Sunday, May 06, 2007

Angry Iraqis trying to scrape up funds to 'follow Americans home'

John McCain, George Bush and nearly all of the other war apologists have been saying for the last three years -- and even more loudly of late -- that a "premature" exit of U.S. forces from Iraq will result in Islamic terrorists "following us home" to attack us on U.S. soil.

While many experts disagree with this premise, a story coming over the wire today may signal that, in fact, George W. Bush and John McCain may be right...

Iraqi insurgents seeking to 'follow the Americans home'; bemoan transportation costs

By Ted Snotwinkle, UIP REPORTER

(UIP, BAGHDAD) Tariq Assad Hussein was holding what can only be described as the Baghdad equivalent of a garage sale.

Scattered along the street in front of his modest, bullet-riddled home were nearly all of his worldy possessions, each item marked with a small price sticker. His neighbors were combing through the items, bartering for lower prices on everything from a framed photo of his family to a stained steel cooking pot to a mangled bicycle wheel.

"That wheel may still be useful," Mr. Hussein, 47, said through an interpreter. "The rest of the bike was destroyed in a car bomb explosion. I still have a piece of the kickstand imbedded in the back of my head. If I could pry it out without further injuring myself, I'd sell that, too."

Mr. Hussein is trying to raise the approximately $3,000 (USD) he believes it will cost him to get to the United States "to attack Americans."

Mr. Hussein's entire family has been killed in various explosions and gunfights over the past year, including his wife, three children, two brothers, and his mother and father.

So far, he has collected the equivalent of $62 from all of his endeavors.

"I am not giving up," Mr. Hussein said while attaching a promotional magnetic menu from a local falafel shop to the small piece of steel jutting from the back of his skull. "The guy that runs this shop gives me six dinars a week to hand out magnetic menus off my head. It's a curiosity. People love it."

Mr. Hussein is not alone in his professed desire to "follow the Americans home." But not everyone in Baghdad who wants to get to the United States intends violence. Some just want to get away from the violence they experience everyday.

Amira Aziz, 53, wants to get to the United States because she heard she could hang her laundry on the line without fear of being "exploded into little pieces."

"My family does not get clean clothes very much anymore," Mrs. Aziz said. "First, we don't get much water, and, second, it's too dangerous for me to be outside. I would love to be in a place like 'Everybody Loves Raymond' where they have everything nice."

(Reruns of American television shows are commonplace on Iraqi television.)

By the end of the day, Mr. Hussein had raised an additional three dollars from his sale. But he sounded optimistic of eventually finding his way to "the great Satan."

"I will get to America. You will see," he said with a smile. "Would you like a menu from Fariq's House of Falafel?"

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