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[ Converted text/html to text/plain ] Glenn is right, the argument of the evil, dangerous saddam does seem to be convincing people, esp. journalists. I too am energized after yesterday's march in Amsterdam, but am worried about dealing with issue of Saddam. I personally don't feel he is a threat to Europe, nor the neighbouring countries in the ME, but try telling people that and they just don't want to listen. Anyway, a year ago I was on the verge of throwing in the towel completely and many of you on this list persuaded me to carry on - a belated thanks for the support and understanding back then. And seeing yesterday's protests all over the world, just goes to show that the seeds we have been sowing over the years, do have an effect, so who knows, perhaps we can win this Saddam-bashing excuse for going to war and prevent the war after all. Well done to the French, Germans and Belgians, by the way. Article below is worth passing on to non-activists. Salwa de Vree, Leiden, The Netherlands. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenn Bassett" Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 22:14:19 -0000 To: "Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq" Subject: [casi] Blair's speech -- keep the momentum going > I know everyone's knackered but... > > I've spoken to a couple of non-activist people who were quite impressed with > Blair's rhetoric on Saturday (getting rid of Saddam would be a humanitarian > act etc). This is the argument he has resorted to and the one that it seems > convinces most people: he's nasty, therefore get rid of him; simple. > > That's the line I think we, as activists, need to be addressing most > urgently. > > Blair seems to be trying to ignore the many complicated consequences of war > (I think he knows he's lost those arguments now) and to reduce the issue in > people's minds to a simple black and white choice: get rid of Saddam or > leave him. In my view we should be responding quickly and in numbers to this > argument by pointing out the assumptions in this line, and all the points it > leaves unanswered. > > Letters, phone polls, email polls, MPs surgeries stalls, vigils etc. > > Hundreds of thousands of people are feeling energised from Saturday's > amazing events. Lets keep the momentum going -- it would be a shame for the > spirit of the demo to disappear out of sight again under the weight of > propaganda. > > Cheers > > Glenn. > > > > _______________________________________________ > 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 firstname.lastname@example.org > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > * * * * * About War, Real Estate and the Anti-War Movement Saturday, February 15 2003 @ 12:23 AM GMT By Ramzy Baroud* Today was a strange day. I found myself disagreeing with Chomsky, and in a peculiarly, twisted way, appreciating Thomas Friedman. New York Times famed columnist Friedman is an interesting journalist. He comes out, often, as one who is simply presenting different scenarios in the US effort to invade Iraq, without a shred of subjectivity, but in reality offers no option other than war. It's a clever warmongering tactic. (image) Iraq could become another Vietnam, he tells us, only if we wish to make it that way once we occupy it. Otherwise, he asserts, it could become a pillar of democracy and economic achievement, the way we made Germany and Japan following World War II. This was the core of the man's presentation on the Oprah Show, which was dedicated to the subject of war on Iraq, on February 13. What Friedman intentionally omitted from his talk was considering the moral and legal right to invade and occupy another sovereign country in the first place. Such disregard renders both of Friedman's options meaningless, even deceptive. Needless to say, despite my lack of respect for Friedman's arrogant depiction of almost everyone else, except of the United States and his strong support of the ruthless policies of the US and Israel governments, I am glad that he spared us the time to rebut his potential argument that a war on Iraq is motivated by any other reason than oil. I am still wondering why the big fuss over Friedman. But my lack of respect for the man's intellectual discourse was no reason for me not to appreciate the fact that he is open in thinking of Iraq as an oil field. "We will own Iraq", he kept on uttering, not only on the Oprah Show, but in other venues as well. Friedman has no ethical problem with "owning" someone else's country as cheap real estate, but his challenge is how can the United States consolidate such ownership in a way that could make the difference between Vietnam scenario on one hand, and Germany and Japan on the other. With a related yet slightly different angle, Professor Noam Chomsky was interviewed by the British Guardian, an interview published on February 04, on the subject of the anti war movement. The leading American intellectual who is considered one of the leading forces that shaped the present time opposition of the United States governments' imperial foreign policies, surprised me a bit stating: "There's never been a time that I can think of when there's been such massive opposition to a war before it was even started." Chomsky, like Friedman also resorted to the Vietnam comparison, again, with a different twist. If you compare the opposition to the Iraq war "with the Vietnam war, the current stage of the war with Iraq is approximately like that of 1961 - that is, before the war actually was launched, as it was in 1962 with the US bombing of South Vietnam and driving millions of people into concentration camps and chemical warfare and so on, but there was no protest. In fact, so little protest that few people even remember." On a personal level, the opposition to war across the world, despite the prevailing fear that war is imminent is one of those reasons that gives me urgently needed hope in a time that I often cannot help but despair. However, with all due respect, the anti Iraq war movement, unlike the Vietnam War is overdue, by at least 10 years. The Iraq war has never completely ended to start once more. The 1991 US-led allies war on Iraq continued, unabated using various forms of killing, focusing mostly on depriving the Iraqis from food and medicine. The United Nations' own studies testify to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as a result of the genocidal sanctions during the last decade. Meanwhile, hundreds of air raids on Iraq have always satisfied the requirement of war from a traditional warfare point of view. The fact that the world is now opposed to the unleashing of a newer stage of the US war on Iraq is a direct result of 10 years of devastating war. When people from across the world march in opposition to war, they don't carry abstract images of dying Iraqi children, but real photos of victims of the war on Iraq that has never ended. I worry that over crediting ourselves for the anti Iraq war movement, over 10 years after the war began, might compel some of us to rest with the assumption that the war is yet to start. The only factor that is uniquely different between this stage of the war in comparison to the earlier stages, is that the coming stage involves the complete invasion of the country, the installing of a puppet government and the killing of many more people, at a much faster pace. Needless to say, I am impressed and proud of the vigor of the anti war movement, all over the world, but in the United States in particular. Despite the fantastic "Showdown with Saddam" propaganda that assaults every American, all day every day, and despite the vicious attempts by the US government, in collaboration with the media, to instill fear in the heart of Americans to ease the way toward a "preemptive war" against an unreal threat, there are still millions of Americans who refuse to follow the US government's oil-motivated logic. There are still millions of Americans that care for a nation that resides thousands of miles away; there are many Americans who see the tragedy of September 11 as a reason for compassion and peace, not endless wars and invasions; and thank God, there are still millions of Americans, who, unlike Friedman, don't want to "own Iraq", and who would rather pay a few more pennies to fuel their cars than to cut short the lives of almost an entire generation of Iraqis. Two days ago, in a television interview, in New York, I had the honor of meeting a young man whose father was killed in the September 11 tragedy. The man is now a leader in the anti war movement and proudly advocates peace in response to the death of his father. The young man was a true inspiration, although he never made it at the Oprah Show; after all, unlike Freidman, he had nothing to do with the real estate business. *Baroud is the editor-in-chief of PalestineChronicle.com and the editor of "Searching Jenin: Eyewittness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002" http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030215002345911&mode=print * -- _______________________________________________ Sign-up for your own FREE Personalized E-mail at Mail.com Meet Singles ===References:=== 1. http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030215002345911&mode=print 2. http://www.mail.com/?sr=signup 3. http://corp.mail.com/lavalife _______________________________________________ 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