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 CASI members, As an Iraqi living in Europe, I found the discussion on the AI report quite distracting. Yasser Alaskary seems to have an agenda of his own, as does the member signing as Baghdad. This is their full right no doubt. However to build everything on personal hatred for one person (Saddam Hussein) is not the right way to approach problems. To begin with, I personally do not have much faith in AI and its reports. Some will not like this, but I have my reasons. Its reports are written by people, not infallible human beings. It is mostly based on hearsay and second hand information; from people who claim to have witnessed this or that. In many of the cases, if not most of them, people have been known to fabricate stories in order to gain asylum in the west. I know of many cases in Europe where people have come seeking political asylum (because they are Shi’i or Kurd) when in reality their only reason was looking for a better life (economically). In 1990, AI embarrassed itself and us by accepting at face value the US allegations about Iraqis killing babies in the incubators in Kuwait. AI did not check the allegations, simply rushed to condemn Iraq. I would hesitate very much before trusting news in such a way… I was in Baghdad last month and I met Tony there too. Nobody is claiming Iraq is a paradise or that there is no oppression. But to make an issue of check points in the roads borders on the ridiculous. If the writer would have travelled to Syria or Jordan, he would have seen similar or worse cases. None of those countries is at war or under sanctions or daily bombings. Was Tony “concentrating on "bad points" of the sanctions system?”. Definitely. And so should every fair-minded person in the world. We set out our priorities first before acting, and I for one believe that sanctions are the worst crime in human kind. Nothing else compares to it… I lived most of my life in Iraq, not only “was in Iraq prior to the Coalition attacks of 1991”, and I can say with all fairness that Iraq enjoyed a social standard unmatched in the whole area. This is confirmed even by UN organizations. Salaries were amongst the highest in the area, medical service was excellent as was education. The government spent on electrification, water and sewage projects, housing and a whole range of public benefit projects. I am sure both Yasser and Baghdad enjoyed those benefits, bought the subsidized goods from the shops, travelled like they wanted, and finished their studies without paying a penny. Getting involved in politics is another issue, not only in Iraq, but also in any country in the area. Iraq is not the exception. Just a look at the recent oppressive measures in the Arab world where demonstrations were stopped by the army tells us a lot. Halabja is brought back now and then, and I still haven’t seen a single shred of evidence, apart from a report by some Zionist researcher for HRW, that shows it was Iraq that had gassed halabja. There is also another report which accuses Iran of being the one that did the gassing. Why do Yasser and Baghdad disregard that report, and accept the other? Is it hatred, or is there a sectarian agenda behind that? What happened in Dujeil should perhaps be explained, not taken out of context. An assassination attempt was made against Saddam, who escaped it having changed his route. His cars were attacked. He retaliated (the American/Israeli term nowadays accepted?). I believe George Bush would have done the same. In fact, Clinton bombed Baghdad with cruise missiles because of an allegation that Iraq had tried to assassinate George Bush Sr. in Kuwait; a simple allegation and suspicion was enough…. Do we hear comments about that? Do we hear comments about how the Syrian city of Hama was bombarded by the army in the 1970’s for a similar reason? I am not saying I approve what happened in Dujeil. On the contrary, I oppose any form of violence or oppression. My point is that you can not go about trying to kill somebody, and when it fails and he turns to you, you start screaming: murderer! There are no good killers and bad killers. During the 1991 uprising, members of the Ba'ath party, officials and even members of their families were killed by members of the uprising. In one famous case, a poet who used to praise Saddam had his tongue cut before he was excuted. Is this the kind of regime that will replace Saddam's? I believe that our main mission is to fight sanctions, not find faults in this regime or that. Otherwise, we will be wasting our energies. The AI report also mentions many other states in the area, in Europe, in Asia and Africa and even the US. This group, if I understand right, is for “the Campaign against sanctions in Iraq” not the campaign against the Iraqi regime or Saddam. Please let’s keep it at this. Best regards to all. Hassan _________________________________________________________ Don't miss your favorite TV programs because you have it all daily on your own Maktoob TV Guide. http://maktoob.tv-now.net _______________________________________________ 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