Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iraqi prisoners: 'Happy to be here'
The Scotsman ^ | March 25, 2003 | GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN

Posted on 03/24/2003 5:49:52 PM PST by MadIvan

ARRIVING in dribs and drabs at the holding compound near Basra, the Iraqi prisoners of war are nervous and edgy, clearly worried about the fate awaiting them.

The Royal Engineers attached to the Royal Tank Regiment have taken over an old Iraqi military training school to house their prisoners, its white-walled entrance decorated with a picture of a smiling Saddam Hussein surrounded by images of a tank and a soldier giving the victory sign.

Yet many of the prisoners say their initial fears are misplaced. Ali, who claims to be a member of Iraq’s merchant navy, insists he is happy to be there.

His British captors say Ali - a married man with children, aged in his late thirties - has been the most helpful of all the prisoners, his broken English invaluable as the troops try to communicate with new arrivals. "We are happy to be here, we are very happy," he says. "We have food and water, we are happy to be here."

Smiling, he points to the cluster of men sitting on the ground, ringed by hoops of barbed wire behind him. Some of them jump up, also smiling, and wave.

Ali claims he is happy to see the British and US troops: "Here, it was hard before but now it is good."

At the mention of Saddam, he becomes animated, putting his hands around his throat, jabbing his finger at his head, gabbling over and over again: "Saddam, no, no, no," waving his hands again and again.

The prisoners receive medical attention, water and food; a rations box for two men contains two bottles of water, cheese, tinned stuffed aubergines, chocolate milk, biscuits, two tins of chicken luncheon meat, a can of orange juice, a tin of tuna steak, a tub of honey and two spoons.

At the compound gate, four heavily-armed soldiers stand guard, bayonets fixed to their machine guns and rifles. Behind them are armoured medical vehicles, their crews ready to offer medical attention to prisoners in need. For some, there is little that can be done; four were buried outside the compound last night.

On the perimeter of the compound, machine guns of armoured vehicles are trained on open land, criss-crossed with sandy ridges which offer perfect cover to bands of Iraqi soldiers who have thrown away their uniforms, but held on to their weapons, harassing and harrying British troops wherever they go.

Overseeing the PoWs is Sergeant Major "H" Harrison. He insists this is not a PoW camp but a holding compound, where prisoners are processed before being moved back to the rear.

Sgt Major Harrison says many of the officers who have given themselves up have freely offered information to the coalition forces. If someone of particular interest is found, they are fast-tracked through the system to be interviewed by intelligence experts.

He says: "Our priority is that once someone is taken as a PoW, they are removed from the combat area to be processed and identified."

Once the PoWs realise they are no longer in danger, the transformation is dramatic: "The reaction when they first arrive is one of uncertainty. You can see in their eyes it is clear that they are not sure what is going to happen. Startled rabbits is probably the best expression.

"But once they get food and water and medical treatment, that’s when their whole attitude changes; there are big grins, they are happy to be here. If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them. Then all they want is a cigarette."


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: blair; bush; iraq; pows; prisoners; saddam; uk; us; war
I have nothing but sympathy for the average Iraqi conscript; this is not a fight he chose, nor is it something he'd rather be doing. And this is proof.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 03/24/2003 5:49:52 PM PST by MadIvan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: maui_hawaii; JenB; SJackson; TigerLikesRooster; AZLadyhawke; Southflanknorthpawsis; meema; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 03/24/2003 5:50:05 PM PST by MadIvan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Here's a bttt.
3 posted on 03/24/2003 5:51:30 PM PST by truthkeeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Bump
4 posted on 03/24/2003 5:53:13 PM PST by Bigg Red (Defend America against her most powerful enemy -- the Democrats.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
its white-walled entrance decorated with a picture of a smiling Saddam Hussein surrounded by images of a tank and a soldier giving the victory sign

Seems to me destroying or covering up that image should be a high priority.

If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them

So . . . let's lend them some mobile phones.

5 posted on 03/24/2003 5:55:53 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
bttt
6 posted on 03/24/2003 5:55:56 PM PST by stands2reason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them

Not a bad idea actually.

7 posted on 03/24/2003 5:56:16 PM PST by TADSLOS (Sua Sponte)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
An everybody should read this bump.
8 posted on 03/24/2003 5:57:35 PM PST by terilyn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GovernmentShrinker
So . . . let's lend them some mobile phones

This would make a great Sprint commercial.

9 posted on 03/24/2003 5:57:40 PM PST by TADSLOS (Sua Sponte)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
tinned stuffed aubergines

Can you translate this?

10 posted on 03/24/2003 5:58:24 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Time to bomb Saddam!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative
aubergines = eggplant

Regards, Ivan

11 posted on 03/24/2003 5:59:29 PM PST by MadIvan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
I wonder what the regime is doing to their families?
12 posted on 03/24/2003 5:59:31 PM PST by tuckrdout
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Geneva Convention complying bump.
13 posted on 03/24/2003 6:00:00 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." GWB 9/20/01)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Then all they want is a cigarette.

I'm sure glad they didn't say we're handing out cigarettes. My God, if the smoking nazis heard that, they too would probably take to the streets!

14 posted on 03/24/2003 6:00:50 PM PST by Mister Baredog ((They wanted to kill 50,000 of us on 9/11, we will never forget!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
There was posted a link to a site showing why Iraqis want to depose Saddam.. I found thru that site another site.. re Assyrians .. with a message board.. it is very interesing .. they are VERY anti-Saddam.. and support the war with Iraq.. here is the message board url.

http://www.aina.org/bbs/index.cgi

15 posted on 03/24/2003 6:00:55 PM PST by Zipporah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
"The prisoners receive medical attention, water and food; a rations box for two men contains two bottles of water, cheese, tinned stuffed aubergines, chocolate milk, biscuits, two tins of chicken luncheon meat, a can of orange juice, a tin of tuna steak, a tub of honey and two spoons."

Meanwhile, the American prisoners receive interrogation, intimidation, torture, and execution.

16 posted on 03/24/2003 6:01:37 PM PST by New Horizon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative
tinned stuffed aubergines

stuffed eggplant

17 posted on 03/24/2003 6:03:20 PM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (Compassionate Conservative Curmudgeon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them.

LOL, what a great "secret weapon to end the war" that would be!

18 posted on 03/24/2003 6:03:29 PM PST by jennyp (http://lowcarbshopper.bestmessageboard.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
It's interesting that they were fearful until they were fed and watered. We know that we treat prisoners humanely, but the average Iraqi soldier appears to be unsure. We need to be broadcasting on our own TV channel into Baghdad, getting our message through. Can't we set up mobile transmitters?
19 posted on 03/24/2003 6:04:23 PM PST by maro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tuckrdout
My thought exactly.
20 posted on 03/24/2003 6:05:33 PM PST by stayathomemom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
I have nothing but sympathy for the average Iraqi conscript; this is not a fight he chose, nor is it something he'd rather be doing. And this is proof.

Agreed. The average Iraqi conscript will care more for the US soldier than the US human shield, when all is said and done.

21 posted on 03/24/2003 6:07:29 PM PST by Anamensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Bump!
22 posted on 03/24/2003 6:08:13 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: GovernmentShrinker
"...its white-walled entrance decorated with a picture of a smiling Saddam Hussein ..."

Seems to me destroying or covering up that image should be a high priority.

Deface it. Draw a moustache on it. Oh, wait...

23 posted on 03/24/2003 6:09:17 PM PST by Anamensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: TADSLOS
This would make a great Sprint commercial.

Abdul, can you hear me now? Good. Can you hear me now?? Good...

(Is that Sprint?)

24 posted on 03/24/2003 6:10:48 PM PST by Anamensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
I read accounts like this and it makes me so emotional. What a contrast to the way the Iraqui thugs are treating their prisoners of war. America ............the Beautiful.

Everybody, pray continuously for these POWs. Just throughout the day.."Lord please protect our troops, rescue our POWs, grant us a swift and complete victory, etc etc.

God bless America. God bless President Bush..and our troops.
25 posted on 03/24/2003 6:11:12 PM PST by diamond6 ("Everyone who is for abortion HAS been born." Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
LOL! Yeah I think so.
26 posted on 03/24/2003 6:12:57 PM PST by TADSLOS (Sua Sponte)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them.

IF??? Geez, give these guys some phones! What are we waiting for?

27 posted on 03/24/2003 6:16:18 PM PST by GLDNGUN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
Mcenter>
28 posted on 03/24/2003 6:16:20 PM PST by sweetliberty ("To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join them

Priceless!

29 posted on 03/24/2003 6:16:29 PM PST by NautiNurse (Usama bin Laden has produced more tapes than Steely Dan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
A report I heard on the radio today said that the POW's most anxious to give themselves up are just peasants. The military forces stick a gun in their hands, put a gun in their backs and force them to fight. They barely even feed them. I'd be glad to be in a US prison camp too!
30 posted on 03/24/2003 6:24:18 PM PST by CarolAnn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan

V

Great read. Thanks Ivan.

31 posted on 03/24/2003 6:25:54 PM PST by kimmie7 (Proud sis of an Army Captain - Proud daughter (and daughter-in-law) of WW2 vets - GO ARMY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kimmie7
Saddam called and said "Remember Baghdad" and well you know cell phones and all, I thought he said "surrender Baghdad"
32 posted on 03/24/2003 6:33:14 PM PST by Deepest South
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Deepest South
Happy to be here!! of course they are. If you rode around in the desert on a camel for months at a time wiping your butt with sand and eating cacti because you ran at of rations two days ago you would be happy too.
33 posted on 03/24/2003 6:42:34 PM PST by OneNation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
They are happy to be here, yet the Red Cross complains of the treatment they receive.

Go figure...
34 posted on 03/24/2003 7:08:55 PM PST by dixiechick2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
I really do feel sorry for them. They are the smart ones who figured it all out quickly. I hope this news gets out to the rest of them.

Cheers, CC :)

35 posted on 03/24/2003 7:15:26 PM PST by CheneyChick (Lock & Load)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: diamond6
The International Red Cross has formally charged the Allies with inhumane treatment of the POWs we are holding.

The International Red Cross has made no formal complaints about the treatment of Allied POWs in the hands of Saddam.
36 posted on 03/24/2003 7:27:21 PM PST by WaterDragon (Playing possum doesn't work against nukes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
"But once they get food and water and medical treatment, that’s when their whole attitude changes; there are big grins, they are happy to be here. If they had mobile phones, they would be calling their friends telling them to join the

Dammit, give 'em the phones then. They can call home and the news will spread like wildfire. surrender and live, or fight and die.

37 posted on 03/24/2003 7:57:38 PM PST by WOSG (Liberate Iraq! Lets Roll! now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
SH's picture would make a handy backstop to the urinal.
38 posted on 03/24/2003 8:24:25 PM PST by pollwatcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: WOSG
CELL PHONE FREEP - should we petition Sprint or AT&T to ship phones over there? That WOULD make a great ad and invaluable publicity!!!
39 posted on 03/24/2003 8:27:09 PM PST by pollwatcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: GovernmentShrinker
"So . . . let's lend them some mobile phones."



simple, but smart.


40 posted on 03/24/2003 8:28:25 PM PST by Bulldogs22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis

41 posted on 03/24/2003 8:29:38 PM PST by baseballmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: WaterDragon
The International Red Cross has formally charged the Allies with inhumane treatment of the POWs we are holding.

The International Red Cross has made no formal complaints about the treatment of Allied POWs in the hands of Saddam.

Are you serious?

42 posted on 03/24/2003 8:33:31 PM PST by Anamensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: baseballmom
Good juxtaposition!
43 posted on 03/24/2003 8:34:08 PM PST by Anamensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
Absolutely true.
44 posted on 03/24/2003 8:38:23 PM PST by WaterDragon (Playing possum doesn't work against nukes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: baseballmom
That's a fabulous photo! Thanks.
45 posted on 03/24/2003 8:39:27 PM PST by WaterDragon (Playing possum doesn't work against nukes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: TADSLOS
We could DROP the mobible phones with the hope the soldiers identify positions. Sure don't want them using them on our bases. LOL
46 posted on 03/25/2003 4:59:02 AM PST by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
The International Red Cross (are you sure it wasn't the Red Crescent?) can stuff it.
47 posted on 03/25/2003 5:00:20 AM PST by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson