Jordanians Rush to Join Volunteer Army

<i> Reuters</i>

Artist Wassef Mwafi, 35, has laid down his brush and is learning to use a gun along with thousands of Jordanians who want to defend their country and, if possible, fight for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.

Jordanian officials said Wednesday that 323,000 men and women have volunteered for the Popular Army since Iraq’s Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait. The volunteers, aged 16 to 55, include doctors, engineers, lawyers, laborers, industrialists and Bedouins.

Many have said since war erupted that they want to fight for Iraq against the U.S.-led alliance. Jordan’s government has ignored the calls and Iraq has not asked for volunteers.