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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Rania Masri and Roger Stroope have already said the most important things. Peter Brooke's sharp analytical mind and manifest integrity have been one of the powerful lights for the people drawn to this list. I too feel grateful for his phenomenal contribution. Even running through his thematically arranged anthologies has been a great aid to my personal understanding of the Iraq-related complexities. Peter's introductions, summaries, and occasional feature-length analyses have elicited admiration on more than one occasion. I would consider myself fortunate to be able to continue learning from him and to get better at emulating his crisp, consistent approach. I suspect others on the list feel similarly. As far as his decision to withdraw is concerned, it deserves respect. The premises on which he bases it are sound. I myself have to look at the recent lifting of sanctions as a consolation price, and that with effort. The only redeeming feature I can see is the temporary respite from material hardship for the Iraqi people. At least that. At the same time, however, I have no problem agreeing with CASI's official response. To the best of my grasp, no qualifiers in CASI's mission statement would allow it to call for a continuation of sanctions because the manner of lifting them is deemed unacceptable. I believe CASI rightly sees itself bound by demands of integrity that Peter also expresses. I think it would have lessened CASI's credibility, had there been a course change. The detractors of the anti-war movement would have seized the opportunity to support their pet claim that anti- Americanism is the only true underlying motive of all resistance to US/UK global policies. This is not to say that CASI principals and members cannot create a new platform, one that no longer has a strictly sanctions-bound focus. It should. Then there is Peter's main point, which, I believe, concerns the impracticality of engaging in action that has no chance of succeeding. I would find the logic irrefutable if the world situation were a contest, played honorably on a known board, according to agreed-upon rules, and refereed by an impeccable judge. The truth, however, is that the antagonists play dirty and we, the public, are not even considered players. It is further true, as Peter observes, that some of the players are wimps, perhaps even rank opportunists. Definitely not an honorable lot tending toward chivalry and inspiring with their unflinching adherence to high principle. What a pack of wolves and hyenas to leave Iraq alone with! It must not happen. The will of the people must be strengthened to put a stop to this. And, I think we can agree that this demands all the vigilance that can be mustered by us. This is what Rania could have meant when she spoke of the need for finding a way, finding a way, finding a way. Like Roger, I want to add my voice to her plea. There must be a way. _______________________________________________ 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