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Re: [casi] ... And why I will not

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
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

"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
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

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


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