Dissidents say stop the bombing


By Peter Boyle

"We don't support Saddam Hussein, and we are against his occupation of Kuwait, but we are also against the bombing of Baghdad and other cities and towns in Iraq because innocent children, women and men are being killed", Abu Salam, a representative of the Union of Iraqi Democrats in Australia, told Green Left.

"The bombing is punishing these innocents for the crimes of the dictatorship. The American and Australian governments should know this because they supported Saddam Hussein's dictatorship even when it started the war against Iran ...

"We call on the American and other foreign forces, including Australia's, to withdraw from the region, and we call on the Iraqi army to withdraw from Kuwait and let the people of Kuwait decide what kind of government they want for themselves."

Mahmut Onay, the secretary of the Australian Democratic Kurdish Association, takes a similar position. His group includes Kurdish people who live in Iraq and Turkey, and they too call for an end to the war.

"We are fighting for democracy for Iraq and self-determination for the Kurdish people. Saddam Hussein has to go, but we do not support the war against Iraq."

Onay said that Kurdish partisans in the mountains of north-east Iraq had stopped fighting against the Iraqi army because they "did not want to be part of America's war against Iraq".

All the Kurdish parties in Iraq (Kurdish Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdish section of the Iraqi Communist Party) had united in a front called Terger. In December, the Kurdish parties had joined with other opposition groups in a broader united front, the Iraqi National Joint Action Committee, to build a democratic government to replace Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, he said.