The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear Bob and List, Your response has made me very sad. This is the second time since the occupation of Iraq that I have tried to address what seemed to me serious concerns about injustice on CASI and failed utterly. I'm not blaming you or anyone else for not getting the expected response, far from it. I see other reasons: 1) I didn't express my concerns properly; 2) my concerns are of no interest to the list; 3) most CASI members have now adopted a don't-rock-the-conquered-boat attitude; or 4) people are simply burnt out from the efforts of many years. Whatever the reason, it seems that I shouldn't go to CASI to explore USUK injustices in Iraq - perceived or real. And it this makes me feel sad. Still, c'est la vie. >> So why does unfree stuff happen to free Iraqis? >> Why are they being discriminated against by their >> liberators? > While such messages may be useful for those who > are just beginning to wake to the truth, for most > of us on this list, they are redundant. Thank you for pointing this out. Yes, I suppose the these comparisons can get rather odious, or as you say "redundant". Still, this was _not_ the gist of my message, merely the parting shot. You have taken my last words and built an entirely new case around it that has no bearing on the questions I posed. This is fair enough, as far as it goes. It's certainly interesting and far-reaching: The power position of "Bush, his friends... [who] are quite simply trying to take control of everything and institute world-wide fascism." Equally interesting are the responses to your call for action: "Let's start talking about strategy!" Someone suggested, in the form of articles, 1) Bush's impeachment; 2) a dollar to Euro change; or 3) a new currency. All three are useful, if old, ideas that go well beyond the scope of CASI, I should think. In any case, they don't address injustices committed in occupied Iraq now. I also love your analogy about arguing with the "small child eating up all the cake, while we say that they should not do that." Spot on! But this analogy doesn't apply to the points I was raising. I didn't suggest the child "should not do that". I was asking what the hell _is_ the child doing? On what grounds? And home come the child is circumventing, ie, breaking, the still-existing sanctions? I was hoping that these questions, and more, would be of interest to CASI members. Evidently, I was mistaken. You have responded to my post but left my questions untouched. Still, the issues are real and deserve some research, I think - if not on CASI, elsewhere. (The Rummy/looting comparison, while not directly related, has some bearing.) So for the record only, I'll cite the relevant parts of my original post: > Iraqi firms are barred from working as > subcontractors for USAID "because they are > not designated as countries of the free world" > a USAID official said on April 29. So are > countries from Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea.' (Washington Times, April 30, 2003) Supplement: in that article it also said: "subcontractors can come from any country of the free world a designation that does not include Iraq." Comment: It may be redundant but useful to reiterate that the former Iraqi government and the Ba'ath Party are no more. There is no other legitimate Iraqi government as yet. These are the known facts. So Iraq must be considered a de facto a protectorate of the US. Can such protectorate be not 'free'? Questions arising out of this news item: 1-- Has any CASI member read or heard about this barring elsewhere? 2-- Is this news item essentially correct? That is, has USAID implemented the barring of Iraqi firms on the grounds that Iraq is not part of the "free world"? 2-- If so, who instructed USAID? The State Department? Who specifically? 3-- Having toppled the former government, ostensibly to liberate its people, is it conceivable that the US may designate its own conquered protectorate a 'dictatorship', ie, not belonging to the "free world"? Are there any precedents? Any legal grounds? If anyone has answers to these questions, please post them - or any suggestions you may have. Next item: > "'We're struggling on how to deal with Iraqi > firms,' said an official at a USAID conference > for companies interested in working on Iraqi > reconstruction." The U.S. Treasury Department > has granted waivers for humanitarian work in > the country, which includes reconstruction > efforts, but would not cover hiring local firms. > > The U.S. Treasury says it "enforces the U.N. > sanctions." (Washington Times, April 30, 2003) Comment: The sanctions are still in effect. Legally, they can only be lifted by the UN Security Council, who imposed them. (This requires the certification by a UN inspection team that Iraq is disarmed. The US has refused further UN inspections.) Ergo: until the sanctions are lifted reconstruction work is illegal since it requires the import of foreign labour and material. Questions arising out of this news item: 1-- Am I correct in saying that reconstruction work is illegal until the sanctions are lifted going by UN resolutions? 2-- How can the US Treasury claim it "enforces the U.N. sanctions" when the US is planning to carry out reconstruction work amounting to $1.7 billion? 3-- How can the Treasury grant "waivers" declaring billion dollar projects "humanitarian work" - thus circumventing the sanctions? 4-- If this is illegal, is Kofi Annan conniving at the illegality? Again, if anyone has answers or suggestions to these questions, please post them. If no-one has any answers, finding and verifying them requires quite a bit of research. That's why I posted this originally. I appreciate that no-one may have the time or the inclination to help. Finding answers, ie, facts, may bring several benefits: (a) Making this takeover of Iraq as difficult as possible for the invaders, or even thwarting some of their nefarious plans, may act as some disincentive to further takeovers. (b) Complaining loudly to the UN Security Council and to Mr. Annan may encourage this gutless brotherhood to act more honestly in future. (c) If nothing else, there will be an accurate record for history: US misdeeds during its occupation of Iraq. Besides this, there seems to be a contradiction in the reasons given for excluding Iraqi firms - going by the Washington Times article: One reason is that Iraq is not "designated a country of the free world". Another reason is that this lack of proper designation is tied to the still-existing sanctions: <Quote on> The legal issue is tied to lifting sanctions against Iraq at the United Nations, a U.S. Treasury spokesman said. In the meantime, the $1.7 billion USAID-led effort to rebuild Iraq would have to exclude local Iraqi companies. <Quote off> To me, this doesn't make sense: lifting the sanctions doesn't make Iraq a "free country" in a political sense (elections, etc.). But without sanctions, Iraq would certainly be a "free country" for the US to exploit. That's why Bush wants to have the sanctions lifted: He wants Iraq to pay for the damage the US has caused. So something seems very fishy. And I suspect that Washington is using the barring of Iraqi firms to blackmail the UN in lifting the sanctions without the prerequisites being met. And this too deserves exploring. - Here is the link to that article again: "Iraqi firms excluded from reconstruction", April 30. http://www.washtimes.com/business/20030430-11854056.htm Conclusion: I believe that asking critical (and informed) questions may help further injustice being done to the Iraqis and their country. It will also help to correct social injustice worldwide - and this will promote peace. And how can you campaign against injustice without knowing about it? I realize, of course, that the questions I am asking may be of no interest to anyone on the list. They may even seem boring. But please, compadres, don't tell me that they are redundant or irrelevant. That would be too disappointing coming from a group that has campaigned against the injustice of the sanctions on Iraq for some six years. Anyway, I won't ask any more questions on CASI. I will carry on as best as I can by myself. Best regards, Elga Sutter -----------Original Message----------- To: email@example.com Subject: Re: [casi] Unfree stuff happens to free Iraqis! From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 15:20:44 EDT >So why does unfree stuff happen to free Iraqis? >Why are they being discriminated against by their >liberators? I must admit I have noticed a growing sense of impatience and frustration lately. There have been so many of these sorts of messages for so long -- these arguments and refutations to the schemes and lies -- that it has become like one slap after another, with no end in sight. While such messages may be useful for those who are just beginning to wake to the truth, for most of us on this list, they are redundant. The time has come for all to rub our eyes and shake ourselves fully awake, and see the reality. Bush, his friends, the corporate heads and political bandits of the world are quite simply trying to take control of everything and institute world-wide fascism. All of these refutations merely cater to their efforts to frame the contexts of discussion and action. It all comes down to one thing, really: the madmen want all the power and wealth and will do what they can to take it. It's a like a small child eating up all the cake, while we say that they should not do that. They argue they are not eating ALL the cake, because there is still some left. They argue that they are only eating their fair share, and argue what is fair, and how much they were cheated out of the last cake, and how the fat people should get less, and on and on. Each argument has a sound refutation, but while the argument goes on, they continue to eat. We end up arguing with the child, on the child's terms. The child has already won the argument, however, because the child has realized that as long as the argument continues the cake is disappearing, and soon the argument will be over when the cake is all gone. The proper response is to grab the child by shirt collar and confine him to his room, and to stop him from eating. The question we have now is how to do that. Not whether it needs to be done, not if we can win the argument, not if we should continue to even listen to the lies he tells, but how to stop him, confine him. We -- the world -- are faced with the newest rise of insane fascist forces. We already know where it is going and how it will work, if we admit it to ourselves. It is nothing new. The reality is simple: we can do everything we can to stop it, or we will be plunged into fascism for an indeterminate future, at which time it will be too late and we will have to wait for it to gradually die out in a long and painful struggle of attrition -- finally exploding in bloody revolution. Considering the technology and the breadth of power, the world may not survive it this time. We, all of us, have to choose -- or the choice will be made for us, and we won't like it. It will take a great many of us working together, and we need to get a lot of people to choose, but there isn't much time left. We must decide how it can be stopped, and do it. Let's start talking about strategy! _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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