'The bombers will be back soon'

With the Saddam regime toppled and hostilities inside Iraq winding down, anti-war organisations speak frankly of their fears for the future and the campaign against the conflict

Interviews by Zebunnisa Hamid
Monday April 14, 2003


Dreadful things are happening in Iraq right at present. There is looting and murdering. No law and order, and no basic utilities like electricity and water. This increases the risk of widespread diseases among thousands of people, and especially children. This will lead to more death for Iraqi people.

Iraq is an occupied country. We marched to protest against this occupation with slogans like "Stop the killing" and "Stop the occupation".
Stop the War Coalition

The fall of Baghdad was a momentous event for Iraqis because an oppressive regime came to end. But what we saw were a few dozen - not hundreds of people - celebrating on the streets. Iraqi people are still afraid in the face of an American colonial power. Any new government will be a puppet regime working towards what the US wants.

To suggest that before the war Iraq was not a functioning society is untrue. Iraqis are very capable of running their country and do not need the Americans and British to do it. There is a need for an international police force and the restoration of the United Nations involvement.

The disappearance of Saddam opens another episode like that of Osama bin Laden with the US going into another country looking for them.
Muslim Association of Britain (joint organisers of Saturday's march with Stop the War Coalition)

We are delighted that the casualties were not heavier. Fighting in Baghdad could have been worse. But we have a long way to go with the north and the Kurds. The possibility of a viable democratic Iraq is unlikely because it will most probably run counter to American interests.

There are still a lot of cluster bomb carrying aircraft at Fairford. This means places in Iraq are still being bombed - and this after the fall of Baghdad. The first war was in Afghanistan, Iraq is the second. These bombers might be back soon to bomb some other place like Syria, Iran or some other country.

We continue to hold a vigil and work towards freedom and justice for the world and oppose this ill thought out war against terrorism.
Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors

We are not surprised by what is happening - everybody knew America would win and that people would be thrilled when the regime collapsed. But the B-52s are still loading bombs although there is no need continue to bomb Iraq. A ceasefire should be called so that the death toll doesn't rise.

There is an enormous humanitarian crisis. Supplies are not getting through and the way the goods are being delivered is not dignified or efficient. The channels and relationships built over the last five years during the Oil For Food programme should be used for this, with funding coming straight from the US and Britain as the occupying power according to the Geneva Convention.

Over the past 12 years the Iraqis have had to pay for the last war reconstruction - 30% of their oil sales have gone into the fund. If the people are going to be free of Saddam then they should be free of his debts as well - war and external debts that add up to some 400m. There is a campaign called the Jubilee Iraq Campaign by Oxford students working on debt relief.

There are going to be many problems when the rebuilding of Iraq starts. We need to make sure that the incoming Iraqi administration issues contracts themselves so they secure the best deals for Iraqi people.

People need to be held accountable. Just because the US and UK won this war doesn't mean that everything they did was right. We still think it was an immoral and unjust war.
Active Resistance to the Roots of War

We are very concerned about the law and order situation unfolding in Iraq and a lot needs to be done. We are hoping to go into Iraq as soon as we can - security being a concern at the moment - but hopefully in the next days and see what is really happening there for ourselves.
Oxfam Conflict Campaign



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Chronology
14.04.2003: Timeline: day 26 of war