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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Dear All on List, On Tom's suggestion, I'm happy to forward this, hoping it may lead to some healthy debate as to how best communicate, esp. with those in charge of invasion/occupation of Iraq. To write for the press, to speak to the media, or publicly, at such occasions it may be appropriate to 'spice up' your message by strong language. On the other hand, dealing directly with your opponents is quite a different matter - how do you get accross most effectively (assuming that such communication is at all possible!)? I've been involved in peaceful demonstrations, where leading British politicians have been jeered & bood. When I write to, or meet, one, should I call him/her a a "warmonger" etc. to his/her face? Or apply a more reasoned approach? I certainly don't have all the answers to this - perhaps the List can help? - As I'm sure Tom will agree with, you can sup with the devil, as long as you use a long spoon - but don't sleep with him! Greetings, Bert G. (B'ham, UK). PS. Ariel Sharon, Tony Blair, Jack Straw, & friends, are having dinner (with an abundance of stuffed olives? Are long spoons provided?) at 10 Downing St, Monday July 14th. Many uninvited guests will be present, at that address, from 5.30 - 7.30 pm., to give Ariel an appropriate welcome! - Other actions for Sunday/Monday. >From: " Tom Nagy, Ph.D." <email@example.com> >To: Bert Gedin <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com >Subject: Re: Comments to Tom. >Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 20:54:59 -0400 > >Dear Bert, > > Appreciate your critique. You may be right, but I guess my style is to >play >my cards face up. Lying and false pretenses and sugar coating are so >endemic in >Washington, D.C. that I cannot bring myself to emulate it. > > I guess I'll take my chances that the webmaster is either a decent >person >with some integrity or that the webmaster will simply mechanically pass on >my >message without bothering to read it. > > I would encourage you or others to try the other tack. I appreciate >your >wanting to spare my feelings with a private email, but with the stakes so >high, >I would encourage you to send this (together with your reply to the whole >list). >I welcome honest, intelligent criticism like yours and feel we are too >wrapped >up in taboos against disagreement. And of course I may be wrong and your >comments may serve as a good corrective. > >Thanks again, >tom > >Bert Gedin wrote: > > > Dear Tom, > > > > You requested comments re. communicating with Iraq's occupiers, i.e. >USA/UK > > military forces. Hope you > > won't mind my somewhat critical words (not to the List). You may >disagree > > with much of this. As a fair person, though, I think you'll consider >these > > comments. > > > > Firstly, my feeling is you were wrong to send your e-letter to the > > (military) Webmaster - that leaves it up to him/her to decide who to >forward > > it to - if at all. Wouldn't it have been better to, briefly, explain >your > > credentials - as an academic who has some, possibly, useful suggestions >as > > to how the situation in Iraq might be radically improved. You could have > > asked for full name & some details re. several of those in overall >charge, > > incl. their e-mail addresses. It may be tempting to be emotive & hostile > > towards the Occupation. Such attitudes might be appropriate, e.g. for a > > street demonstration, otherwise courtesy is more likely to be effective. >Use > > official titles, & find out the euphamism for "occupation", which the > > military authorities may use, and do likewise. To describe the >occupation > > authorities as "those folks" is a > > put-down, likely to be counter-productive, even at the Webmaster stage. > > > > Mention the countries where you have conducted your research, e.g. > > Karolinska Institute = Sweden. > > Not such a good idea, perhaps, to mention the Genocide Scholars, as this > > would lead to immediate defensive reactions, assuming you were planning >to > > take them to Court, which may be true. Whatever your intentions, I >suggest > > some restraint in language. > > > > In blaming/shaming these authorities, you risk being ignored, likewise > > accusing them of having no compassion or of igniting WWIII. > > > > The effect of your letter, unfortunately, might be that no-one, of the > > authorities in charge, will want to get within reach, following your >implied > > threats to them. At best, you may get some military pen-pusher, politely > > acknowledging your letter & thanking you for your suggestions, which are > > being considered - before they head for the waste-paper basket. > > > > This should be enough comments, for now. But I do think you ought to >know > > which person(s) you are writing to, not just firing away at "the > > occupation". > > > > Hopefully, you will see my criticisms as constructive & well-meaning. - >I am > > mindful of your many valuable > > contributions to the CASI site. > > > > Greetings, > > > > Bert. > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > > Express yourself with cool emoticons - download MSN Messenger today! > > http://www.msn.co.uk/messenger > _________________________________________________________________ Get Hotmail on your mobile phone http://www.msn.co.uk/msnmobile _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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