"This regime has got to go," said Haithem Al-Hussani, a spokesman for the Iraqi-Canadian Coordinating Committee, a Toronto-based alliance of eight groups representing Muslims, Kurds and other Iraqi exiles.
"We have an outlaw regime such as in Iraq that is not a legitimate regime. This is not a regime that lives up to the standards of Canadian society in terms of the respect for life. This needs to be stood up to.
"So the Canadian government needs to take a firm position."
Those exiled from Iraq by the Saddam regime are staging a series of rallies this week -- including a Toronto speech by Iraq's opposition leader -- to push for international intervention to topple Saddam. . . .
A Toronto man, an Iraqi-Canadian who said his family in Iraq would be harmed if his name were published, said he too was against war with Iraq -- until he returned to his home country a few months ago.
After seeing how Saddam had diverted money to lavish palaces, empty mosques and weapons while the Iraqi people go without food, water, schools and hospitals, he said he now wants Canada to support a war to oust the regime. . . .
The man said his recent voyage to his family home in Basra was an eye-opener: There was no water, industrial buildings were collapsing from decay and Saddam's security services controlled every facet of life. "Everybody they are, believe me, against Saddam," the man said. "My family, I had a big family there, all of them are against Saddam.
"I said, 'Then why are you cheering him on the TV?' They said, 'Every day there is an event or something there, they knock door by door, take the people, the families, from houses to participate in this cheering, or election or whatever, by force.'
"If you are not going you are on the blacklist. If you are on the blacklist, your son or your daughter or your wife will disappear. Or you are going to lose your job. Iraq is the worst country in the Middle East." . . .