January 22, 2003
youth demand to be heard
England (CNN) -- The Iraqi Prospect Organisation has
launched its campaign to "Save the people of Iraq."
The London-based group is a network of several thousand
professional and young Iraqis living in the West, aiming
to help the people of Iraq in the current crisis. CNN's
Rida Said spoke to some of those involved.
members at their campaign launch
Iraqi Prospect Organisation are young Iraqi exiles working,
they say, for the good of the Iraqi people.
plan to present a petition to the U.N. Security Council
hoping "to try to convince the U.N. Security Council
members to forget about their personal interests, their
economic gains," and to focus on what they see
as the source of Iraq's problem -- President Saddam
see him as a threat, not to people outside Iraq, but
to those in Iraq.
of the young and politically inexperienced have been
made pessimistic by decades of indecision and squabbling
among elder Iraqi opposition movements.
Shames, of the Iraqi Prospect Organisation said: "We
think that the young Iraqi generation hasn't got the
political complexities that the older generation still
Iraqi youths living in exile see the opposition leaders
held back by old grudges and power struggles from their
days in Iraq.
they believe, has been one of the factors hindering
efforts towards achieving an organised and united Iraqi
exiled Iraqi's see one of the largest problems the double
standards of America, the Iraqi regime and Iraqi exiles
member of the IPO whose parents were deported from Baghdad
soon after she was born said it was the West who initially
gave their support to Saddam Hussein, and not the Iraqis.
Abtehale Al-Husseini: If you leave Saddam in his place
... millions of people will die
was supported by the West to come into power and that's
always been a negative factor in the Iraqi opposition."
seems many young Iraqis don't know who to trust. For
them, co-operating and trusting the Americans means
putting their faith in same people who they believe
put them in the state they are in now.
who can they look for their support? They are looking
to the Security Council, now perhaps their only hope.
the question of military action against Baghdad, this
opposition group says "yes."
Abtehale Al-Husseini said: "Realistically, we know
the only way to eliminate the threat of Saddam is through
external intervention... and although intervention may
pose the risk of several thousand casualties - if you
leave Saddam in his place there is a guarantee of millions
of people will die."
young Iraqis don't believe the U.S. administration is
really concerned with the Iraqi people, and they also
don't think America's first concern is oil.
is not doing this for the Iraqi people... there are
agendas and interests -- a lot of people postulate oil
-- I don't think oil is the main factor.
9/11 the equation in the Middle East had to change --
they realised that dictatorships were a threat to the
West, mainly to America.
needed to change the situation to a more democratic
one -- now they feel they can co-operate more with a
democratic country more than they can co-operate with
a puppet or a dictatorship."
voices may never penetrate the inner circles of power
either in the West or among current opposition parties,
but the IPO believes that the younger generation --
the youth and women of Iraq -- deserve "a larger
say in Iraq's policy making".
they feel will enable them to achieve a consensus much