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.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Hello, all. This seems to be another thread of the kind that many on this list wish to regard as taboo. But it is worth pointing out for those unaware that most prisoners in Iraq are political prisoners, not criminals. Regimes like that of the GOI cannot survive without imprisoning dissidents. Among criminals, the worst ones are never in prison under regimes like this because they collude with the state. Petty thieves, on the other hand, who have no political power or connections, can expect to have their hands amputated -- and the doctors who refuse to amputate them can expect a prison term themselves. If this is a "poison pill," it may turn out to be one for Saddam. If he has done it to blunt the force of Bush's drive to war, it will obviously not work. If he's done it to increase Iraqi solidarity against foreign aggression and increase support for his government, it may work, but it's very likely to backfire -- despotic regimes like his are in the most danger when they start to relax control. He couldn't even control the release of prisoners -- when mobs of people coming to receive them surged, there was no way to assert authority at that moment and the people stormed the prisons. For anyone who has worked on Iraq for any length of time to assume that prisoners in Iraq are criminals is mind-boggling. Surely it is possible to oppose the far greater crimes of the American empire and its British satrap without supporting or justifying despotism and the crushing of popular resistance in other countries. In solidarity, Rahul Mahajan >I attach a link Andrew kindly sent me on the recent >amnesty by Saddam. > >I had originally found it difficult to think that this >is a last ditch effort (as described by NYT) to >increase popularity, given that most Iraqis, I would >imagine would think that they live in a more secure >society if those who are rightly locked up are locked >up. But having read the NYT article, maybe there are >few in Iraq who are justly locked up (or is it just a >media distortion again to paint the picture of a >totally unjust country where those who should be >rightly locked up are in face free?). > >In any event, I have wondered if this is a "poison >pill" strategy i.e. trying to turn Iraq into a >criminal world (far-fetched but not unimaginable if >150,000 prisoners are out) such that occupation and >the subsequent governance by the West/UN is going to >be a much more difficult and costly? > >Any views? > >Jiale _______________________________________________ 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