to liberate Iraqis from the Saddam's regime. If the USA were really concerned with the destiny of Iraqis they should have come to their rescue a couple of decades before, the States should not have assisted Saddam to develop chemical weapons he used against Kurds in Halabaja." Now, Mustafa believes, it does not matter whether Saddam Hussein is alive or dead. "Americans have already made a hero out of him. A lot of Arabs will remember him and he will inspire them to fight against injustice by Americans and their allies in Israel." However, many Arabs believe that the way Saddam will quit the game matters. "If he dies honourably it will give him a credit, if he surrenders and flees Iraq like a craven saving his bacon he will be forgotten forever," a Jordanian student Ibrahim Arafat says.

"Perhaps, Iraqis are happy that Saddam's regime has fallen," The Jordan Times reports, "but that does not mean that they will be happy that the old regime will be replaced by a new one imposed from outside. That does not mean that the violation of international law and the UN Charter by the 'coalition' as well as casualties and damage caused by the Iraq war can be justified as meant for the just case." That means that in the near future we will see the scenes of confrontation between Iraqis and U.S. occupants that have not been shown on TV," The Jordan Times reports.

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