Iraq: February 1, 2003

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The propaganda war inside Iraqi continues and Saddam appears to be losing. Iraqis are increasingly open about their belief that there will be a change of government in the next few months. Journalists no longer have to sneak away from their government minders to get frank comments about this from Iraqi civilians. Iraqis are showing less fear of Saddam's police state. But there is fear among Sunni Arab Iraqis, the minority that has dominated the region since the Turks conquered the area in the 16th century. Until then, the majority Shia Arabs had been at the top of the political heap, largely because the Shias were the majority and Shia Iran controlled most of what is now Iraq. The Sunnis see a bloodbath of retribution from Shia Arabs, Kurds and Christians. All of these people comprise over 80 percent of the population. American psychological warfare continues to warn the Sunnis that the only way they can assure themselves of American protection is to remove Saddam from power. But Saddam has been remarkably capable of detecting and killing those who would overthrow him.

American troops are arriving in the Persian Gulf daily. The number is now 87,100, and is expected to grow by another 100,000 by the end of the month.


 

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