Iraq: A hostage nation

Baghdad 2007
Baghdad 2007 (© Flickr/The U.S. Army)

Three Iraqis talk about the disappointments and tragedies their countrymen and women have suffered during more than 15 years of war, crippling sanctions and the current occupation. “Iraqis are being kept at bay as if they have nothing to do with Iraq itself”, says artist and novelist Haifa Zangana.

Sabah Al Mukhtar is president of the Arab Lawyers Association. “Iraqis have been given the choice: either you have a dictator, or you have an occupier and a vulgar occupier at that,” he says. “We are in a much worse situation now than [we were] with Saddam Hussein. Sure we can now say ‘down with Saddam’, or ‘down with the US’, but we don’t have safety, security or jobs. We’re occupied, we’re humiliated, and we’re trampled over. We don’t have our country. We’re in a worse situation at any level.”

His brother Ghazwan is an engineer who has lived in Baghdad all his life. He feels that the 25 million Iraqis have been held hostage by the international community for years, first by sanctions and now by a brutal occupation.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: May 17, 2004