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Thank you, Colin, for this post and your thoughts. As one of the U.S. members of this group, I would find it very difficult not only to support your comments about not trusting the Bush Administration but to add that thousands, possibly millions, of people over here feel the same. Last night an article stating that the invasion of Iraq has been in the planning since shortly before Bush took office was posted. The article is at: "http://www.sundayherald.com/27735">http://www.sundayherald.com/27735 I am not familiar with this Glasgow newspaper and don't know how to verify the existence of the "document" they refer to, exposing a pax Americana that is indeed frightening. I would appreciate comments on the legitimacy of this newspaper. But even without the information of this article, the trust required to believe that the U.S. might invade Iraq (I read that projected death numbers this time are much higher than in the Gulf War), then allow it to become the democracy that the Iraqi people might choose and yet help rebuild the near total devastation - well, this trust just isn't here. We in the protest movement feel that the rebuilding is not of interest to the Bush administration and, sadly, would not be high on a priorities list of many Americans, if only because of the prohibitive cost. Worse, possibly, is the fear that Iraq would simply be the first step, to be followed by Syria and Iran, and in time, Saudi Arabia. However shocking it is to some, we have to continually remember the 112 billion barrels of oil beneath Sadam. As I understand it (and it's FAR out of my realm of knowledge), the Iraqi oil is far superior to Saudi oil because of its lower sulfur content. I don't think these things can be left out of the total picture. Mr. Bush has in no way shown himself to be a man of truth or compassion. In one of the greatest ironies of history, he came to power by virtue of having no "sin" attached to his name, following the debacle of Mr. Clinton's sexual misdeeds. Having no reputation for adultery or infidelity carried an absurd amount of weight in 2000. But a look at the record gives no credibility to true compassion, wisdom or honesty. Sorry for the length, but I would emphasize the strong beliefs of the growing protest movement over here. It will not stop with Iraq. After we determine the numbers of their dead, with a stronger U.S. military than before, other countries will follow until the U.S. has complete control of mideast oil. I've often been told this chilling statement: World War III will be between the U.S. and the rest of the world. I don't know, of course, and I'd like to think that we, the U.S., would simply "free" the Iraqi people, who would in the end suffer fewer deaths than they now do. But I can't. Lisa --- Colin Rowat <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Dear Sama and others, > > I share your concerns, which I think extend beyond > the list. The debate on > Iraq has been shaken up a great deal in the past > year or so, and possibly > greatly complicated. This, I think, has led to some > intellectual disarray > as well, part of which may be reflected on the list. > > I also share your perception that the fastest way to > remove sanctions may be > to allow the US to topple Saddam's regime, in part > given the US' commitment, > this past decade, to not allowing Iraq's economic > normalisation under > Saddam. I felt uncomfortable coming to this sense, > as it is not 'right' > somehow: I dislike feeling that the US should be > able to evade > responsibility for its bankrupt and lethal policy by > shooting its way out of > it. But, if that did allow Iraq to rebuild, and to > restart its life, > perhaps it is a price worth paying. > > I've become less comfortable with this conclusion > over the past months, > though, for at least two reasons. First, when I > travelled to Baghdad in May > for a week (to a conference hosted by the Iraqi > government - I was therefore > their guest; my speech was the first, after two > days, to receive a rebuttal > from Tariq Aziz, the chair; the subsequent > conference bulletin printed his > rebuttal, but not my remarks) I was able to put > faces to this argument. I > saw friends, and could see how worried they were > about what their future > held. I attended a private function hosted by one > of them and was asked to > say a few words. I made a few joking and banal > remarks about being put on > the spot but was then saved by a woman who asked > whether people in the UK > were listening. My perception of the mood changed > completely: I sensed that > part of what she was asking me was whether she would > live or die. > > A second memory that left an impression on me was a > supper with friends on > another night in a restaurant. As I watched the > children playing in the > swings and running about, I had the sense that, for > some (and not just > Saddam's cronies?), some semblance of normal life > was being restored in Iraq > after a decade of trauma: the house of cards was > being slowly rebuilt. The > prospect of removing a single card buried deep > within that house struck me > as a daunting one, and the costs of failure became > tangible - children on > swings. > > Intellectually, these experiences didn't change my > arguments, but they did > put faces on them, and helped me to feel some part > of the new fear that many > Iraqis must feel. This had made it more difficult > for me personally to feel > supportive of the US in this. > > My second concern is that I simply do not trust the > Bush administration. > Bush condemns Palestinian terrorism from the golf > course and, without > pausing, asks the press to watch his drive. Cheney > strikes me as a deeply > secretive individual, who prefers operating in > shadows, something that I > find at odds with democracy's basic premise of > government by the people. > Rumsfeld's penchant for presenting pure speculation > as fact as long as it > advances his agenda is equally antithetical to what > I would like to see in a > democracy; while I understand the importance of > pragmatism, this cynicism > disturbs me. > > Further, I do not trust their agenda - in part > because I do not think that > it has been honestly presented. It is clear that > Iraqi disarmament only > forms a small component of what this is about: were > it the largest priority, > I think that US assurances that this was their > largest priority would now > see Saddam eagerly swallow a lot of pride and > welcome in full, unfettered > inspections. A large part of it does seem to be > about toppling Saddam. If > the only consequence of this was Saddam's > deposition, then I would have no > concerns with this. But there are other > consequences, which I do not know > how to properly assess: how many civilians will be > killed; what does the US > administration regard as an acceptable post-Saddam > scenario (the Hashemite > monarch that the neo-cons have been promoting? a > democracy, which might > therefore be Shi'a dominated? an Iraqi Musharraf? > what economic return will > the US demand on its possible expenditure of tens of > billions of dollars in > Iraq?); how will international affairs be changed by > this sort of a > precedent? > > I think that these are important concerns, but they > are not being addressed > by this administration, which avoids them, > pretending that this is just a > simple issue of appeasing Saddam or not appeasing > him. This blinkered > presentation was noted by Senator Lugar, the ranking > Republican on the > Senate Foreign Relations Commmittee. Noting the > range of issues discussed > during their hearings on Iraq, he said: "This is a > whole lot more . . . than > I hear anybody in our administration talking about". > A oft used argument > against altering or lifting the sanctions was that > there was no coherent > alternative: the Bush administration does not seem > to me to be interested in > setting out a coherent and comprehensive vision for > Iraq. > > I am therefore being asked to trust that a US > administration whose senior > members I do not trust, and who deny the concerns > that I feel to be > important, will make the right decisions for Iraq's > future. My worries are > further deepened when I note that this > administration seems committed to a > narrowly self-interested view of foreign policy, has > helped cut Iraqi > oil-for-food sales in half and seems to have adopted > Israeli foreign policy > positions with respect to the Middle East. > Indirectly, Bush's presidency > was listless before 11 September 2001, the economy > softening, corporate > scandal wrapping its tendrils around senior > officials. I am therefore > worried that Iraq policy is being used to distract > American attention. > > So, what alternatives do I propose? For years, I've > thought that they must > focus on process: the soundest basis for a good > outcome is one in which due > process is attempted. The Security Council is > therefore an inappropriate > body for this as the US veto on it places the US in > the role of both an > interested party in the case and a judge, a deep > perversion of any notion of > justice or due process. There are provisions in UN > history for the General > Assembly to involve itself in issues of > international === message truncated === __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! News - Today's headlines http://news.yahoo.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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk