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Re:[casi] Memorable quotes: 'the white hope'

Dear Elga & List,

You make some very good points of debate, in your recent e-letter. But why
be so apologetic, and so sorry? You remind me of a female Atlas,
who is carrying a burden of guilt upon her, perhaps on behalf of the Western
world. And yet, despite "not in our name!", maybe that is a quality we
should have more of, which may even lead to some hope?

Greetings,  Bert.

>From: H Sutter <>
>Subject: Re:[casi] Memorable quotes: 'the white hope'
>Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 19:09:59 -0400 (AST)
>Thank you, Hassan, for putting the record straight and
>filling in details. Sorry about mangling facts and events.
>Needless to say, I know very little about the actual
>happenings, let alone the complexities. And I look at it
>from a 'foreign intervention' perspective - in this case
>the US. So I was tempted to use the strongest interpretation
>of the CIA coup involvement I could find.
>What prompted me to bring this up was your exchange with
>the IPO spokesperson. But I should have been more to the
>I agree with what you said to the spokesperson. Your
>rebuttal seems reasonable to me. And my reaction to people
>who advocate, from a safe distance, the bombing of their
>compatriots (or any other human beings) as an act of
>'liberation' is the same as yours. The claim that this is
>what _most_ Iraqis want sounds like sheer arrogance, if not
>ignorance. And why the euphemism? Bombing is bombing.
>But the US/UK governments and the western media generally
>seem to have the misguided notion that the victim's _approval_
>would make the intended slaughter palatable. And they hope
>that the 'liberation' ploy will wipe out the acts of genocide
>inflicted by the sanctions regime. That's why they are
>invoking all these 'Iraqi voices'.
>For IPO's interest, I am going to cite Haifa Zangana, an
>Iraqi writer living in London. Ms Zangana was a communist
>arrested and tortured in 1972. She was imprisoned for six
>months and left Iraq two years later, at 23. (She wrote
>about her experience in a novella _Through the Halls of
>Yet in September 2002 Ms Zangana wrote in the Guardian:
>"This war plan forces me to stand by the dictator who
>tortured me."
>This is not, of course, an endorsement of Mr. Hussein
>or of the status quo. It is a commitment to her people.
>And she has an option which the war propagandists
>won't permit:
>Ms Zangana believes that if the sanctions were lifted,
>Iraqis could "regain their dignity, regain their power."
>Once "they don't have to worry every day about finding
>enough to eat", she says, "they will be capable of changing
>the regime and dealing with this themselves. I am a great
>believer in the Iraqi people."
>But this solution wouldn't advance the interests of US
>hegemony, specifically the control of oil.
>About the much-touted 'moral case' and a 'liberating'
>occupation, Ms Zangana says this:
>As to "Saddam Hussein, he hasn't been invented out of
>nowhere. It's a well-known fact he's been supported by
>the West, supplied with all kinds of weapons along the
>years. We should be realistic. If we think of the long-term
>solution, Iraqis, no matter how much they hate Saddam,
>they're not going to accept any kind of occupation."
>Still, I can understand other views if they have the ring
>of sincerity and conviction. For example, another Iraqi
>writer, also communist living in the West, explains
>how he had to flee Iraq at a moment's notice. He considers
>his experience only. I also read the views of two Iraqi
>women living in Jordan, one them the writer Betool Khedairi.
>She is afraid of a war in Iraq, says Khedairi - doesn't
>explicitly advocate it. But she wants to see the isolation
>and the pain ended. She remembers the liberal Iraqi middle
>class of her youth. Women were working, Iraqis were wide
>open to foreign ideas and philosophies, and life was good.
>While also arguing from a safe distance, none of these three
>people actually lobbies the foreign invaders to get on with
>the bombing - as IPO has done. Nor do they aim ad hominem
>shots at Saddam Hussein or peace proponents to make their
>case - as IPO, and lots of other people are doing.
>I find the logic behind these attacks alarming. It seems to
>follow the Bush dictum: "you are either with us, or against
>us". Accordingly, bombing is compassion; invasion is
>liberation; and a genocidal sanctions regime is a humanitarian
>program. Proponents of peace are variously described as
>'Saddam's stooges, useful idiots, peace mob', etc. Opposition
>to war and of US foreign policy is denounced as anti-Americanism,
>anti-Semitism, or a call for murder. The German peace movement
>has been called supporters of the Ba'ath Party. And von Sponeck
>is dubbed a 'lobbyist for Saddam Hussein'.
>Enough already! Why not bring back the inquisition and the
>stake to purge all those inconvenient dissenters. And welcome
>back to the Dark Ages. Instead of the crazy popes of that time,
>we have George Bush, fomenter of war hysteria and hatred.
>What I find singularly off-putting is the moral high
>horse the war endorsers are riding. As someone aptly said
>in 2001: 'The path of US foreign policy is drenched in blood.'
>That's why I dug out these Akins' quotes, Hassan. Akins
>is actually applauding the killing of hapless human beings,
>given that communists and leftists _are_ human beings -
>"a great development" he calls it.
>The US even _saved_ specialists from the German SS after
>WWII to achieve this "great development" worldwide. These
>people were used for guerilla (terrorist?) activities in
>the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Klaus Barbie (Butcher
>of Lyon) who organized the deportation of French Jews to
>German gas chambers was also _saved_ by the US. He was
>brought to Bolivia under the name Klaus Altmann. There
>he worked for the CIA, setting up death squads that killed
>and tortured leftist politicians and trade unionists all
>over Latin America. (And when the law finally caught up with
>Barbie, he was no longer a CIA asset - 'our hands are clean'.)
>So the moral stance is a bit hard to take - from Bush & Co,
>and from the IPO spokespersons. No doubt, SH denies Iraqis
>the means to express themselves 'freely'. But for 12 years
>the US has been denying them the means to live: food,
>medicine, education, employment, outside contacts - and
>above all hope. Parents who lack food or medicine, or young
>people whose future has been blighted by an artificially
>created poverty have no strength left to yearn for political
>I didn't mean to say all this, and I hope I haven't offended
>anyone. But that's how I feel at the eve of another barbaric
>crime against humanity by those who claim to defend 'civilization'.
>Best wishes,
>Elga Sutter
>Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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