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 Bert and CASI members I have promised not to indulge in the discussion about Amnesty International. Bert’s posting made me change my mind.. 1- If you read the first sentence carefully it says "tell me news not history" which means that the 2002 report is not much different from the 1988 report or any other report that they published for the last 25 year. 2- I do not have to read the report I listened to AI reports on BBC, Voice of America, Radio liberty/ Radio free Europe/ Radio free Iraq... etc. Come-on Bert be serious would you expect me to go to any bookshop in Baghdad and ask for Amnesty International report? 3- << The sanctions issue, although not entirely ignored (esp. by A.I. of U.S.A.), many would agree, has not had the attention it deserves>>. Do you expect me to be very happy because it is “not entirely ignored” or “had the attention it deserves”?. I live like the rest of the 22 millions Iraqi’s under sanctions. We are the most effected by it. The sanctions issue is THE central issue in our life. You may read, in London, about it BUT it affects every aspect of our life. We have a say in the area “He who gets flogged is not like he who counts”. With all due respect, and deep appreciation, to all CASI members you are all counting while we get the beatings and that is difference. 4- I have no intention to defend Iraqi government record BUT I say that the sanctions have caused the death and suffering to the Iraqi innocent civilian population far exceeding any number of political prisoners reported by Amnesty international ever since its creation. Bert get your reports and your calculator and do it. Killing thousands and thousands people by depriving them of clear water, health services, food, education, fear from being bombed every day .Etc .is far worse than killing one political opponent (both are bad but one is worse than the other). Don’t tell Bert that the sanctions “killing” is acceptable to you and AI. If not where do you and AI stand on this. I want to read a firm stands not wishy-washy statement like <Such wicked practices, nor sanctions & bombings, can never be justified> (what about condoning sanctions, bombing?). < Regrettably, mistakes have been made, on rare occasions serious ones> (on this rare occasion it caused the death of 500000 to 1500000 take your pick the figure you think you can digest Bert without getting sick!). How about <REPORTEDLY resulted>? 5- It was your government (UK government) which ignored AI report around 1988 for their political aims. Now it is your government which is sitting AI report to justify the imposition of sanctions again to further their political aims. Your government should have been more consistent in their thinking and actions and not Ghazwan! They read the reports each year and not Ghazwan; they have a huge embassy in Baghdad to monitor things and not Ghazwan! It is the UK government ignored / used A.I. reports to further their political goals and not Ghazwan. 6- << I have forwarded Ghazwan's letter to A.I. in London. They may consider him a time-waster> >Yes Bert you are correct it is < a time-waster>. For 12 years they, AI, know about the devastating effects of sanctions yet A.I. still have not made up their mind yet whether the sanctions are a violation of all the known international protocols to protect the civil and political rights. AI discredited it self by not taking a stand on sanctions. I only pointed out to its failure. Do you think a simple letter from a humble individual from Baghdad could change their view? I doubt that because condoning sanctions would imply that the USA and UK are committing genocide. 7- I am sorry that you understood my criticism of AI as < irresponsible abuse & accusations, despite his shallow knowledge.> ,< insults & crudities > and < crude anti-Amnesty> Did I say all that? wow! I thought that you would tell me that I was wrong to assume that your government ignored AI report 1987-1988. I thought that you would tell I was mistaken to assume that Iraq’s record is not very much worse than the other states in the area. 8- << I have no problem with Ghazwan being a Ba'athist, if he is, but - if so - at least he should have the decency to declare it.> >I am sorry to say that you, Bert, are using the same tactics of any other dictator. You are assuming guilt by association. If I say I am a Ba'athist then you will discredit my contribution just because I am a Ba'athist. If I say I am not and you don’t like my contribution then you will insist that I am a Ba'athist! and again discredit my contribution. This is a form of intellectual terrorism. My contribution like any other contribution to the list should be judged by the content and not by my political affiliation. Bert I respect your right of association and I expect you to respect my rights. It is for me to know,Ba'athist or not, and for you to find out!. 9- I firmly stand by my point that “Until and unless Amnesty International takes a firm stand on sanctions I [and didn’t say any other person] will consider their reports as WORTHLESS”. Bert you are a campaigner for human rights please respect my right "to consider their report as worthless" Bert let us hope that this subject will be closed because I have no other points to add until I overcome my <shallow knowledge> Best Regards Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Baghdad, Iraq ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bert Gedin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 2:48 AM Subject: The sun, reportedly, stopped shining. > > Dear 'List', > > As a long-time campaigner against sanctions/bombings of Iraq, also as an > A.I. member, I have been thoroughly apalled by the virulent attacks on > Amnesty, on this site. A.I. works to promote human rights everywhere, not > exclusively for Iraq. The sanctions issue, although not entirely > ignored (esp. by A.I. of U.S.A.), many would agree, has not had the > attention it deserves. But, therefore, to gloss over governmental > injustices, pretending they don't exist, is blatant dishonesty, perhaps even > to oneself. I must admit that the reports I have read, about wrongful > imprisonments, torture, branding, amputations, executions etc., > in Iraq, were all harrowing and sickening. Such wicked practices, nor > sanctions & bombings, can never be justified. > > About 6 months or so ago, Ghazwan queried A.I.'s record re. sanctions. > He confessed to his ignorance, re. A.I., admitted to never having read > any reports. I tried my best to clarify some of the issues. Then the > director of New Zealand Amnesty stepped in with an excellent account, which > rendered anything I might have had to say superfluous. > > If "human rights", nowadays, a familiar phrase, means anything at all, > then people must work together to achieve them, locally, nationally & > internationally. Regrettably, mistakes have been made, on rare occasions > serious ones. But A.I. works in some 150 countries, often under extremely > difficult circumstances, at times in great danger from those with few > scruples. Frequently, the causes are unpopular, where the world seems to > care little, or not at all. It is easy enough, for someone like Ghazwan, to > hurl irresponsible abuse & accusations, despite his shallow knowledge. The > agenda is crude anti-Amnesty propaganda. - I have no problem with Ghazwan > being a Ba'athist, if he is, but - if so - at least he should have the > decency to declare it. > > I have forwarded Ghazwan's letter to A.I. in London. They may consider him a > time-waster. On the other hand, they may, having passed by the insults & > crudities, seriously consider some of the points he is making. - "People > ...ignore and/or use A.I. reports to further their > political agenda." Make your mind up, Ghazwan! > > Greetings, > > Bert Gedin (Birmingham, U.K.). > > _________________________________________________________________ > Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com > > _______________________________________________ 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