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Re: [casi] Recent Amnesty

Well done, well put, Rahul. I just like to add that it is like being transferred from solitary 
confinement or maximum security to a large open prison called IRAQ. Moreover, why where they 
imprisoned in the first place? What about the victims who were eliminated during the "prison 
cleansing" visits by aspiring despots? Why the wait until now ? why? why?why?...........
It is time to stand up and be counted. It is necessary but not sufficient just to oppose external 
powers that be, the symptoms, ignoring the internal one, the cause. I urge all genuine solidarity 
with the Iraqi people, not government, to do a "Rahul Mahajan" .
>>> Rahul Mahajan <> 10/23 11:57 pm >>>
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?

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