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colin, salwa et al re al-taher

dear friends,
many years ago i read t.e. lawrence's 'seven pillars of wisdom'. in 
dedication, he included a poem, "to s.a.", that was free flowing in structure 
and quite tender in emotion. sometime later i read a rather critical review 
by the poet robert graves in which he reconstructed that poem into one that 
was penned by a poet laureate. i was angered not so much by the "tightness" 
of construction that graves ably achieved but by the loss of the spirit and 
emotion that , i thought ,were stripped from the poem. graves, indeed, wrote 
a better poem, but alas it sounded as an ode to an undertaker, no pun 
   i sense that colin's treatment of al-taher's article were those of a very 
good editor, concerned with absolute truths that can be related with 
emotionless rigor, but would allow the emotions to develop after the telling. 
i doubt that his intent was to inhibit the stark emotions that such facts 
should elicit. that such editing would cause a bitter response is 
understandable because a good editor by definition imposes some rigid 
constraints on both the writer and the interested reader who, as in this case 
, is privy to the editing process. because this discussion is taking place 
within a group it should be welcomed without ascribing certain motives to the 
discussants. i sense a definite loss when we begin to discuss the exact 
number of deaths of children or the precise number of calories in an adult 
iraqi intake. there is a certain acceptance of terror in doing so, and a 
betrayal of an effort to better the sanctions rather than end them. these are 
extraordinarily frustrating times for any sane person--considering palestine, 
iraq, somalia etc--and that frustration has darkened all our arguments and 
tested our logic. al-tahir was perhaps correctly emotional in painting his 
portrait of injustice . his was a personal expression as was lawrence's poem. 
it should remain his.
my regards to all,
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