The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear Mr. Alaskary, The model that comes to mind is the US support of those who initiated the coup to overthrow Aristide in Haiti, then after a few years of misery, went back in for humanitarian reasons (?!!!) to send Raoul Cedras on a holiday somewhere and handed Aristide more misery than when he left. It's a nasty choreography and we don't need to punch the dance card. Dan McLaughlin Dorchester, MA USA ----- Original Message ----- From: "Yasser Alaskary" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com>; <AS-ILAS@gmx.de>; <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 5:29 PM Subject: Re: [casi] Media Lens Debate On Iraq Continued > Hi, > > none of what you've said seems to stem from care for the suffering iraqi > people. > > i'll respond point by point: > > >No, no, no. Sorry - this brings the west back to a new colonialism. It is > >illegal to invade and seek to overthrow the leader of a sovereign State > >(whatever one may feel about that State's sovereign.) What arrogance. > > i suppose it is ok to help a dictator remain in power? it is ok to help > saddam hussein remain the dictator (not leader) of Iraq even though the > iraqi people were on the brink of overthrowing him in 1991 until america > interfered and lifted the no fly zone ban on helicopters? come on, thats > complete hipocracy and double standards. who are we trying to protect and > save? the iraqi people or saddam hussein? > > >Where > >do we go next? well, up to 82 countries, according to George W. > >I seem to remember that the Gulf War was to eject Iraq from Kuwait >because > >Iraq had invaded. Now the west plans to invade Iraq, put in another > >compliant pal (see the Central and South American model for most recent > >historic precedents) take over the oil, divide the country into three, > > >cause > >further untold bloodshed and mayhem in the region. > > is this just blind anti-americanism or are we talking about the iraqi > people? what i keep saying is that we should not fudge all options to remove > saddam hussein together. we should object to any plans to attack the iraqi > people, we should object to any plans to divide the country (btw - the US > and the iraqi people have never even talked about doing this, quite the > contrary - again a mixing of what is being said). as for the central and > south american models, even though this is untrue as what would be put in > would be a puppet government similar to other gulf states, this option is > still better for the iraqi people than saddam hussein - less of a police > state, less random torturing and killings, less fear, less death and on top > of all of this, you won't have sanctions - so less starvation. anyway, > taking the oil away from who? only saddam hussein's regime has been > benefiting from iraq's oil over the last few decades, transfering that to > the US wouldn't make any difference to the iraqi people. again, the point > you make about taking the oil only effects saddam hussein's interests. > > >Iraq is carpet bombed for > >42 days for invading, US/UK invade with impunity. > >Invade Iraq for doing what precisely? Not inviting another bunch of >spies > >free reign to their country. Fair enough, I'd say. Would we? > > again, as i have said we should oppose any plans for a war against the iraqi > people, but not oppose (all) plans to remove saddam hussein. the two are not > the same, and the only thing we would achieve in presenting the two as the > same would be to defend saddam hussein's back. about the spies, with regards > to the iraqi people, they couldn't care less as far as spying on the iraqi > dictator - again only saddam hussein really cares about that. again, lets > not confuse the issues, whether america uses the claim of not allowing > inspectors back in to rid iraq of saddam hussein or whether it uses some > other excuse, that does not concern us if we are here to help the iraqi > people - we should be for the removal of saddam hussein and sanctions, using > the same logic of helping the suffering iraqi people, and should be > concerned with how this is done, not opposing it. i have already said many > times what should be supported and what shouldn't. > > >The democratic west has already silently slaughtered more than any > >international monitoring body has ever accused the regime of. > > some life is better than other life? (very orwellian). how can life ever be > a comparison of numbers? the suffering that iraqis have undergone from fear, > torture, starvation, chemical attacks, bombings, deportation, etc can never > be measured. how do you measure suffering? remember, our driving force for > campaigning against sanctions should be to help the suffering iraqi people. > you may not want to be involved in anything concerning the suffering of the > iraqi people from saddam hussein, which would be fair enough, but to oppose > any plans for the removal of saddam hussein, is contrary to this concern and > would only serve to defend saddam hussein. > > >Further, the > >post Gulf war Resolution talked about disarmament 'in the region' - not > >Iraq > >as sole target of decimation and deprivation. > > this is true, but it is not an excuse for opposing any plan for the removal > of saddam hussein's regime. again, a muddling of issues. > > >I know I have said some of this before and apologise, but some things >need > >re-reminding. > > yes, so have i :) > > >How can the West (ie UK/US as far as pathetic UN concerned) preach > > >adherence > >to Resolutions and legal norms, whilst binning both themselves. > > again a muddling of issues. this can never be a defence against all plans to > remove saddam hussein. with regards to the iraqi people, this should be used > to ask why saddam hussein was helped to crush the iraqi uprising in 1991. > > i have great respect for you felicity for the hard work you've done in > trying to minimize the suffering caused by sanctions in iraq. however, iraq > is not a one issue state and we should not campaign for the removal of one > type of suffering yet oppose the removal of another type of suffering. > > kind regards, > yasser alaskary > > > > > > > > ---------- > >From: "Yasser Alaskary" <email@example.com> > >To: AS-ILAS@gmx.de, firstname.lastname@example.org > >Subject: Re: [casi] Media Lens Debate On Iraq Continued > >Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2002, 2:18 pm > > > > > Hi, > > > > as i keep saying, the iraqi people should be our gold-standard as to what > > should be done. > > > > the iraqi people have been massacred by both sanctions and saddam > hussein. > > the option given - No war, the return of arms inspectors, and the full > > lifting (not enforcing) of economic sanctions, while retaining military > > sanctions - does not even recognise this fact and pretends that in > dealing > > with iraq, this is all that should be done. how about this option: > > > > ridding the iraqi people of saddam and sanctions. > > > > how you get rid of saddam hussein should be the issue that is discussed > for > > those concerned with the US's current moves on Iraq, to campaign against > a > > war on the Iraqi people but to support the initiation of another uprising > > (like 1991) so that they Iraqi people can liberate themselves (there are > > also other options that do not involve bombing iraq from top to bottom). > > > > yasser alaskary > > IC Iraqi Society > > > > ps- for those who complain that this is an anti-sanctions list and not > > anything else, i only mentioned the above issues because the original > email > > discussed them - so don't bite my head off! ;) > > > > > > ----Original Message Follows---- > > From: "AS-ILAS" <AS-ILAS@gmx.de> > > To: "casi" <email@example.com> > > Subject: [casi] Media Lens Debate On Iraq Continued > > Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 06:57:31 +0100 > > > > Hi all, > > > > FYI > > > > > > Best > > > > Andreas > > ----------------- > > > > > > Media Lens Debate On Iraq Continued > > > > The Observer's Nick Cohen Responds Again > > > > by David Edwards And David Cromwell > > > > Media Lens > > > > March 26, 2002 > > > > > > Following our Media Alert Update, 'The Observer's Nick Cohen and Observer > > Editor Roger Alton Respond On Iraq' (March 20, 2002 - for this and other > > Media Alerts see: http://www.medialens.org/frameset_alerts.html) Media > Lens > > received this reply, his third, from Nick Cohen on March 23, 2002: > > > > "Dear Media Lens, Sorry to have taken the mick. The point I was trying to > > make in my piece, admittedly with the sinful use of humour, is that there > > are three possible positions to take on Iraq: > > > > 1. There should be a war to destroy Saddam, either a direct invasion or a > > Western-sponsored revolt. (Bush is currently deciding between the two and > > Blair will do whatever Bush tells him to do.) After victory, sanctions > will > > be dropped. > > > > 2. There should be no war and no sanctions and Saddam should be left > alone, > > which I guess from your email is your position. > > > > 3. There should be no war. But sanctions, particularly sanctions > directed > > against the arms trade, should be enforced. Foreign powers should also > > provide a safe haven for the Kurds and decent world opinion should > support > > an independent Kurdistan. Foreign airforces should also provide air cover > > for the Shia majority in the south. > > > > Positions one and two are far closer to each other than they are to > > position three, which is why I made the crack about the difficulty people > > like you will have in joining us in the coming struggle." > > > > > > RESPONSE FROM MEDIA LENS > > > > Dear Nick > > > > Thanks for your email and for the restrained tone. We hope you appreciate > > that it is not our intention to provoke or denigrate you. Our sole > concern > > is to draw attention to issues which may well determine the fate of many > > thousands of innocent people, and, more to the point, whether they are > > killed and mutilated in a murderous war. In an on-line debate earlier > this > > month, you suggested we are living through "a great age of conservatism". > > We applaud your proposed response: "The only thing to do in my experience > > is refuse to accept the passive myth that our futures are predetermined > and > > relentlessly persecute injustice and absurdity." (Guardian online debate, > > March 7, 2002) Like you, we are keen to persecute injustice and > absurdity, > > but not individual journalists. > > > > Having said that, this is your third reply to us, and the sense of > > unreality continues to grow with each response. First you rejected "the > > sanctions cause starvation theory" - a theory invented by you - as > > nonsense. You then smeared us as "Serviles" keeping the memory of Joe > > Stalin alive. Now you tell us that your original article was intended > > humorously! Does debate in the mainstream consist in proposing arguments, > > ignoring rational responses to them, and then making completely new > > arguments all but unrelated to the previous arguments? > > You write that there are "three possible positions to take on Iraq", that > > we can choose between: 1. A war "to destroy Saddam"; 2. No war, no > > sanctions, and Saddam "should be left alone"; 3. No war, but "sanctions, > > particularly military sanctions, should be enforced". > > > > What is so shocking about this summary of the possible options is that it > > ignores the actual position of the many credible and authoritative > > commentators repeatedly cited by us in our correspondence with you, > namely: > > No war, the return of arms inspectors, and the full lifting (not > enforcing) > > of economic sanctions, while retaining military sanctions. > > > > This, for example, is the view of Hans von Sponeck, who wrote in January > > that the way forward was "to agree to a discussion of the draft > resolution > > for the resumption of arms inspection and the lifting of economic > sanctions > > presented by the Russian Government to the UN Security Council last June. > > This proposal foresees the return of arms inspectors to Iraq as demanded > by > > the Bush administration and the lifting of economic sanctions after 60 > > days. The Iraqis have neither accepted nor rejected this proposal. > > > > "Here is an opportunity that presents a political option to another > > military confrontation with Iraq. It must not be missed." (by Hans von > > Sponeck, Counterpunch, January 10, 2002. See: > > www.counterpunch.org/sponeck1.html) > > > > This is the kind of rational, non-violent political option we believe > > should be explored. Assuming you are aware of von Sponeck's views, and > > given that we have repeatedly recommended von Sponeck as a credible and > > rational commentator on Iraq, how can you possibly imagine that we are in > > favour of option 2: "no war and no sanctions and Saddam should be left > > alone"? > > > > The fact that you do not include the option outlined by von Sponeck in > your > > list, and that you imagine we support your position 2, suggests to us > that > > you are not aware of the arguments made by von Sponeck and Halliday, and > > many others. This would not be a surprise, given that neither you nor > your > > editor, Roger Alton, have ever mentioned them in the Observer. Once > again, > > you have produced your own 'straw man' version of other people's > > arguments - a version which is easy to knock down but which bears little > > resemblance to the original. > > > > We are unaware of anyone arguing for position 2, so your point about > > options 1. and 2. being closer to each other than to 3. - therefore > > explaining why you "made the crack about the difficulty people like you > > will have in joining us in the coming struggle" - is redundant. Also, who > > is the "us" you are referring to - people for, or against, war? And what > > struggle do you mean: the struggle to destroy Saddam Hussein, to avoid > war, > > to maintain sanctions, to protect the people of Iraq? This is not at all > > clear to us. > > > > You say that the point of your original piece was to indicate the three > > options you describe. But your piece mostly discussed the relationship > > between Downing Street and Washington, and Blair's impotence in > influencing > > U.S. policy. You said nothing about the option of lifting sanctions, > > military or economic, as an alternative to war, only about lifting them > > after a military victory. You made only three mentions of sanctions in > your > > 1,200 word piece. You said, "Britain did what America wanted throughout > the > > 1990s and contained Iraq by enforcing sanctions" - a tacit approval of > > sanctions, suggesting that they have at least been successful in > containing > > Saddam. You then wrote: > > > > "I look forward to seeing how Noam Chomsky and John Pilger manage to > oppose > > a war which would end the sanctions they claim have slaughtered hundreds > of > > thousands of children who otherwise would have had happy, healthy lives > in > > a prison state (don't fret, they'll get there). But the humbling of the > men > > who said sanctions were the best and only way will be greater." > > (www.observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,664843,00.html) > > > > You wrote of how Chomsky and Pilger "claim" sanctions killed hundreds of > > thousands of children - casting doubt, as we have discussed, on both the > > "claims" and their credibility (so implicitly defending sanctions against > > the charge of genocide). You then wrote that war would embarrass those > who > > have insisted that sanctions were the best policy, suggesting that war > > would reveal that sanctions had always been inadequate to the task, and > > that war might have been the more effective option all along. > > > > Given that this was the full extent of your discussion of sanctions, how > > can you argue that your piece was intended to indicate the three options: > > 1. War; 2. No war, lift sanctions and leave Saddam alone; 3. No war, > > enforce sanctions, particularly military sanctions? > > > > You imply that we misunderstood your original point, which employed "the > > sinful use of humour" - suggesting that we have over-reacted and taken > you > > too seriously. Perhaps you were joking in your original article when you > > suggested that the mass death of Iraqi children was a mere "claim" of > > Chomsky and Pilger, and that those children (if they really did die) > would > > anyway have had an abysmal life in Saddam's "prison state". But how could > > this possibly be construed as humour? The flood of letters we know you > have > > received are from people who read your words as yet another casual smear > on > > the integrity of Chomsky and Pilger, and as yet another attempt to defend > > Western sanctions. What is so tragic is that many Observer readers will > > have assumed from your article that talk of the mass death of Iraqi > > children really is just an overblown "claim" made by the "the remnants of > > the left", as you put it, suggesting a small group of die-hard lefties > with > > redundant Cold War axes to grind. And yet, when challenged, you have been > > unable to defend your words, written with breezy confidence though they > > were. > > > > We wonder what you would have made of a German reporter "taking the mick" > > out of a tiny number of honest journalists trying to resist massive state > > pressure and propaganda by publishing 'claims' that the Nazis were > > committing genocide against the Jews in the 30s and 40s. Would that not > > truly have been a sinful use of humour? > > > > Finally, we noticed that last Sunday's Observer letters page (March 24, > > 2002) carried no correspondence from readers challenging your piece > > mentioning Chomsky and Pilger. There are a couple of possible reasons for > > this that spring to mind: > > > > 1. Perhaps the Observer really does think that readers responding to our > > Media Alerts are "just another yapping dog barking a line", as you say, > so > > that this correspondence does not qualify as authentic. > > > > 2. Perhaps the Observer letters page does not truly represent the > postbag, > > but represents what the editors are willing to let readers see of the > > postbag. Perhaps journalist Hannen Swaffer provided a clue when he said > in > > 1928: > > "Freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print such of the > > proprietor's prejudices as the advertisers don't object to." (Quoted, The > > Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations, Oxford 2001, p.350) > > Yours sincerely > > > > David Edwards and David Cromwell The Editors - Media Lens > > > > > > ---------------------------------- > > > > > > SUGGESTED ACTION > > Contact Nick Cohen: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org > > > > Ask Nick Cohen why, in his latest response, he does not list the full > > lifting of economic sanctions and the return of arms inspectors as a > > possible alternative to war. Ask him if he is aware of the position of > Hans > > von Sponeck and Denis Halliday. > > Copy your letters to the Observer editor, Roger Alton: Email: > > email@example.com > > > > Ask Roger Alton why his paper appears to be the only British broadsheet > > never to have mentioned Denis Halliday or Hans von Sponeck. Ask him why > he > > has not responded to the many people who have written to him on these > > issues. Remind him that in an interview with David Edwards in December > > 2000, he said: > > "I mean, you can't ask me about why other papers don't put stuff in. If > you > > ask me about something we haven't put in that's in somewhere else then I > > can be coherent." (see Interviews: www.medialens.org) > > > > Please bear in mind that your comments will be more effective if you > > maintain a polite, non-aggressive tone. Similarly, it is better to > > paraphrase points made above, rather than repeat them word for word. > > Please cc: firstname.lastname@example.org with your correspondence. > > > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > > To unsubscribe, visit > http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > > To contact the list manager, email email@example.com > > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > > > > > > > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at > http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp. > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > > To unsubscribe, visit > http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > > To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org > > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > > > > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos: > http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx > > > _______________________________________________ > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > To contact the list manager, email email@example.com > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk