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Re: [casi] here is to kinder interpretations of those who fight for human rights




Dear Tony,

I think this was more about feelings, although
it centred on the sanctions and the war. Roger's
message was a diplomatic plea for people who fight
for human rights to judge one another kindly. You
are saying the same now. It was my message that
was perhaps too strong. Please forgive me. I
didn't mean to judge CASI or anyone else.

Your point is well taken. But I see it a
little differently as to cause and effect: to be
fair, it wasn't Dirk who had 'reprimanded' Gabriel,
it was the other way round. There was even the
suggestion of Saddam apologists and holocaust
deniers. It was this suggestion that prompted me
to respond.

There was also Rahul whose feeling had been hurt
by an unfair attack: "Hypocrisy, thy name is Rahul
Mahajan!" was the title of an article posted to
CASI.

Of course, the argument against the sanctions has
been lost, as you point out. But the fight against
the injustice that was committed is just beginning.
As I see it, it's not the way the sanctions ended,
but the pretext by which they were maintained and
the devastation they caused. Still, I won't discuss
this on CASI. The sanctions have become sensitive
issue, it seems - not only on CASI.

Yes, Martin Luther King was criticized, but he
didn't give up - neither did Rosa Parks...

Still, I don't think there will be arguments or
disagreements on CASI about the sanctions.

May CASI flourish in whatever form it chooses to take,

Elga


-------------Original Message-------------
>From Aswed@aol.com Wed Jun 11 05:39:16 2003
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 03:10:21 EDT
From: Aswed@aol.com
To: citext@chebucto.ns.ca, casi-discuss@lists.casi.org.uk
Subject: Re: [casi] here is to kinder interpretations of those who fight
for
human rig...

my friends,
i have for sometime now been quarrelling within myself about the sanctions
issue. quite aside from condemning the united nations for acquiescing in a
most
cowardly way to american will and condoning, defacto, a rebirth of
colonialism, i have read and appreciated but not engaged others in their
angst
about the
ignominious ending of sanctions, for they had a clearer and earlier
resolution

of the issue than i. perhaps i envied the clarity with which they saw the
issue. i was angry at myself because i could not resolve my struggle with
it.
     i consider sanctions, however and wherever instituted, as an  immoral
form of domination that is a defining pillar of colonialism, and , to my
simple
senses and as stated by roger and others, an insidious method of waging
war--
more efficient, more deadly-- witness the loss in toto of a whole
generation
of iraqis.
    factually, the ending of sanctions does fulfill the stated aims of
casi.
no one would argue that the way they ended- after a war (one is tempted to
redundantly say illegal, immoral, cruel etc), after the perfidy of the
united
nations, and within a truculent occupation- is reprehensible. although
this
ending did not justify the means by which it was achieved, casi as an
organization, it seems to me, was left little choice but to acknowledge
the
fact that
sanctions have ended.
    i support rahul's thesis and understand dirk's frustration and the
emotions that drove him to point correctly to our recalcitrance. his as
well
as our
emotions are honest, but i do not join in his reprimand of casi and
gabriel.
their contributions to my thought and sanity have been substantial indeed,
and

i am thankful.
     realistically, all our arguments about sanctions lost most of their
significance the moment the us/uk escalated their aggression and occupied
iraq. i
am not so simple as to think that now it mattered at all to the united
states
whether sanctions were manifest or not. they mattered to the extent that
they
served as the issue, surely a canard, used cynically by the united states
to
bludgeon the united nations into codifying the occupation. the united
nations
committed suicide albeit assisted. yes, in my illusion, i needed  the
united
nations to stand up and, counter to the logic of its history, reject the
resolution and condemn the war and the occupation. that of course would
not
occur.
    now i see some internescine dissension when addressing this issue, but
i
am not dismayed by it. i lived through the 60's when the two overarching
issues were civil rights and the vietnam war. vigorous arguments on
crossover,

basic philosophies and methods of protests were common within and among
groups.
although often frustrating, such disagreements were in fact quite useful
in
crystallizing and articulating issues. i accept a role for all. it is
important
for example to remember a historical fact from that time. martin luther
king
and
his southern christian leadership conference(sclc) were criticized, often
quite   harshly, by other civil rights and anti-war groups for their basic
philosophy
.   i wish and hope that casi will continue.
    i trust our humanity.
tony






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