The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear Mark and List, You are absolutely right in concluding that the message circulated by the same group is nothing more than propaganda. But you must also understand that they have nothing else to post. That is their role. It is worth noting the following in the message: B Khalaf is "frustrated by the appalling views of most of the British people, media and politicians." He therefore agrees that MOST OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE oppose war. So what is his problem, and why is he frustrated? Shouldn't that tell him something? Isn't democracy about the rule of the people, where the majority decides? Isn't that what those in the "neo-opposition" claim they want for Iraq? The history of oppression in Iraq did not start with Saddam Hussein and will not end with his departure. It is misleading to talk of the rule of the Ba'th as the "dark era" in the history of Iraq. Nobody denies the oppression and the crimes committed. But those pro-war "activists" want us to forget other "dark eras" in Iraq's history, when Arab nationalists were themselves oppressed, tortured and even murdered, and make it look like everything was rosy and nice before 1968.. I have seen people in 1959 and 1960 attacked by mobs in the streets simply because someone says they were Arab nationalists.. Kids as young as 13 were arrested and imprisoned for belonging to political parties.. The army was often sent to the streets to break up students' demonstrations in the 1960s. In 1968, the army and secret police stormed university campuses in Baghdad to break up a students' strike. Where were Khalaf, Hadad, and other members of similar groups?? Why didn't they call for foreign intervention to "liberate Iraq"? Shouldn't they also be calling for the "liberation" of the Shi'i Muslims in Saudi Arabia who live under tremendous oppression? The Kurds have been oppressed by every single government from 1921 until now, with the support of the East and West. Nothing has changed, and one must not absolve Kurdish tribal leaders from responsibility for the suffering of the Kurds. But if one is not able to comprehend the history of Iraq in its correct context, one should not start selectively analyzing this era and that according to what he/she likes or hates. Things are not black and white; all is relative. What is in someone's opinion the absolute truth may not be so for another. That has to be the starting point for any intelligent discussion. To embark on a discussion believing that you alone own the absolute truth is a recipe for defeat. And so when one opposes war, one is immediately attacked for being an "under-cover Ba'athist"... Yet, the same people refuse to be called "under-cover CIA and MI5 agents", or "Iran's puppets"... Those people in the opposition MUST KNOW that the US/UK do not care about the Iraqi people and MUST UNDERSTAND why they are going to war.. But they are only small players in a game decided by others. Yasser Alaskary stated on March 1, 2003 (http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/5290201.htm) "It's [the war] for American interests, not our interests, and we all know it's that. But the result is the same - Saddam is removed." So, do the ends justify the means for Alaskary? It is naive to believe that the US will attack Iraq, "liberate" it, and then hand it over to the opposition without a price. Is replacing Saddam's tribe with Al-Hakim's tribe going to bring democracy to Iraq? Those in the opposition are ready for anything to come to power. One of them once wrote on this list that Iraqis would "kiss Ariel Sharon's feet, if he were installed as the puppet for the Americans after Saddam is ousted." He was of course talking about his kind of Iraqis, and he certainly does not talk for the masses of Iraqis inside Iraq whom he hasn't met. By the way, his name is "Hassan Hadad", which makes me ask if he is related to "Sama Hadad" of the IPO, and if she too is prepared to kiss Ariel Sharon's feet?? We are always accused of not having done anything when "Iraqi people were killed by Saddam's forces". How can a person judge our intentions without knowing us, simply because we do not agree with him/her? What did those who accuse us themselves do? While people like us were opposing Saddam's rule, people like this Khalaf and IPO's chairman Shames were in Iraq serving Saddam... A large number of Iraqis suffered from 1959 until 1963 of persecution and oppression under the rule of Abdul-Karim Qassim... We suffered under the rule of Abdul-Salam Arif and then Abdul-Rahman Arif.. When the Ba'th came in 1968, we weren't better off.. I personally quit my job in the late 1970s because I refused to join the Ba'th party in return for promotion and a scholarship, while many of those in the opposition now joined the party and profited from it.. I left Iraq in the early 1980s because I opposed war with Iran.. I was threatened by staff at the Iraqi Embassy in my new country of residence because I openly criticized certain policies of the Iraqi government.. I am not stating this because I want to boast, but I am sick and tired of those "born again" members of the "neo opposition".. I am tired of hypocrisy and opportunism that seems to be the norm in those new groups.. But I will NEVER support calls for a foreign power to come and invade my country, no matter how much I hate the regime. That is the line between right and wrong, patriotism and treason.. And I will never betray my country to a foreign power. Khalaf writes: "Only now when the war is to reach Saddam has everybody become so concerned about the human life in Iraq." Wrong again... We have been concerned about human life in Iraq for many years, and long before any of those people was in open opposition. We have campaigned against sanctions and killings since 1990. We oppose the oppression of the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. Where was Khalaf? When did he become a member of an opposition? When he got tired of living in Iraq and wanted to come and live better in Europe?? Any group can be evaluated from the statements it makes. Let's look at some of what one member of the team of the Iraqi Prospect Organisation says: In an article titled "The Iraqi dictatorship: a unique case needs an exceptional solution" posted on 25-9-2002 (http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article.jsp?id=2&debateId=73&articleId=486), Yasser Alaskary states the following: "It is impossible for anyone who has not lived in Iraq to comprehend the continuous psychological oppression of the people by the regime." One can immediately ask the simple question: How does Alaskary (and indeed most of the team of IPO) "comprehend the continuous psychological oppression of the people by the regime", not having himself lived in Iraq? Then Alaskary states: "Any civilian casualties are tragic, but those resulting from regime change would be minimal in comparison to the numbers that would die if Saddam were to remain. From the hundreds of Iraqis that I have spoken to, many go as far as to say they would be willing to be killed as ‘collateral damage’ in such a war, just so Iraq can be freed of Saddam Hussein and his regime." In order to stop killing of innocents, we will kill innocents??? What logic, morality or "religious belief" justifies that? How different is that from what Albright said? Is Alaskary himself going to join the British forces in the coming war and become part of this ‘collateral damage’? Alaskary further states:"Yes, forced regime change is wrong in principle; but in this unique situation, where normal rules do not apply, it is the only morally justified solution." Well Saddam used the same logic in 1991 when he crushed the uprising. He opposed the overthrow of his regime.. To him, it was "the morally justified solution", because "the situation was unique and normal rules did not apply"... And while Alaskary states ".. to support a war to remove Saddam Hussein does not mean to side with the U.S", members of his group accuse anyone who opposes war as being a supporter of Saddam. Double standards would you say? If the opposition to the regime of Saddam Hussein is not able to overthrow him by itself, then maybe they do not deserve to rule Iraq. The Cubans overthrew Batista; the Iranians overthrew the Shah.. But they were patriots who loved their countries, not people in the payroll of intelligence services. I am certain I will be attacked by those same people on this list or elsewhere, but that doesn't concern me. My most important task is to campaign to stop war against Iraq for whatever reason and to lift sanctions. Our work has brought results. The US/UK were FORCED to delay voting on the new resolution in the face of opposition. Public opposition to war in the world has forced France, Germany, Russia and even China to consider the use of a veto against such resolution. Pakistan is abstaining, and if another member abstains, the veto would be unnecessary. In solidarity HZ __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Web Hosting - establish your business online http://webhosting.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ 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