Iraqis air views on Libya
Jacques Clement, Manila Bulletin Publishing, March 26, 2011
…“At first I was happy that the regime was overthrown in Iraq, but from 2005, I realized that nothing was going to fundamentally change,’’ said Alaa al-Samkari, enjoying a day off from work for Nowruz, the Kurdish new year.
“Life is now worse than under Saddam Hussein because politicians cling to power but do nothing,’’ he said, a badminton racquet in hand, and surrounded by family members on an outing to Baghdad’s crowded Zawra park.
Iraq has in recent weeks been rocked by numerous protests against bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency. And although sectarian violence has plunged dramatically since its peak in 2006-2007, bomb attacks and kidnappings continue almost daily…
…But Anis, a 26-year-old Christian, said he had no such hopes for his own country, where his co-religionists remain targets of Al-Qaeda extremists.
“Under Saddam Hussein, we could live decently if we stayed away from politics,’’ he recalled. “I knew from 2003 that the situation would not improve because the sectarian divisions were too deep.’’
He said he had chosen to leave Iraq for ever because “it is more painful to feel a stranger in your own homeland than in another country.’’
He said he would leave for his self-imposed exile on April 9, the day that the Iraqi capital Baghdad fell to the US-led forces eight years ago.