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Re: [casi] Sanctions: "Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul Mahajan!"

I thought I sent this to the list but in error I sent it only to Yasser.

Cheers, Ken Hanly

----- Original Message -----
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "Yasser Alaskary" <>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2003 12:51 PM
Subject: Re: [casi] Sanctions: "Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul Mahajan!"

> Have you a clue who Raimondo is? He is a rabid libertarian, who when it
> comes to socialism or government versus free enterprise froths at the
> He has some good critical articles some relating to pro-war libertarians
> he is not reliable on many isssues. However, the website,
> his articles appear is an excellent source for anti-war material.
>    While Raimondo makes some good points do you just gloss over his fluff
> about the US revolution being the one libertarian revolution etc.etc. the
> ubiquitous knee-jerk anticommunism, antisocialist stuff. He wants to
> privatise the state oil companies because formerly they served the
> of the Baathist elites. Why not use the revenues to help the Iraqi people
> instead of for private profit probably by US corporations? Of course
> Raimondo also ignores the fact that  the oil  controlled by Americans will
> pay for reconstruction as well as US taxpayers. One could go on and on but
> if you are not capable of seeing the gaping holes in this yourself I doubt
> there is any hope. I like Raimondo  and often read his stuff but on this
> issue much of what he says is too dismissive and ignores the excellent
> points that Rahul makes. There is no hypocrisy involved at all. The
> of sanctions without measures to ensure that the oil revenues do not go
> Iraqis and in a manner that simply rewards the US for its aggression is
> surely different than removing them before the aggression.While the UN is
> certainly nothing ideal it would be better to work through it then have
> unilateral US control and it is important not to reward aggression.
> Cheers, Ken Hanly
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Yasser Alaskary" <>
> To: <>; "AS-ILAS" <>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 8:20 PM
> Subject: Re: [casi] Sanctions: "Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul Mahajan!"
> wow, a semi-decent article.
> and i'd just like to applaud voices for taking the stance they have and
> my disgust at the stance so many others, some on this list, have taken of
> either ignoring the whole issue of sanctions or actually wanting them to
> stay.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "AS-ILAS" <>
> To: "casi" <>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 9:41 AM
> Subject: [casi] Sanctions: "Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul Mahajan!"
> Why the left-turnabout on sanctions? Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul Mahajan!
> Remember how the sanctions were the equivalent of "genocide" committed by
> the Evil American Imperialists against the Oppressed Peoples of Iraq?
> that was then, according to Rahul Mahajan, writing on AlterNet, and
> reprinted in Counterpunch and Commie Dreams, but this is now, and I quote:
> "After five years spent working to end the sanctions on Iraq, I find
> in an odd position. I'm opposed to the current U.S. plans to end the
> sanctions."
> Say what? So "genocide" is no longer genocide? Apparently so. As Rahul
> it: "The new situation is fascinating."
> Well, uh, yes, it is, in the same way that a car wreck or a heart attack
> fascinating: if only to observe how ugly reality can get. And how
> anti-Americanism, and not concern for the Iraqi people, motivates a
> section of the anti-war movement in this country and abroad.
> Oh, but "actually, it's not so confusing," Rahul reassures us. You see,
> evil U.S. refuses to set up a puppet government in Iraq "under neutral UN
> auspices rather than under those of an occupying power with clear plans
> increased regional domination." Instead of making Kofi Annan and the UN
> bureaucracy the absolute dictators of Iraq, the U.S. is going to rule
> directly, set up permanent military bases, and use this as a platform from
> which to launch attacks on Iran and Syria.
> While Rahul is right that Syria is definitely in the Bushies' sights, Iran
> is a different story altogether. The Iranians were cheering on the U.S.
> invasion, albeit not too loudly, which eliminated their deadliest enemy
> chief regional competitor. Now we learn that they were all the while
> negotiating with the Americans in order to come to some kind of mutual
> understanding. Power politics, it seems, is a bit more complex than the
> "America, bad, everybody else, good" doctrine of the Third World Left.
> The really telling example of U.S. perfidy, however, is Rahul's trope
> how those dastardly Americans are also plotting "to force the Palestinians
> to acquiesce to the Israeli occupation through the latest 'peace plan.'"
> Give me a break, willya? The Bushies are going out on a political limb
> this "road-map" business, which the Israelis are hopping mad about: "Force
> the Palestinians to acquiesce"? That has got to be a typo! He must mean
> force the Israelis to acquiesce. Or else why has their American amen
> gone ballistic at the mere prospect that the "road map" may lead to the
> creation of a universally-recognized Palestinian state?
> The whole thing, avers Rahul, is a plot by the U.S. to "privatize, at
> in part," Iraq's oil wealth, and "pay off American corporations" while
> planning the conquest of the Middle East. Military force can accomplish
> these goals, is the contention, but
> "Some problems are the kind that can't be solved by bombs. Existing UN
> resolutions require Security Council approval for Iraqi oil sales and for
> disbursement of oil money to pay for other goods. Other countries may be
> leery of buying Iraqi oil without some clear understanding that what
> doing is legal, so the United States cannot simply declare those
> void by fiat, the way it declared war on Iraq."
> What this boils down to is: who gets all that Iraqi oil? Rahul wants the
> to get it, and the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Dennis Miller cabal wants to reward
> "corporations like Bechtel that are closely tied to current and past
> administration figures in closed bidding processes with no foreign
> corporations allowed." The war, it turns out, was mostly a scheme so that"
> the United States will be able to use Iraq's money to pay off mostly
> American corporations." And that's not fair! Why not let some of the other
> nations - who, after all, just stood around and watched as the U.S. beat
> the schoolyard weakling - in on picking the victim's pockets? Why, those
> greedy American imperialists!
> What world do these lefties live in? Rahul complains that "the draft
> resolution being currently circulated would give the United States very
> open, explicit control over Iraq's oil industry and the money derived
> therefrom." This is uttered in a tone of outraged disbelief, but why don't
> "anti-imperialists" of the Left take their own rhetoric seriously? The
> imperialists are acting on the "principle" of might makes right, a
> well-known to their Soviet predecessors - and to Marx, one might add. Yet
> poor na´ve little Rahul is shocked - shocked! Well, isn't that tough. The
> question is, now what? Rahul's answer, incredibly enough, is . more
> sanctions!
> The whole campaign to lift the sanctions is a ploy by the U.S. to escape
> alleged "legal obligation it shares with the United Kingdom." What
> obligation - what law? "Since they committed an illegal, aggressive war
> (with no Security Council authorization) against Iraq," Rahul writes,
> are financially responsible for the reconstruction. Iraq should not have
> pay for its own reconstruction, especially since for years to come its oil
> revenues will be barely enough to meet the basic needs of its people."
> First we are told that the evil U.S. is intent on building "permanent
> bases," and then we are lectured that the Americans have an "obligation"
> rebuild an entire nation - yet how, exactly, will that be done without
> setting up permanent American bases? Indeed, how will it be done without
> Americanizing Iraq? The American conquerors of Iraq are supposed to pay
> everything, and control nothing - a proposal that could exist only in the
> Bizarro World parallel universe inhabited by all too many leftists, where
> reality is inverted and he who pays the piper doesn't call the tune.
> There are apparently no limits to the illogic induced by anti-Americanism,
> delusionary doctrine in which Washington is - and must be - the root of
> evil.
> What trips up the phony anti-imperialism of the pro-UN left in this
> is that the U.S. invokes international law - embodied in UN resolutions -
> a rationale for the war with at least as much justification as the UN
> fetishists of Rahul's sort invoke it to prove the war's illegality. The UN
> Security Council approved Gulf War I, and imposed the sanctions, to begin
> with. Indeed, it was an American President, the present Emperor's father,
> who declared that the first attack on Iraq was the herald of a "New World
> Order" - and made a point of his internationalist piety by going to the UN
> Security Council before putting the question to the U.S. Congress.
> The United Nations is itself an agent of foreign domination over subject
> peoples; look at Bosnia and Kosovo, where the ethnic cleansing of Serbs
> the eradication of all political rights was ratified by UN overlords. The
> big debate in the West is not between the proponents of an American Raj
> the defenders of national sovereignty, but over which band of bureaucrats
> (or gang of profiteers) will have control of the loot. On the grounds that
> anything is better than the Americans, the amateur anti-imperialists of
> Left side with the UN - but there is an alternative. Unfortunately, their
> ideological blinders prevent many on the Left from seeing it.
> The sheer absurdity of the left-turnabout on sanctions underscores the
> inherently nonsensical internationalism that is the emotional and
> core of left-consciousness. Workers of the world, unite: militant
> who find such slogans attractive are likely to find irresistible a crusade
> to "make the world safe for democracy." What is their chief concern? Not
> America, not their home city, town, or state, but the world! The evil of
> requires a large canvas. Dangerous idealists are nearly always global in
> their aspirations.
> The pathetic rationalizations uttered by our friend Rahul - "the way that
> the sanctions work is not the way they used to" - would be funny if the
> issue wasn't serious. Yeah, they sure don't make draconian economic
> sanctions the way they used to, if the Iraqi people really won't be harmed
> at all by them, as we are assured. But then, was the anti-sanctions
> dead wrong all along - did tens of thousands not die because of them?
> "In the long run," writes Rahul,
> " the sanctions must be lifted because they impose a highly inefficient
> foreign control of the Iraqi economy, causing the collapse of local
> activity and requiring money that should be spent internally to be spent
> foreign corporations. In the short run, there is no compelling reason to
> lift them in the absence of a legitimate Iraqi government that has the
> to make choices about how Iraq's oil wealth is to be used for the benefit
> the Iraqi people."
> Translation:
> "In the short run, f*** the Iraqi people - just as long as we get revenge
> the U.S. by any means necessary. Who cares if the Iraqi economy collapses,
> the bad guys profit, and ordinary people suffer - none of these are
> 'compelling' enough reasons to stop pompous fools like myself from
> determining what is best for the Iraqi people."
> Anti-Americanism is the anti-interventionism of fools. And it is rooted in
> anti-capitalism. Why are what Rahul describes as the "state oil companies"
> run by Saddam Hussein and his mafia-like family sacrosanct? Why shouldn't
> they be privatized? And why not allow foreign ownership? I'm shocked -
> shocked! - at Rahul's "xenophobia."
> Okay, that was a bit too easy, I know. Plenty of left-oriented activists,
> notably the widely-respected Voices in the Wilderness, oppose this nutty
> pro-sanctions position. Let's file this under "It just goes to show." - as
> in "It just goes to show how crazy the Left can be if it takes some of its
> more untenable principles too seriously" - and move along.
> But one important point needs to be made. As the embodiment of the one and
> only successful libertarian revolution in history, the United States is by
> its very nature a potentially liberating force in the world. The idea that
> no good could possibly come of this war is obviously wrong. But it is not
> far off the mark, either, and needs only to be amended: Nothing good for
> U.S. can come of this war. All the benefits, such as they are, will be
> reaped in Iraq, by the Iraqis, while we pay and pay, in human lives and
> treasure looted from the private incomes of Americans. We spread liberty -
> or some deformed version of it - abroad, and nurture tyranny at home: that
> is the price of our rulers' internationalism, and we'll be paying it for
> some time to come.
> - Justin Raimondo
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