A Chinese article about Iraq War
Before I could humbly express any of my own opinions on international order and relations, I have to translate and present another old Chinese article here. It was written some time in 2006. I found two web links to this article.
One is here on bbs.ifeng.com, which should be more official and authoritative, because ifeng.com is the website of Hong Kong Phoenix Satellite TV. HK Phoenix TV is widely viewed by most Chinese as CCP’s official TV station in Hong Kong. This article appeared on bbs.ifeng.com on April 6th, 2008, probably transferred from another resource. According to the article itself, it should have been published on Southern City Newspaper some time in 2006.
The other link is here where I found this article. It appeared this article was posted here on April 5th, 2011. The following is my translation:
Do Iraqis Really Hate Americans?
Do Iraqis all hate Americans? With this question in his mind, the special reporter for China’s “Southern City Newspaper”, Chen Si (陈思), went to Iraq to have his field trip investigation, only getting to know that the true thoughts of Iraqis are entirely opposite to what was depicted on most Chinese public media.
Why do Iraqis blast Americans in front of cameras or on TV?
An Iraqi’s answer to this question is that:
When Saddam was in charge, we were not allowed to have cell phones and internet, not mentioning watching foreign TV channels. Now we have everything. However, in front of cameras, we still had to say we hate Americans, because our names and images are all on the screen and terrorists could retaliate upon and kill us at any time. We all know in our mind that our blasting Americans would not be taken seriously by Americans.
In Iraq, the hottest product sold on the market is Satellite Receiver. Among the rampantly pirated DVDs, the most popular ones are American Hollywood movies. Chen Si found out that many Iraqi businessmen are busy in opening new factories or shops all over the nation. Even foreign business people including Chinese Fujian businessmen are actively entering Iraqi market. Chen Si couldn’t understand why these people are rushing to start up new business in the chaotic war. The Iraqi business people almost unanimously answered that most Iraqis are ready to welcome a new life. Most of those militiamen, making chaos here, were extreme fundamentalists from Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and some other nations, who were not supported by the majority of Iraqis and could not stay in Iraq for too long.
In this war, many Iraqis were killed. How did Iraqis view this fact?
A young graduate from Bagdad University, named Ali, said that:
Although there have been a lot of civilian casualties in Iraq since the war began, there were also a lot of Iraqis killed under Saddam’s orders every day when he was still in power. If the coalition forces mistakenly caused civilian casualties when fighting militiamen, there would be news reports on TV. But when Saddam was in power, did anyone know how many people died unaccountably?
Militiamen kept kidnapping foreigners and often beheaded them. How did this situation affect Iraqis?
An Iraqi named Haida, who married a Taiwan woman, told Chen Si that:
All these evil things were done by those foreign radical Muslims whose primary goal was to fight Americans. All other things were secondary to them. Their leader, Zarqawi, was a long time follower of ben Laden in Afghanistan. They did whatever they wanted to do in Iraq, actually hurting Iraqi people a lot. Iraqi people are kind, tolerate, and eager for peace. The day before yesterday, I took my Taiwan wife to a party, where several Iraqis came to her to present their apologies and ask for forgiveness, because they had thought she was a Korean. Now you can see it. Who are hurt most by these evil beheading violence? Besides the victims and their families, it was us, Iraqis, who suffered most from them!
Chen Si suddenly understood one of his own experiences: When he walked on streets alone, almost all Iraqis seeing him would ask him to go home quickly, telling him to avoid being captured by those “Ali Babas”, for they might think he was a Korean.
If people believe those radical anti-American militiamen in Fallujah are just Iraqis, it will be very unfair to most Iraqis.
Haida demonstrated his own understanding of “American Strategy” to Chen Si:
Many anti-American extremists are scattered all over the world. Thus, Americans created two battle fields in Afghanistan and Iraq, opening their borders and allowing all people to come in freely. Therefore, anti-American forces and terrorists around the world were all attracted to Iraq so that Americans could eliminate them once for all. This strategy made American homeland safe and peaceful, but us poor Iraqis suffer a lot!
At last, Chen Si asked: Before, I thought all Iraqis hated Americans. But after having stayed here for one week, I found the majority of Iraqis approved of what Americans have done here. Why is it?
This is very natural. When Saddam was in power, all Iraqis were living under tough restraints. Although some Iraqis might not like Saddam, most of us were blinded by the propaganda of Saddam, not aware of the freedoms and rights we deserve. Later, the American troops came in to topple the Saddam regime. Through the liberated newspapers, computer networks, and satellite TVs, we now see the old cover upon our world destroyed. All the sudden, we realize how deeply we were fooled before! Especially our young people, they will be the first generation growing up in the free air. Their future is unlimited.
In case that the resource links become invalid again, I post the original Chinese article here:
为什么伊拉克人在电视镜头前大骂美国人？针对这一问题，一位伊拉克人回答说：萨达姆当政时，不准我们用手机，不准我们接触互联网，更不准我们收看外国频 道。现在我们甚么都有了。然而，面对采访镜头，还是不得不说，我们讨厌美国人，因为我们的名字和形象都在镜头上，恐怖份子随时可能报复和杀害我们。我们心 里清楚，骂美国人，美国人是不会计较的。
在伊拉克，市场上卖得最火的商品，就是卫星接收器（碟形天线外加解码器）。盗版猖獗，最受欢迎的， 是美国好莱坞大片。陈思发现，许多伊拉克商人，都在伊拉克各地忙于开厂开店，连包括中国福建人在内的外国商人，也都积极进入伊拉克市场。陈思不解：为什么 在战乱中还急于开张做生意？商人们的回答几乎一致：绝大多数伊拉克人都已经准备好迎接新生活了。那些制造混乱的武装分子大多数都是从阿富汗、叙利亚、约 旦、埃及等国家跑来的原教旨主义激进份子，他们得不到伊拉克人的支持，不可能坚持太久。
战争中，很多伊拉克人被打死，伊拉克人如何看待？一 位毕业于巴格达大学、名叫阿里的青年道：虽说开战以来，伊拉克平民被联军打死打伤的也不少，但是，萨达姆当政时，每天都有很多伊拉克人被萨达姆直接下令杀 死；联军围剿武装分子时，如果误伤平民，都在电视新闻中予以报导；然而，萨达姆当政时，多少人不明不白地就死了，又有谁知道呢？
武装分子不 断劫持外国人质，并动辄将他们斩首，对伊拉克人有何影响？一位娶了台湾妻子、名叫海达的伊拉克人对陈思说：这些坏事，都是那些外国激进穆斯林分子干的，他 们的首要目标就是反美，其他都是次要。为首的叫扎卡维，他长期在阿富汗活动，是本.拉登的追随者。他们在伊拉克为所欲为，实际危害了伊拉克人民。伊拉克人 民是善良、宽厚、渴望和平的。前天，我带着我的台湾妻子去出席一个宴会，马上有几个伊拉克人上前向她道歉，请求她的宽恕，因为他们以为她是韩国人。你看， 砍头暴行对谁的伤害最重？除了受害者和受害者的家人，就是我们伊拉克人了！陈思恍然道：我独自走在街上时，几乎所有见到我的伊拉克人，都叫我赶紧回去，说 别让那些「阿里巴巴」抓了去。他们可能都以为我是韩国人。
海达又说：如果以为激进反美的费卢杰人就是伊拉克人，那对大多数伊拉克人而言，是极不公平的。海达还向陈思分析了他个人理解的「美国战略」：许多反美激 进份子分散在世界各地，于是，美国人就开辟了阿富汗和伊拉克战场，并放开所有边境关卡，让所有的人自由出入，结果，全世界的反美武装、恐怖份子都被吸引到 伊拉克来了，美国人就可以将他们一举歼灭。这样，美国本土固然平安无事，只是可怜了我们伊拉克人！
陈思最后问：以前，我以为伊拉克人都憎恨 美国人，但我来了一个星期，发现多数伊拉克人都认同美国，这是为甚么？海达说：这是很自然的事。萨达姆当政时，伊拉克人都受到严格限制，虽然也有不喜欢萨 达姆的，然而，大多数人被萨达姆的宣传蒙蔽了，没有意识到自己应有的自由和权利。后来，美军来了，萨达姆政权被打垮了，借助开放的报纸、电脑网路和卫星电 视等，人们意识到过去所受的蒙蔽，恍然大悟，才知道自己过去被骗得那么苦！特别是年轻人，他们将是成长于自由空气中的第一代，他们前程无量。
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