The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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It seems that the problem with the news mailing is to do with collective mailing, either to CASI or to CASI and other interested parties. So I have to send one or two collective mailings to try things out. So I shall intervene in the current 'dispute' which is getting everyone so irritated at the present time. It is not surprising that tempers are getting frayed and insults are being exchanged. Each side believes that the other is at best tolerating, at worst supporting, unimaginable wrongs which are affecting or have affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. On the one side, people like myself and, I imagine, most subscribers to the list, believe in a straightforward lifting of sanctions which, even if there are conditions attached, will restore the Iraqi economy into the hands of the present government, which will leave them looking like the victors of the Gulf War. They will have succeeded in facing down the might of the 'international community' and their prestige will be enormous. And Iraq's oil wealth is such that, even if they only exercise a partial control over it, they immediately become very powerful. On the other hand there are those who advocate a war to overthrow Saddam, with all the immense suffering and destruction that would involve (on top of all the immense suffering and destruction that has already been inflicted by the previous war and subsequent blockade). On the one hand, 'we' seem to our opponents to be indifferent to a government which, it is widely believed, has established and maintained itself through a rule of fear. On the other hand, 'they' (since I am taking sides) seem to be indifferent to the miseries inflicted on their fellow countrymen and women by the West under the leadership of the United States. I have questions for both sides - for Ghazwan and Nermin in Iraq, and for Yasser and Ahmed as exiles (and let me say in parenthesis that I for one am pleased to see both sides on the list. I don't regard the list as a means of simply discussing anti-sanctions strategy. I regard it also as a means of learning about what's going on in and around Iraq and the more we hear directly from the people most immediately involved - whatever side they represent - the better.) For Gazhwan and Nermin my question is this: Is it true that the Kurdish population still under Baghdad control around Kirkuk is being or has been destroyed as a people - forcibly displaced and dispersed about the country; and that similarly the 'Marsh Arabs' no longer exist as a coherent people in their own homeland in the South? One of the reasons I ask is that this seems to me to be the most serious charge at present being levelled against the Iraqi government; yet the US and their allies are making very little of it, possibly because it makes nonsense of the rationale behind the No Fly Zones (to protect the Kurds in the North and the Shi'i in the South). And my question for Yasser and Ahmed is this (though the same point has been raised recently by Dirck Adriaensens): I understand that you advocate war to overthrow Saddam Hussein; but that you insist that this war should be conducted without hurting 'the Iraqi people'. Do you have any suggestions as to how that could be achieved? _______________________________________________ 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