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Fw: FW: Where Is Our Outrage Over Iraq?

Reggie Rivers wrote that "Iraq was denounced by the entire world for invading
Kuwait in 1990". 
Well, not quite the entire world. My Pakistani friend told me that he thought
that the invasion of Kuwait was "the best thing to happen in the middle east
for ages". The view in India around that time was the same, another friend told
me. Kuwait was seperated from Iraq by the Brits little over a generation ago.
The reason for this is that it was the most oil-rich part of Iraq, and has
memorably been described as "an oil field with a flag". Since then it has been
owned by a royal family in alliance with a few western oil companies, with a
workforce of immigrant slaves doing the work. Little opposition came from these
workers when "their" country was to be returned to Iraq, a remarkably
well-developed country by third world standards, then with an enviable array of
public services, especially in health and education. 

Palestinians in particular were euphoric that at last someone was challenging
the US diktat over the region, especially when Saddam fired scud missiles at
Israel. The Palestinians had long had it made clear to them that force was the
only reason understood by Israel, the only language capable of persuading an
end to the occupation thay had been suffering for decades. "we suffered
terribly during the Gulf War", said a Palsetinian schoolteacher quoted in
Norman Finkelstein's excellent book "The rise and Fall of Palestine", "but I
cannot remember a time when Palestinians were happier". Finkelstein adds, "By
attacking the Israeli heartland and openly defying the United States, Saddam
had restored to Arabs their human dignity". And not only the Arabs. Saddam
Hussein became something of a third world hero overnight after the invasion of
Kuwait. It was interesting that at an anti-imperialist conference I attended
recently in Algeria, almost every Western european delegation there refused to
sign our statement denouncing the bombing of Baghdad which had occured the day
before, on the grounds that it finished with a quote from Saddam Hussein, to
the effect that if the US and Britain wanted their pilots safe, they should get
them out of Iraq, a fair enough statement, we had presumed. Every single
delegation we spoke to from Latin America, Africa, and asia, on the other hand,
signed it with no qualms whatsoever. 

Be careful, Mr Rivers, of falling into the US state lingo of referring to a
consensus between Western Europe and the US as "the entire world".

Dan Glazebrook

-- Begin original message --

> From: "farbuthnot" <>
> Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 23:03:21 +0100
> Subject: FW: Where Is Our Outrage Over Iraq?
> To:
> fyi - best, felicity a.
> ----------
> From: Rick Rozoff <>
> To:
> Subject: Where Is Our Outrage Over Iraq?
> Date: Sat, Sep 1, 2001, 10:08 pm
> Denver Post
> Where is our outrage over Iraq?
> By Reggie Rivers
> Denver Post Columnist
> Thursday, August 30, 2001   - Sometimes I think we've
> stopped paying attention to the number of rounds that
> are fired and the number of people who are killed by
> our law enforcement agencies. Do we really care how
> far things go? Do we worry about the constant
> monitoring? The invasions of people's homes? The
> continuous threat of violence?
> I know that we care domestically. When the police
> shoot someone, there are stories and investigations.
> We might not be satisfied with the results of those
> investigations, but at least someone is taking a look.
> It's been more than 10 years now since the United
> States initiated the embargo
> against Iraq and started patrolling no-fly zones. And
> it seems clear to me that most of us just don't care a
> lot about it.
> The stories hit the paper and we flip through them as
> if nothing is happening. The headlines read:
> "Coalition planes fire at Iraqi air defense sites."
> "Air Force drone missing over Iraq." "U.S. launches
> major air attack on Iraq." "Allied jets hit Iraqi
> targets."
> How much longer do you suppose we're going to continue
> to violate the sovereignty of Iraq? How much longer
> are news stories going to describe the troops as
> "coalition" and "allied" forces to make it sound as if
> this is a United Nations' effort when really it's
> always been just the United States and our British lap
> dog that have initiated and maintained these no-fly
> zones from the start?
> Every time I pick up a newspaper and read another of
> these stories, Iraq is portrayed as the aggressor and
> we're cast as the innocent victims who are merely
> trying to defend ourselves. The stories have a
> how-dare-they tone as they describe Iraqi attempts to
> shoot down U.S. or British aircraft.
> Yes, Iraq was denounced by the entire world for
> invading Kuwait in 1990, but does that mean that we
> can forever ignore the sovereignty of the Iraqi
> border?
> The United States was denounced by the entire world
> for invading Grenada in 1983. Does that mean it would
> have been reasonable for some other country to
> establish no-fly zones in the air space north of
> Denver and south of Dallas?
> I know. I know. Might makes right in the big, bad
> world. The reason that it's OK for us to do this to
> Iraq is that we have the power to do whatever we want.
> The reason it wouldn't have been OK for someone else
> to do this to us is that no one has the power.
> Yes, I'm naive, but not completely. I like the life
> that we have in this country. I love our wealth, our
> safety and our position at the head of the world's
> table. I understand that maintaining our comfortable
> lives requires a lot of brute force. What disturbs me
> is not the vicious reality of geopolitics, but the
> ambivalence that we demonstrate as citizens.
> We're like the children of drug kingpins who love
> living in big houses and having private planes, and
> somehow manage to block out the fact that Daddy had to
> kill a lot of people to get where he's at. And that
> Daddy has to kill a lot more people to "protect our
> interests."
> I don't know the answer to the Iraq situation. I can't
> make recommendations about how we should conduct
> ourselves in the world because I'm not an expert in
> that field. But I wish that we, as citizens, would
> show as much concern about our military deployment in
> other countries as we do about domestic issues such as
> tax rebates, Social Security, education and health
> care.
> If the National Guard took over a small U.S. town and
> controlled the movements of its people for a week,
> we'd be out of our minds with outrage.
> But if our forces fly into another country and
> maintain a no-fly zone for a decade, we barely look up
> from our Cheerios.
> Former Denver Broncos player Reggie Rivers
> ( writes Thursdays on
> the Post op-ed page and is a talk host on KHOW Radio
> (630 AM, weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m.).
> __________________________________________________
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