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Re: [casi] The Sweeney.

Dear Bert and List,

It is becoming more and more difficult to express one's opinion, without being
told what one should say or not, what is proper and what is not, or what is
justified and what is not. My views of Sweeney remain my own, and I am fully
justified to believe of him as I wish.

Logic & reasoning, backed up by factual information, would only apply if your
opponent functions on the same level. But when your opponent "rubbishes"
everything, including reports by UN organizations and officials, and bases his
views on a story told by some driver to some mysterious person, then you can only
dismiss that person as not worthy of logical discussion. For people "in the West"
to accept such rubbish from Sweeney reflects the level of their (in)ability to see
through the propaganda.

The whole issue came out BECAUSE I commented on the exchange of correspondence
between Zaid & Sweeney, and because Sweeney came out as the ignorant, not the
"shrewd" reporter as described. His replies can not but tell me he is a man who
has no idea about what he is saying. Oil pipes for water…..

Perhaps I lack "first-hand knowledge" about Sweeney's program, but I don't
lack first hand knowledge about Iraq or about the Middle East. And that is the
difference between myself and people like Sweeney. I have indeed come across other
sources of relevant information, most of which are first-hand and acquired through
personal experience. I do agree that one MAY form opinions about certain issues
without having to visit the area in question, but it would be dangerous and
non-scientific to draw conclusions based ONLY on what someone else writes and
says. And while Bert's views of Iraq and the Middle East are not based on
first-hand knowledge, it seems a bit strange to dismiss my views of Sweeney for
the same reason... As I said, unless you walk through the Amiriya shelter, and see
the remains of burnt flesh on the walls, you will never understand my emotions!!

Whether people in the East are brainwashed by the media or governments is not
the issue here, nor does it justify lies and fabrications. The main starting point
was Sweeney and how this kind of propaganda and lies effect people's thinking, as
it has done for decades. We are not here to defend this system or that, nor to
compare them, and one should not feel personally insulted or offended. Neither am
I here trying to convince anybody of any "illusion" or "fairy-tale". To criticize
a known situation in one society does not by necessity mean that you are praising
another. When the Guardian reports the result of a study which states that Britons
are sinking into ignorance about world affairs, my conclusions become justified.
If we were to indulge in comparing things, we should indeed apply it both ways.
And then we would be justified to ask: Why shouldn't Iraq be allowed to own WMDs,
while Israel, Britain or Pakistan (to name a few) should have those weapons?? Why
is Saddam criticized for oppressing Kurds, but no one mentions the oppression of
Northern Ireland by Britain? How about the treatement of minorities in the US?
What makes one act justified and the other not?

The answer to the question: "what stimulates thinking & knowledge, of world
affairs, in Iraq?" can be found when one visits Iraq and gains first-hand
knowledge there of its affairs... One thing I can tell you: you will be surprised
at how well informed Iraqis are of world affairs.


Don't miss your favorite TV programs because you have it all daily on your own Maktoob TV Guide.

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