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February 07, 2003

Palestinians Rally in Support of Saddam

Why do the Palestinians always manage to align themselves with losers and make world-class asses of themselves? Even anti-war folks despise Saddam.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — “Saddam, Saddam!” a hot-eyed young Palestinian shouted through his bullhorn as the latest pro-Iraq march was winding its way through the streets of this town Thursday. “Strike with chemical weapons!”

Another of the rally’s leaders, mindful of the TV cameras closing in, swiftly turned on him. “Shut up now,” he snapped. “Don’t be saying that.”

It was a telling moment. As the prospect of war looms ever larger, Palestinians are venting their anger at the United States, which on Wednesday laid out its case for military action against Saddam Hussein, and at Israel, which could find itself an Iraqi target.

But they don’t want to take it too far.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, many ordinary Palestinians — beaten down by Israeli military curfews and checkpoints, midnight arrests and grinding low-level violence — feel that, these days, they have little to lose.

In 1991’s Persian Gulf War, which took place before the start of the peace process that eventually led to the Oslo accords, the Palestinian public — and leaders — were squarely on the side of Saddam, the enemy of their enemy, Israel.[more]