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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I meant to silence no one or meant any offence to yourself or Colin and I gratefully respect your considered and intelligent replies to both postings. I agree unconditionally with your statement : I think it is possible to > take effective political action, which involves pragmatism and compromise, > while reserving (publically) for oneself the primacy of certain > fundamental ideals. In fact, I believe that if we do not do this, we risk > forgoing our opportunity to participate *at all* in the political process. My postings were just my way of reaffirming what I consider fundamental principals that as I said, must be reiterated from time to time to both maintain their validity and to avoid their dilution. I wanted to put forward an alternative pattern of thinking in the discussion when the temptation to see 'realpolitk' as inevitable becomes all consuming. As I hoped it has stimulated some very thoughtful responses from John, Abi and others on the list. I feel this kind of debate can really focus people, myself included, on what we are all trying to achieve within both the limits of CASI and in the world as a whole. I consider these foundations of international law as guiding principals which can help people (me anyway!) disseminate the mass of lies and horrors that we face. I am lucky, my grandfather was a partisan in the Italian resistance, his example and the lessons he taught my father have engendered these deeply held convictions in me and my family. He was left to die by the allies when they believed the Italian resistance threatened to become a political force in the aftermath of WWII and allowed Nazis who knew they were without new arms or support to pound them into the ground with heavy artillery. But these lessons have been useful against the powerful. In solidarity M ----- Original Message ----- From: Andrew Zurcher <email@example.com> To: M <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 2:44 PM Subject: ok > > M, > > Fair enough, but I don't think we are disagreeing. As you say, your aim is > not the same as Colin's (or mine, I suppose). Although my position on > inaugurating a new socialist revolution is nebulous, > not-carefully-considered, and anyway likely to be complicated, it's > irrelevant to the project that Colin is pursuing, and that unites and > focuses the energies of all of the people on the discussion list: lifting > non-military economic sanctions against Iraq. This is a limited objective, > and one that is very much in the realm of pragmatic politics (and do note, > you are using 'pragmatic' in a much different context than I; I am > referring to the actions of protesters and rights-activists; you are > referring to the use of the word by 'policy makers' the world over. I am > using it philosophically, whereas they (and you) are using it very > cynically). I'd also like to see quashed and righted many of the great > wrongs of the past that were perpetrated on a rationale of 'pragmatism', > but the 'pragmatic approach' that I am here giving equal ethical place > with idealism is a different concept altogether. I applaud and support > your wish to perpetuate certain inalienable ideals through this generation > and into the next, but while that is an important project, it is not > the focus of this list. I'd also like to save the whales, increase > literacy, reduce poverty, improve the rights of women, etc., but these, > too, are not within the ambit of the list. > > Anyway, we don't necessarily have to disagree. I think it is possible to > take effective political action, which involves pragmatism and compromise, > while reserving (publically) for oneself the primacy of certain > fundamental ideals. In fact, I believe that if we do not do this, we risk > forgoing our opportunity to participate *at all* in the political process. > I am not trying to silence you, as I hope you noticed; I'm only trying to > ask that you not silence Colin, or anyone who engages effortfully and in a > spirit of pragmatism with these horrible instruments--horrible, but the > only ones that we have, or are likely to get. > > az > > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > > Andrew Zurcher > Gonville & Caius College > Cambridge CB2 1TA > United Kingdom > tel: +44 1223 335 427 > > hast hast post hast for lyfe > > _______________________________________________ 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