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[casi] Peter Brooke

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

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.

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