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Many Triangle Arabs Do Not Support Attacks

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RALEIGH — If you were to take a poll on just the Arab-American community about the recent strikes on Iraq, the results might look a little different than you think.

WRAL'sEricka Lewisdiscovered many Arabs in this area are in the minority when it comes to backing the president.

Although the polls show most Americans agree with the assault, Arabs in Raleigh have conflicting views about President Clinton's decision to strike Iraq.

"He wants to kill the people not kill Saddam," said Jordanian Nasser Alkhtib.

While many Arabs in the Triangle agree Saddam should go, they do not support U.S. missile attacks.

"It's not good for the people, the innocent people. They did not do anything," said Egyptian Sabry Ismail.

Across town, Riyad Hassan says the only difference between Iraq and other nations is the country's leader, Saddam Hussein.

"Israel has weapons, and China has weapons, and Korea has weapons. What about them? Why is the only country they're concerned about is Iraq?" asked Hassan.

Most Arabs we talked with believe the President is just trying to iron out his own political crisis.

One Palestinian says if you add up President Clinton's problems with a pending impeachment vote, it will always equal war.

"You have a choice, impeachment vote or hit Saddam. Seventy-five percent says 'hit him and it might be a little diversion,' you know, a little breathing room," said Palestinian Majdi Asad.

Asad says while the attack creates breathing room for the president, there is no breathing room for the Iraqi people as long as the bombing continues.

Many of the Arabs WRAL spoke with said it would be more effective to send ground troops in to remove Saddam from office, rather than bomb innocent people.