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[casi] Hambastegi English 147: People of Iraq don't want war, open l et ter to TonyBlair, Long Live March 8: Public meeting - Women agai nst Wa r, MoreExecutions in Iran

Dear list,

I get bemused when certain Iraqis say that 'all Iraqi exiles support the
war'. This clearly is not the case, as the message below illustrates, and
leads me to suspect their credibilty on other issues. Just like British or
Americans, Iraqis are divided on this issue. This is an issue of politics,
not of nationality.

Where was the foreign invasion that toppled Caucescu? Honnecker (the GDR was
a far more efficient police state than Iraq is)? Where was the war that
toppled Stalinism? Marcos? The National Party in South Africa? Somoza?
Batista? It was the people of these countries who revolutionised and
democratised themselves, often with aid from solidarity movements in other

Foreign invasion has ended oppression some times: the Vietnamese invasion of
Cambodia springs to mind. Other times, though, its impact has been mixed.
For the people of the German east, the 'liberation' of 1945 was a very mixed
blessing. NATO's invasion of Kosova in 1999 stopped the racist deportation
of Albanians by Serbs and instituted a racist deportation of Serbs and
Gypsies by Albanians

Now is the time to redouble our efforts to offer practical solidarity with
progressive opposition movements in Iraq, or we will see them (like in
Kosova) taken over by nationalists and the CIA.

Down with the fascist dictatorship of Saddam!
Long live the Iraqi people!

Chris Williams

> -----Original Message-----
> From: IFIR []
> Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 11:52 AM
> Subject: Hambastegi English 147: People of Iraq don't want war, open
> letter to Tony Blair, Long Live March 8: Public meeting - Women against
> War, More Executions in Iran
> Hambastegi English Number 147, 7 March 2003
> Paper of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
> Editor: Maryam Namazie
> Translators: Laili Panahi
> In this Issue:
> * People of Iraq do not want this war!
> An open letter to the Prime Minister Tony Blair: Iraqi asylum seekers and
> refugees oppose the war on Iraq, Dashty Jamal, International Federation of
> Iraqi Refugees-Britain
> * Iran: Labour activist and political opponents executed by Islamic regime
> of Iran
> * Long Live March 8 International Women's Day! London Public Meeting:
> Women
> against War
> * Updates
> * Join IFIR
> **************************************************************************
> *
> * People of Iraq do not want this war!
> This war on Iraq is not about the brutality of Saddam and his despotic
> regime.  When we were fighting to get rid of Saddam, the US and British
> governments kept him in power.  They armed him with the chemical weapons
> that he used against us and the people of Halabja.
> This war is not about the liberation of the Iraqi people.  Killing and
> maiming people in their tens of thousands and destroying their homes,
> schools, hospitals and workplaces is a sick way of trying to 'liberate'
> them.
> This war is not about fighting terrorism.  Terrorism will only increase as
> a result of this war.  This war and its aftermath will provide another
> grievance and another excuse for Islamic terrorists to exploit for many
> years to come for their own horrific and reactionary ends - just as they
> have been doing with the injustices against the Palestinian people.
> This war is not about Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The biggest stockpiles
> of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are held by the US and British
> governments themselves.  USA is the only state in the world to have
> actually used nuclear weapons against hundreds of thousands of innocent
> civilians.  Twelve years of economic sanctions have killed up to half a
> million people in Iraq, while strengthening the regime of Saddam.
> Economic
> sanctions have been one of the biggest Weapons of Mass Destruction.
> With this war, the US and British governments are following their own
> inhuman political agenda.  This war is the pretext for the USA to assert
> its unquestioning world supremacy as the biggest military and economic
> power in the world at the cost of tens of thousands of lives and mass
> destruction.  The British government is playing the role of a junior
> partner in this bloody campaign to share in the spoils and strengthen its
> position vis-a-vis its rivals.
> The reactionary opposition groupings in Iraq, the monarchists, Islamists,
> Kurdish nationalist gangs and former army officers and secret service
> agents of the Iraqi regime, are not the representatives of the Iraqi
> people.  They are warlords and self-appointed rulers who already have a
> dark and bloody record of repression against the people of Iraq and Iraqi
> Kurdistan.  They are not the 'liberators' of the people of Iraq.  They
> are,
> rather, the new Iraqi Contras - armed and financed by the CIA and Pentagon
> and/or various repressive regional states such as the Islamic regime in
> Iran.  A devastating war and the unleashing of these forces is the grim
> future being planned by Bush and Blair for the Iraqi people.
> The people of Iraq do not want a bloody war that will kill and maim
> hundreds of thousands, destroy people's homes, strengthen terrorists,
> nationalists, Islamists and other reactionary forces, and make Iraqi
> people's struggle for freedom and civil liberties that much
> harder.  Genuine freedom in Iraq will only come when the people of Iraq
> are
> able to conduct their struggles against the regime of Saddam or any other
> repressive regime without the threat of war, without the murderous
> economic
> sanctions and without intimidation by US and British militarism.
> Stop playing with the lives of the Iraqi people!
> No war!
> Worker Communist Party of Iraq (UK)
> (Contact Noori Bashir:  07960 669896)
> International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (UK)
> (Contact Dashty Jamal:  07734 704742)
> Middle East Centre for Women's Rights
> (Contact Nadia Mahmoud  07890 065933)
> Independent Women's Organisation in Iraqi Kurdistan
> (Contact Sawsan Salim:  07748 851125)
> Committee to Defend Women's Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan
> (Contact Sawsan Salim:  07748 851125)
> * An open letter to Mr. Tony Blair
> Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees oppose the war on Iraq
> Dashty Jamal, International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-Britain
> This is a protest message from hundreds of Iraqi refugees and asylum
> seekers in the UK against the war on the people of Iraq. The war
> propaganda
> and the biggest deployment of troops, navy warships, and war planes to
> countries neighbouring Iraq are of deep concern to Iraqi and Kurdish
> refugees and asylum seekers who live in the UK. The fear and terror of the
> war has cast a shadow on our lives. We do not believe in ridding the
> people
> of Iraq of dictatorship through mass killing and demolishing the economic
> infrastructure of Iraqi society.
> The people of Iraq have been suffering at the hands of the Ba'ath regime
> for two decades. We have faced executions, mass killings, chemical
> bombardments, mass disappearances of the Kurds in the Anfal campaign, the
> suppression of any freedom-seeking movement, and the waging of war against
> neighbouring countries. All these were the pernicious consequences of that
> rabid regime's policies which were supported by the USA and your
> government
> and for which 22 million Iraqis have paid dearly. The imposition of
> economic sanctions by the UN for 12 years, supported by your government,
> is
> another form of silent mass killing of the people of Iraq in the name of
> containing Saddam's regime which has killed one Iraqi child every minute.
> This war under the pretext of human rights and democracy is nothing but a
> deliberate killing of the people and is not the way of toppling Saddam's
> regime.
> Saddam Hussein, his regime and his lackeys are criminals but their
> possession of weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism are
> nothing but excuses to secure a new world order and to safeguard the
> interests of the USA, which owns the most formidable arsenal of weapons of
> mass destruction. The USA used nuclear weapons against the people of Japan
> in which thousands of people were killed. The British and global public
> opinion are against another Hiroshima in Iraq.
> You have announced that Saddam's regime poses a serious threat to the
> entire world because he has used chemical weapons against the Kurds in
> Iraq, while the Home Office refuses protection to numerous Kurdish and
> Iraqi asylum seekers and tells them to leave the UK and return to Iraq. If
> the Iraqi regime poses a danger to the people of the world how does it not
> pose any threat to the people of Iraq and Kurdistan? How can this policy
> be
> justified? If you truly support the people of Iraq, then why don't you put
> an end to the economic sanctions imposed on the people of Iraq?  Why do
> you
> not allow the people of Iraq to choose a secular regime in Iraq, rather
> than the Iraqi opposition the West in promoting which divides the people
> of
> Iraq on the basis of religion and ethnicity and wants to establish an
> Islamic state similar to the Islamic Republic of Iran and prohibit
> atheism?
> The so-called opposition consists of military generals and criminals who
> have had a huge hand in killing the people of Iraq and have blood on their
> hands. Instead of prosecuting them, you have supported them and are
> preventing the people of Iraq from choosing their own political system.
> We hundreds of Kurdish and Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers reiterate the
> popular belief that the war is not in the interests of the people of Iraq;
> overthrowing Saddam by killing the Iraqi people and destroying Iraq is not
> acceptable. War must be averted and there must be an immediate end to
> economic sanctions. This is our message, supported by public opinion and
> more than two million people demonstrating in Britain on 15 February.
> * Iran: Labour activist and political opponents executed by Islamic regime
> of Iran
> Labour activist and political prisoner, Mohammad Golabi, 35, was executed
> in the early hours of February 20, 2003 in the city of Saqez, according to
> the Kurdistan Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI). The
> execution was carried out during the visit of the UN's Working Group on
> Arbitrary Detention. The regime buried Golabi before informing his family
> of his execution. His family removed his body and buried him themselves.
> Golabi, a father of four, was a militant worker and an organiser of
> several
> strikes in the brick factories of Saqez. He was arrested and imprisoned
> for
> his political and labour activities and was accused of and executed for
> 'fighting against the regime' and 'being in contact with opposition
> parties'.
> According to an Amnesty International Urgent Action six others, all former
> members or supporters of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), were
> executed between 7 and 13 October 2002. They include Muhammad Sharverani,
> who had been sentenced to death in 2000; Khaled Shoghi, who was deported
> from Turkey, and arrested and tortured in 1997; Saleh Goudarzi, who was
> sentenced to death in 1999, and Jalil Zeva'i, who was tortured prior to
> his
> execution. Also executed were Hamzeh Ghaderi and an unidentified woman,
> possibly related to Hamzeh Ghaderi. According to the Urgent Action, there
> is no new information regarding others named in the original Urgent
> Action:
> Khaled Faraidouni, Nader Afani, Hasan Mahmoudi, Kheder Viesi, Rasul
> Abdollahpour, Anvar Alizadeh, Mohammad Esmailzadeh or Esmaili, Mohammad
> Mehdi Zaliye, and the five Arab rights activists, Fadhil Muqaddam, Rahim
> Sawari, Amir Sa'idi, Hashem Bawi and'Abbas Sherhani. Also on 5 November
> 2002 two men, Mostafa Jula and Ali Kak Jalil, both former members of
> Komala
> were reportedly executed in the city of Marivan.
> The Campaign against Executions in Iran is outraged at the executions
> carried out by the Islamic regime and calls on international public
> opinion
> to condemn the Islamic regime of Iran for its policy of executions.
> The Campaign against Executions in Iran unequivocally opposes capital
> punishment and calls for its abolition in all countries. The Campaign aims
> to:
> * mobilise international protest against and condemnation of executions in
> Iran
> * galvanise public pressure against the Islamic regime in Iran and its
> Western government supporters
> * save the lives of those under execution sentences
> * stop executions in Iran
> * Long Live March 8 International Women's Day!
> London Public Meeting: Women against War
> Hear Voices from Iraq and the Middle East say no to another Hiroshima in
> Iraq
> Saturday 15 March, 2.00- 6.00pm
> Polish Centre, 238-246 King Street
> London W6 0RF (Nearest tube station Ravenscourt Park)
> Speakers include: Azar Majedi, Nadia Mahmood, Maryam Namazie, Sawsan
> Salim,
> Haifa Zangana, and others. For more information please contact: Nadia
> Mahmood, Tel. 0207 263 1027. Mobile: 0789 00 65 933, Email:
> * Updates
> * Pictures of demonstrations in Vancouver against deportation of Iranian
> asylum seekers can be viewed on
> * IFIR assisted Elizabeth Frantz from the Forced Migration and Refugee
> Studies, American University of Cairo to prepare a report entitled:
> 'Report
> on the Situation of Refugees in Turkey: Findings of a Five-week
> Exploratory
> Study December 2002 - January 2003'. To see the report in full, visit:
> * Join IFIR:
> * I wish to join the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
> as:
> __ Member (25.00 p.a.) __ Affiliated Group (100.00 p.a.)
> * I wish to make a donation of:  _____  I wish to subscribe to Hambastegi
> English: ___ (50.00 p.a.)
> Name:           ___________________________________     E-mail:
> _____________________
> Address:
> ____________________________________________________________________
> Please make cheques payable to the International Federation of Iranian
> Refugees and mail to P. O. Box 27236, London N11 2ZF.
> * I wish to make a standing order:
> To: The Manager of (your Bank) ________________________
> (Address of your
> Bank)  ______________________________________________________________
> Please pay the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) the sum
> of ________ each month / quarter / year (delete as appropriate) until
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> [FOR OFFICE USE ONLY]  To: International Federation of Iranian Refugees,
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> IFIR Country Directors:
> Australia: Arsalan Nazeri, Tel: +61 401005422,;
> Belgium: Hossein Pesh Ehsan, Tel: + 32 478 904 163,;
> Canada: Siamak Amjadi, Siamak_Amjadi@Yahoo.Ca; Denmark: Mahmoud Gasvini,
> Tel: +45 51603121,; England: Saeed Arman, Tel: +44
> 7931866985,; Germany: Nasrin Ramzanali, Tel: +49
> 172
> 5350946,; Holland: Magid Poostanchi, Tel:
> +31-613248331,
>; Norway: Ghafar Gholamveysi, Tel: +47 40851738,
>; Sweden: Esmaeil Moloodi, Tel: +46 70 492 0349,
>; Switzerland: Mahmood Rahbary, Tel: +41 78 795 75 81,
>; United States: Afsaneh Rahimi, Tel: +1 310 413
> 1578,
> For information on Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Pakistan and
> Turkey
> branches, please contact IFIR Secretariat.
> * Mansoor Hekmat 1951-2002: With the bloody suppression of the revolution
> in Iran and the imposition of an ultra-reactionary life on the people,
> tens
> of thousands of human beings, alone and without organisation, fled the
> Islamic Republic of Iran in search of security and tranquillity.
> Organising
> this vast human mass around the most modern and humane advances of
> humanity, unconditionally defending their right to asylum, and creating an
> international organisation without taking into consideration people's
> nationality, religion, sex and or political affiliation became an
> immediate
> necessity. Creating the International Federation of Iranian Refugees
> (IFIR)
> was Mansoor Hekmat's response to these conditions. As he's said: 'Our
> entire life story is changing the lives of human beings.'
> To unsubscribe, please reply to this e-mail and write unsubscribe in
> subject.
> International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
> P. O. Box 27236, London N11 2ZF
> Tel: +44 7730 107 337
> Fax: +44 8701351303
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