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Re: [casi] Mark Twain: on anti-war support

Dear Hassan and CASI,

As regards the Pope, I think the point to be made here is that Bush and
Blair regard themselves as strong and committed Christians. If, therefore,
one of Christianity's most important institutions should come out so
strongly against war, they ought to be reconsidering their stance. Bush has
been advised not to describe this as a "crusade", but much of the rhetoric
he and Blair are using is racist and anti-Islam.

For this reason, I am with Peter in saying that I am unhappy about us
"liberating" Iraq. Hassan's e-mail has forced me to think hard about this.
It is impossible to be under any illusion about Sadam Hussein. However, I
don't feel that Britain and the US are in the position of moral superiority
that would enable us to be ones to step in, and "liberate" Iraq. Blair and
Bush tell us that this is what we would be doing, in order to quiet our
consciences, but to me it smacks of arrogant colonialism, as Peter has
said. If Saddam were to go, what options are there? I don't know enough
about the current state of Iraqi opposition. Is there an opposition party
which could fill the gap, and improve things for the Iraqi people without
being a puppet of the US? I don't think that we have improved matters at
all in Afghanistan from what I have seen and read. The position of women
does not appear to have changed much, and demands that women be included
when the current interim government was set up went largely unheeded, even
though the US and other allies could have made sure that they were.

Moreover, if we are going to liberate the Arab world from evil oppressors,
shouldn't we be marching on Israel? Or Saudi Arabia, which also treats its
women like second-class citizens, amongst other human rights violations?
Hassan, please don't be offended, I do not want to ignore the suffering of
the Iraqi people, but please don't put your faith in the US and Britain. We
are not the answer.

Best wishes,


--On Friday, January 17, 2003 9:47 AM +0000 wrote:

> Dear Hassan, group
> I don't know if the Pope personally knows much about Iraq but the Roman
> Catholic Church as a whole ought to since so far as I can see the main
> body of Christians in Iraq are attached to Rome. I assume that this is
> what is behind the Vatican's consistent opposition to war and I assume
> also that it reflects their quite intimate knowledge of a substantial
> body of Iraqi opinion. Since of course there are many Roman Catholics in
> the US army its by no means an automatic assumption that they would
> oppose the war quite as forcefully as they have done.
> Mark Twain certainly knew next to nothing about Iraq but he did know
> quite a lot about the USA and particularly its international ambitions,
> since he witnessed the beginning of what has been a long, continuing,
> consistent process of world domination. As with all Empires, the US has
> made use of the political difficulties of other parts of the world,
> entering into alliance with weaker parties in world disputes as it
> advances its cause. And sometimes that means it is supporting 'just'
> causes. But the main thing is the extension of US power.
> As a British citizen I belong to a culture which had a great world empire,
> maintained by a mixture of brutality, bribes and a thoroughgoing racist
> confidence in our superiority over all the other peoples of the world. We
> lost the Empire and I, like many other people in Britain, think this was
> a Good Thing. I don't want to play any role in the building up of a new
> one, whether it is our own or the Americans'. It may be that the Iraqis
> are unable by themselves, or with the aid of their Arab neighbours, to
> solve their own political problems; but if Hassan and his friends want us
> to help them (that is to say, a particular faction of the Iraqi
> population) out then they should bear in mind our interests as well. And
> it is not in our interests to commit the sort of mass murder we have
> committed in Iraq over the past twelve years. It is destructive morally,
> politically, intellectually and even materially as it sets us up as the
> enemy of the world.
> If we do help Hassan and his friends to 'liberate' Iraq then I hope
> fervently that our Iraqi allies will have sufficient national pride to
> immediately turn against us and knife us in the back. After what we have
> done since 1991, we will have deserved it.
> Yours
> Peter Brooke
> Dear Elga, list,
> Since when have we needed to listen to people such as
> the pope or Mark Twain regarding politics?  Does the
> pope have any clue about what's really going on in
> Iraq?  Probably not, and I'll bet neither do most of
> the anti-war protesters.  Maybe we should get some
> meaningful opinions, like the ones of the Iraqi
> people.  People whose lives and futures are being
> discussed around the world without their say being
> included.  If you happen to read some of the
> high-ranking emails from people in Iraq, you'll find
> that they'll quickly show their love for Saddam and
> their hate for any American interference.  For those
> of you who actually believe these people, I'll let you
> in on a little secret:
> The average Iraqi would welcome the long overdue war
> against Saddam with open arms and hearts.  They have
> suffered so much because of Saddam, that they would
> kiss Ariel Sharon's feet, if he were installed as the
> puppet for the Americans after Saddam is ousted.
> Castro is not slaughtering the Cuban people for us to
> be worrying too much about them right now.  We should
> be focusing on the people who are really suffering.
> For all you human rights activists: Where have you
> been the in the last twenty to thirty years?  Do you
> all of a sudden have a voice when the US is finally
> helping out the Iraqis?  Where were your voices when
> Saddam deported, tortured, and murdered his people?
> Why are you all of a sudden interested in the
> estimated number of casualties that will take place
> when the Americans take out Saddam?  These numbers are
> a mere fraction of the number of lives already lost,
> and the number of lives that will be lost if Saddam
> stays.  The people that die because of a war with Iraq
> will end up dying under Saddam's regime.  Most Iraqis
> would rather death than the continuity of Saddam's
> rule.
> Let's pray that the Iraqi people stop suffering by
> making sure the American government finally gets rid
> of the dictator that inflicts the suffering.
> Yours,
> Hassan
> ----------------------------------------------
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