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re: [casi] Blair's speech -- keep the momentum going

Hello all,

many things have been said about how the peace-movement should address the
sort of speeches Bush & Blair (and their vazals)have given to the
If you put all the arguments in the different postings together, I think
that one big issue is missing.
Blair wants to divert the discussion to Saddam Hussein. But in fact, one
doesn't need to take a clear stand on the issue of the
democratic or non-democratic character of the Iraqi regime.
Leave that issue to the Iraqi people. They will take care of their internal
affairs, not we.
Even if we suppose that Saddam is a ruthless dictator, the reasons for going
to war are geo-strategical and economical: this war has nothing to do with
human rights. It's about the control of energy and other resources, it's
about world-domination, it's about solving the severe economic crisis in the
US, it's about creating military bases in the region, it's about using their
new weaponry, it's about the aspirations of Israel, it's about destroying
third world economies to take care of the US crisis of overproduction etc..
I think we should concentrate on this issues rather than to let the
discussion divert to Saddam, whose so-called "dictatorship" has nothing to
do with this war. Remember that the president of the German National Bank
and other prominent Western economists write that a short war can give new
oxygen to the US and world-economy.
But to mask their real reasons, they have to fabricate lies to sell their
war. Remember that Bush said that he wants to pay for this war with the
Iraqi oil. And that is the most brutal form of colonial "reconquista" one
can imagine. With that money the world could be fed, the world could have
clear water, free education, you name it. But all means will be used just to
destroy a country that has been bled dry already.
I hope this contribution is useful to campaigners for peace, in addition to
the arguments that have already been given.
Dirk adriaensens.

----- Original Message -----
From: "F.Dowker" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [casi] Blair's speech -- keep the momentum going

A useful thing, for letters and discussion, is to learn a couple
of quotes from humanitarian agencies about the threats to the wellbeing of
the millions of Iraqi children and other vulnerable people. Juxtaposing
them directly with the quote from Blair about it being an ``act of
is quite striking. There was an Independent article posted here a
few days ago with quotations from terrified Iraqi children. Again
juxtapose with the  ``act of humanity'' statement.
Useful perhaps to mention the possibility of the ``Shock and Awe''
strategy of smashing Baghdad with 800 Cruise Missiles in 48 hours and
eliminating all power and communications facilities in a
``Hiroshima/Dresden'' type act of terrorism, crushing the population to a
state of utter despair. We don't know if they're planning to do this,
but if Blair were asked if this was ruled out, he couldn't say it wasn't.
(In fact we should ask him.) Calling this an act of humanity sounds
I think it can be useful _gently_ to press people on
how many people they think are going to be killed. They will have no
answer. You can then ask whether it can be right to advocate a violent act
when they have no idea how many people will die.
(Especially when death in war is so terrible -- so much terror,
screaming, dying slowly in agony in the rubble in the dark and searching
for your children's broken bodies -- I don't tend to say this, though it
is always on my own mind.) Then you can bring up the actual UN estimates
and discuss the fact that because of the poverty caused by sanctions much
the population relies, precariously, on the government for subsistence
rations and even slight disruption (let alone Shock and Awe) will cause
great suffering. I sometimes ask how someone would feel to be living in
Baghdad with their elderly relatives, disabled brother or sick
children at this moment.
Blair's stance of supporting the Iraqi people can be destroyed by
explaining that he has helped to maintain the entire country in a state of
destitution and economic collapse with rampant poverty (which kills) that
has required people to rely on government handouts for more than a
decade. Listmembers know better than anyone how to refute his claim to be
acting on behalf of the Iraqi people.
Good luck everyone.

On Sun, 16 Feb 2003, Eric Herring wrote:
A quick comment to use on this. If the argument is that Saddam is such
an intolerable beast and that is why we MUST go to war, then that means
those taking that line must be committed to going to war even if Iraq
complies fully with the disarmament process (and which should be
accompanied by the lifting of the sanctions).
Dr. Eric Herring
Department of Politics
University of Bristol
10 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU
England, UK
Office tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582
Mobile tel. +44-(0)7771-966608
Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133

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 +  Fay Dowker                       Physics Department               +
 +                                   Queen Mary, University of London +
 +  E-mail:       Mile End Road,                   +
 +  Phone:  +44-(0)20-7882-5047      London E1 4NS.                   +
 +  Fax:    +44-(0)20-8981-9465                                       +
 +  Homepage:          +

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