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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On Tue, 6 May 2003 16:12:36 -0400 "John-Peter Hopperger" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: > >Greetings, > >Elga Sutter sadly concluded from someone's >response that CASI is no longer the place for >addressing concerns over injustices in Iraq. I include below my response to Elga's post (which I had intended to be directed to the list rather than personally, but I neglected to change the address, being also enmeshed in recovering from a bad Windows install on another machine at the time). It was not my intention to limit discussion, but rather to express my thoughts on the limitation of only discussion. >While it may be true that "people are simply >burnt out from the efforts of many years," it >seems to me that insensitive remarks by one >should be seen, and accepted, as outbursts >to vent frustration and a sense of failure. I apologize if my remarks were insensitive -- they were not meant to be. But I am certainly quite frustrated. >The manifestly emotional reasoning goes like >this: We have tried hard. We couldn't stop the >war. Our actions were ineffective. Why bother >with collecting more proof that the attackers are >wrong? We've known this all along, for all the >good that did! Not why bother -- but what more should be done? Information IS of value (CASI has been a great source of information for me), and yet it must be admitted that all of the discussion so far has not been effective in removing the sanctions before the war, or stopping the attack. Perhaps nothing would have been effective, and yet perhaps now we can find something which will materially help the situation. There are very bright and dedicated people here: a good place to raise the issue. >First, to the best of my knowledge, CASI is >not a static entity. There is both attrition and I assume that CASI is not static, which precisely why I raise the point of what further can be done. >Elga's hope "that these questions, and more, >would be of interest to CASI members," is >well-founded. Her conclusion that "evidently >I was mistaken," is not. I agree! >Only the intent of my current post lets me >resist the temptation of taking up promising >questions like "am I correct in saying that >reconstruction work is illegal until sanctions >are lifted, going by UN resolutions?" ... >Not only that, but it'll do wonders for lifting a >smokescreen of obfuscation that succeeded >so abominably well in mustering the domestic >support for an insane course by the US/UK. This gets to the point I was trying to make. Bush and crew has ignored international, and indeed US law in the attack. They have also ignored the law and the US Constitution in their treatment of the prisoners in Cuba, and in violation of citizen's rights. It's quite possible that they deliberately rigged the last election, knowingly stopping people from voting who had the right. They repeatedly lied to US citizens, the UN, and the world. In short, they care nothing for the law beyond not violating it so outlandishly that it would raise the objections of the American people -- who seem to generally have almost no knowledge or care for legality, and will certainly gain none by listening to the mainstream media. I restate my point then: discussion and finding the truth is necessary, but not sufficient. >I sincerely hope that Elga will reconsider not >asking any more questions on CASI. Certainly. Again I apologize that I apparently did not make myself clear and offended anyone here. """""""""""""""" >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. I think it is the last. I think the people here DO care, but what can we do about it? Discussion is necessary, but not sufficient. >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. I don't mind reading what is happening, really, but to only read, and see more injustice accumulating -- that's frustrating. We need to explore ways to stop the injustice, and that centers on affecting the US administration. >>> 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 Perhpas I misunderstood, then. I was *trying* to address what I see as the main issue -- that the US continues to exploit people. >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. The scope is what we make of it, as far as our abilities go. While it's true that CASI or any list or group has limited power to change things, I want to do more than just talk, even if only to try to get others working on some practical action. >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. I think not. But our interest should extend to more than understanding, which is a thing the hawks care little about as long as we don't affect their actions. >1-- Has any CASI member read or heard about this >barring elsewhere? I have not specifically, but have heard about the US barring "everyone" from reconstruction contracts. >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"? I hadn't heard that -- but for, it is really not significant in that is *merely* an excuse. If the US had not said that they would use some other excuse to keep it all for themselves: they might say Iraq doesn't yet have the infrastructure to handle the responsibility, or that the language barrier would slow work, or that the US is afraid of sabotage, or that the Iraqi's are too malnurished to work (no more ludicrous than the excuse they used) -- *any* excuse would do as long as the US firms get the money. These people in the administration are dishonest thugs, like crooks who distract the victims while picking their pokets. The important thing is not what they say, but what they do. >2-- If so, who instructed USAID? The State Department? >Who specifically? I suspect it was a group decision, between Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. Does it matter who in a den of theives comes up with the idea? They all understand their goals: get rich, make their friends rich, and rule the world. >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? There are lots of precedents, but nothing in any of this is legal. The US has installed or supported dictators around the world for decades. I can hardly remember all the places -- Pananama, Chili, Nicaragua, Iran -- they have been all over. >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? I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter: the US does not abide by the law. If legality mattered they would not have attacked Iraq to begin with. What matters is that there is no one who can stop the US from reconstructing what they will, or using Iraq's oil to pay for it. This all comes down to pure power. >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? By just claiming it. When a insane bandit has a gun to your head and claims he is the Pope of Rome, there is little point in disputing it. >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? He is powerless to stop it. He has already said the war was illegal, and it meant nothing to the US. >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. I really don't think so. Remember that Bush is the president who, when questioned about the millions of protesters, said he didn't make decisions by a "focus group". These people truly do not care what anyone else thinks. The assume that they have enough power to do whatever they want, and for time being they are correct because the power to oppose them is not effectively directed. What excuse did Hitler need to invade Czechoslovakia or France? >(b) Complaining loudly to the UN Security Council > and to Mr. Annan may encourage this gutless > brotherhood to act more honestly in future. Since they haven't acted already I don't see anything to change their attitude. They are apparantly unwilling to step forward and judge it would either not help or do themselves damage. The SC, of course, is subject to US veto, but the general assembly could have "United for Peace", but chose not to. >(c) If nothing else, there will be an accurate record > for history: US misdeeds during its occupation of > Iraq. That is worthy. Another advantage is that assembling the record might help a few to wake up to the facts, but I suspect that anyone who is not already aware of the situation does not WANT to be aware of it, and the only hope of changing their minds is through emotional appeal -- such as the US has been using through it's propaganda campaign. >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: Much of what the US has said is utterly contradictory and illogical. To those who want to support Bush, it doesn't matter -- they will hang on any phrases just to have something to keep their minds and mouths busy as they plunge further into the emotional binge. It's like trying to talk reasonably to an alcoholic or drug addict -- reason is immaterial. >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? The question is, are these questions and answers being read or attention paid to them by anyone who is open to influence or does not already understand that evil is being done, or is it "preaching to the choir"? >Anyway, I won't ask any more questions on CASI. >I will carry on as best as I can by myself. Please continue to ask and discuss -- my frustration is not in the exploration, but in the continuing atrocities. I feel we should be doing more than limiting objections, or outrage, to just those who object and are outraged. It is not that we should discuss less, but DO more. I want to see these fascists stopped. """""""""""""""" ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today! _______________________________________________ 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