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[casi] Anti-war tactics/strategy (formerly Blair's speech -- keep themomentum going)

At 21:25 17/02/03, Salwa de Vree wrote:


>None of the arguments address the problem which
>I am often confronted with when talking to people about the situation. This
>problem is the question of terrorist attacks here in the West. People here are
>afraid. There are very real fears of terrorist attacks by 'Saddam, Bin Laden &
>Co.' Many people do, unfortunately, believe that Saddam and the Al-Qaida
>'network' pose a real threat to the West and that they can and will strike
>'again' and quite possibly use biological and/or chemical weapons. Israelis
>and New Yorkers are out buying gas masks, while here in Holland, the military
>has already been called in to protect our dams, tunnels and other strategic
>posts. Almost weekly there are news reports of Al-Qaida 'cells' operating in
>Holland and I don't need to remind you of all the arrests being made in
>Britain & the US.

You raise a good point. I believe that most of the marchers at the weekend
were not people who were there out of concern for Iraqis but because they
are afraid for themselves and their children.  It is not a criticism but an
observation. They are certainly not part of the peace movement - whether
peace movement groups will grown in numbers as a result of this remains to
be seen.

Regarding your main point, Gabriel Kolko, a well respected historian, in
his latest book (Another Century of War?, 2002) certainly believes that
al-Qaeda is a very large threat. Assuming that he's correct, we are left
with the question how will a massive attack on Iraq lessen that threat. As
things stand, Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden are enemies. If there are
chemical and/or biological weapons in Iraq Saddam is hardly going to give
them to al-Qaeda with the likely possibility that they will be used against

If, however, the US and the UK attack Iraq, threatening Saddam with
overthrow, if not worse, what has he got to lose at that stage by giving
these weapons to al-Qaeda?

The argument is surely one for allowing the inspectors to do their job. And
we should be calling for their presence in many other countries as well.

>I think the fear-mongering campaign is the real issue we
>should address. People don't care what happens to the Iraqi people and who is
>responsible for their suffering, they care about their own security, and
>believe that Saddam and Al-Qaida (whether or not connected) are a threat to
>the West and have to be eliminated.

Incidentally, I believe that it's come as a surprise to those in power to
see their "fear mongering" backfire on them. They hardly expected all these
fearful people to make common cause with the anti-war movement.


>Salwa de Vree,
>Leiden, The Netherlands.

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