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New City 1999: Mr. Brownback held forth on his plans for Iraq. And the "assembled Iraqi 'patriots' thunderously applauded the destruction of their own people, while sipping coffee and digging into dessert--courtesy of the US taxpayers, of course." The attached article wanders a bit but I think it illustrates the _what's in it-for me_ incentive behind some opposition members' fervent public efforts to win hearts and minds for the intended slaughter. Looking at it cynically, these efforts may be seen as a way to earn one's keep. Still, I do not presume to judge what is basically the instinct for self-preservation inherent in us all. It's the pretence to altruism that bothers me - and above all the mud-slinging. It seems futile. Perhaps you can fool some of the people all of the time, but... It's also an insult to common intelligence: How do you convincingly dress up an act of rapacious realpolitik as an act of 'liberation'? Or as an act of disarmament? Or whatever else they may cook up. I can't bear the news anymore, or Bush's speeches. So I've buried my head... I don't want to hear the announcement. (I still remember the Sunday back in October 2001 when the CBC announced the attack on Afghanistan. And now Afghanistan, US-puppet, is part of the pack.) Elga -------------Fwd------------- ad-adex3.flycast.com/server/iframe/Antiwarcom/Mainad/123456 November 1, 1999 IRAQ: A "NO FLY, NO DRIVE, NO NOTHIN'" ZONE While tens of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children and the aged, were being starved to death by the U.S./Allied embargo, a few hundred of their countrymen were meeting in a fancy New York City hotel, feasting on canape's and listening to Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) bloviate about how  he wanted to turn most of Iraq into a "no drive zone." Playing to his audience, which consisted mostly of Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims, Brownback asked "if we are unwilling to tolerate an attack on the Kurds" by Saddam's Republican Guards, then "why should [an attack] on Shi'ites or Sunni be more acceptable? We should provide the same protection in the south as we do in the north." Thus opened what was described by the organizers as "the largest and most inclusive" meeting of the Iraqi opposition in exile since 1992 -- in effect, a proposal to make all of Iraq a "no live" zone. The assembled Iraqi "patriots" thunderously applauded the destruction of their own people, while sipping coffee and digging into dessert -- courtesy of the US taxpayers, of course. A WORLD RECORD Brownback was followed by "War Crimes Ambassador" David Scheffer, who set a world record for condensing a maximum amount of hypocrisy into a minimum number of words, declaring: "You and the Iraqi people you represent often have firsthand information of what Saddam is doing. It is important for the world to hear accurate and reliable reports of ongoing crimes Saddam is continuing to commit against the Iraqi people. The truth is our ally, and Saddam's enemy." What about the accurate and reliable reports of the UN, and private humanitarian organizations, which document the humanitarian catastrophe inflicted on the Iraqi people by draconian US sanctions? These inhuman sanctions forbid the importation of baby food -- no doubt classified as a "weapon of mass destruction" by Mad Madeleine Albright and the pinstriped crowd. The truth is that the US and its allies are systematically annihilating two generations of Iraqis: the very young and the very old. And that truth is the mortal enemy of the US and its Iraqi proxies, no matter how much they try to shift the blame to Saddam. THE AMBASSADOR FROM HELL BTW -- What's up with the "War Crimes Ambassador" stuff? Now there is a truly Orwellian title for a government bureaucrat to put on his office door. For a nation that has committed so many war crimes of late -- in Yugoslavia, where thousands of civilians were wantonly bombed from high altitudes; in Iraq; and in the Sudan -- the sheer arrogance of this office and its occupant is nothing less than demonic. THEIR WAR CRIMES, AND OURS Whatever crimes Saddam has committed against his people will be for them alone to judge. As Iraqi children drop like flies in winter, starved to death or felled by easily preventable diseases, Scheffer should be investigating his own government -- the real war criminals in this case. In an important sense, the chief function of the "War Crimes Ambassador" is not to merely denounce the alleged "war crimes" of others, it is to divert attention away from our own. This can never work inside Iraq, of course, but then it is not intended to: this conference was put on for public consumption in the US, as part of an ongoing effort to build a political consensus for renewed military action in the Gulf. And it may be coming sooner than you think, but we'll get to that in a minute. Meanwhile... FLAUNTING IT Will someone please write and tell me where oh where in the Constitution is the President empowered to appoint a "War Crimes Ambassador"? Good God, the whole world already knows that the American government's hypocrisy knows no bounds -- do we have to flaunt it so brazenly? With all this brouhaha about the allegedly massive numbers of "isolationists" in Congress, one would think that at least a few of them could be rounded up to rid us of this insufferably pretentious and inherently imperial office. But that, I suppose, is asking too much. THE IRANIAN FACTOR [...] GEOGRAPHY TRUMPS IDEOLOGY The much-heralded U.S.-Iranian rapprochement -- which started with secret arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims facilitated by the US, and culminated in the Islamization of Kosovo by the KLA and its American-piloted air force -- is proceeding apace. Although Iranian "moderates" can only go so far in openly allying with the hated Americans, simple geography may win out over ideology: for the US is also targeting the Taliban, in nearby Afghanistan, which is contesting with the mullahs of Teheran for the loyalties of Islamic radicals around the world. THE GLOBALIZERS VERSUS THE TALIBAN [...] AYATOLLAHS, EAST AND WEST [...] THANKS, BUT NO THANKS If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then the Iranians may have yet another reason to throw in their lot with the Americans. Their reward: a piece of Iraq, probably in the south, where a Shi'ite "Islamic Republic" could be declared as soon as the invasion starts. That the Islamic Resistance refused the invitation to the conference is the equivalent of saying to the Americans: we can do it without you. For what is to stop the Iranians from moving in just as soon as the Gulf War begins anew? NEXT YEAR IN BAGHDAD? Also in attendance at this propaganda gabfest was Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska), who pledged to the delegates that the US remains "fully committed to providing the opposition both inside and outside of Iraq the tools needed to bring democracy to the Iraqi people." Kerrey is the author of the "Iraq Liberation Act," which shovels millions of your tax dollars into the rathole inhabited by the perpetually squabbling and far-from-democratic Iraqi opposition. The following few lines of Senator Kerrey's speech ought to make the hairs on the back of your head stand at attention: "I believe that this historic gathering of Iraqi leaders can take place in Baghdad next year," the Senator said. "I will pray for that to happen." KERREY PRAYS FOR WAR Senator Kerrey is praying for war with Iraq, perhaps before the year is out -- and there is every reason to believe that his prayers may very well be answered. The low-level escalation of the bombing raids over Iraqi cities has been so continuous that the news media have practically ceased reporting it, and it wouldn't take much to ratchet it up. The US is building a new base in Qatar, right on the Gulf, and expanding existing facilities, although not without complaints from the Arab sheiks who maintain their shaky rule against growing fundamentalist opposition. The capability to wage another war in the Gulf is being openly assembled, and this gathering of the Iraqi Fifth Column in New York, combined with the vagaries of the American political calendar, is an ominous portent. [...] AU CONTRAIRE The militant Islamic groups, as well as  the Iraqi government, were contemptuous of the  INC's pretensions: "The Americans deal with the Iraqi issue according to their goals," he said. "They called for the meeting because they could not do anything on the ground," sniffed Bayan Jabr, the Syria representative of the Iran- based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. "Real opposition should be in the field. Overthrowing Saddam cannot be done miles away." Oh, but it can -- miles above the ground, that is, in the skies over Iraq, as American bombers drop their "payloads" on the heads of a martyred people. As a warrior, Bayan Jabr assumes that the New York convocation was the gathering of an army, meant to fight and overthrow Saddam. But this was an army of administrators, the functionaries of a government that has not yet taken power. If they ever do make it to Baghdad, it will be on the backs of US Army tanks, and not as the result of a popular uprising. THE SOVIET MODEL As I argued in  a recent column reporting on a similar conference involving the Serbian opposition, the US uses its bought-and-paid-for "opposition" groups much as the old Soviet Union treated the member parties of the Communist International -- as potential fifth columnists rather than aspiring revolutionaries, more akin to East Germany's Walter Ulbright and Poland's General Jaruzelski (or, if you prefer, the Nazi analogy, Vidkung Quisling and Field Marshall Petain) than George Washington and the Founding Fathers. BEACHFRONT REVOLUTIONARIES Once US troops occupy Baghdad, Washington is going to need native satraps to carry out its orders -- under the guise of "democracy," what else? Thus, although the Iraqis are due to receive some military training, eventually, the bulk of the money is going to give the Iraqis lessons in "democracy." According to news reports, "beginning Monday, four Iraqi opposition leaders are expected to begin classes on democracy in Florida, with more to follow." While the future leaders of Iraq loll about on the beach, listening to audiotapes of Madeleine Albright's speeches, reading the complete works of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and undergoing what Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon described as "non-lethal training," sanctions squeeze the very life out of the Iraqi people, and the noose around their nation's neck draws ever tighter. -------------End fwd------------- _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk