As CBS News Correspondent Erin Moriarty reports, young men pledged to give their lives to Saddam Hussein even as American and Kuwaiti groups were trying to save them.
But when the food appeared, they suddenly lost their appetite for politics.
Within minutes, the first offer of humanitarian aid became a near riot.
Driven by the uncertainties of war, the same young men rushed in to stake their claim, as women and children stood guard. This was a stark example of survival of the fittest that doesn't surprise aid workers.
"They don't know what will happen tomorrow. I say brothers, sisters we will bring everyday," says one aid worker.
American soldiers there to offer security, like Lt. Col. Steve Holmes, can only stand by and smile at the near riot.
Aid officials acknowledge that with Iraqi soldiers often putting on civilian clothing, they could be giving comfort to the enemy. Retired General Ali Moe-Mahn runs the Kuwaiti relief effort and says little can be done to prevent this.
"There is a possibility like this, but all I can do is plan on the information I get," he says.
More deliveries for food are planned for Thursday. This is the first step on what is turning out to be a difficult journey to win the support and confidence of the Iraqi people.