The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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On 7/20/03 10:01 AM, "nagy" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Dear Colleagues, > > I not only respect Voices but frankly it was the heroic actions of Kathy > Kelly, of Vocices, that compelled me into taking steps which may have, among > other things, demolished my 20 year academic career in the U.S. > > I am sorry that the author views our plight in the U.S. and urgent need for > inspiration as "nonsense". I suggest that a possibly more constructive > solution is for the author to install a bozo filter to block all messages > from me as well as to block all messages from anyone else the writer views is > offensive or a waste of time. > > It is hardly by intention to start a flame war on CASI but the children > keep dying, there seems little support for Galloway or Ritter and now it seems > that it's fine to dismiss some of my concerns as "nonsense". Perhaps, Dr. > Pipes was right in designating me as the sixth professor in the US most in > need of adult supervision. And perhaps its right that my career, at least in > the U.S., should end. > > While I am zero suicidal, I have to wonder if Dr. Kelly had had more > support, maybe even from the CASI list serv, he might be alive now (assuming > that his death was really suicide. > > sincerely, > tom > Hi - This is a long email and has to do with the above comment concerning Scott Ritter. This IS Iraq related, it seems to me. I'm not sure what Dr. Nagy means, exactly, by 'little support' for Ritter. I'm not disputing the statement, though in some quarters his message is being taken seriously, as discussed below. Scott's always been difficult for some in the US peace movement to swallow as he is not a pacifist. Concerning Iraq, though, he has been steadfast against the war, has bemoaned in many public settings the horrendous effects of sanctions, he calls for the soldiers to come home (and has ideas on how to do that quickly by turning authority over to Iraqis to run their own country) and voices grave concern that the US is slipping from what he considers oligarchy to fascism. He's also an advocate of nuclear disarmament. Pretty good stuff in my book concerning Iraq and other issues. Perhaps we'll disagree on the next war, perhaps not, but he's great on Iraq. When we were planning to organize a trip last summer with him through the mid-west and to the mid-atlantic (after doing events with him in New England), we had asked a major national peace coalition to get involved. They wouldn't, so we did it without a national group's help. However, we found enthusiastic partners in Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Kansas, of all places. Grassroots folks were excited to have him. We also found receptive editorial boards at the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Boston Globe. You are no doubt aware of the whispering campaign that was started about him last January. He was planning a trip to Iraq as part of a peace effort (he had told me about this in December). One morning in January, the FBI calls him in for questioning about his planned imminent trip. That afternoon, an 'unnamed source' whispered to a newspaper that he had been arrested a few years earlier. It didn't matter that the charges were dismissed by the judge or that the record was sealed to protect the victim of false allegations - namely Scott. (I'm a lawyer, and sealing records like this is hardly unusual to protect a person falsely accused.) The ensuing controversy was enough to derail the trip and to turn the media's focus on him, rather than his message that Iraq had been disarmed and did not pose a threat to world peace. Traprock has stood by him throughout. We're not alone in doing that. Another has been WAMC, 90.3 FM (a prominent NPR affiliate that covers much of New York State and western New England.). Their take was that it was character assassination, the substance of which was totally irrelevant to a discussion about weapons of mass destruction in any case. Scott Ritter has an important message, based on his years of experience, expertise and insight. It is indeed very sad and, I say tragic, if some in the US would turn whispers into something tantamount to conviction. I'd question if these people were inclined to give any benefit of the doubt to Scott, in a system where one is supposed to have every reasonable doubt in their favor before being found guilty. Some good news. Students seem unaffected by the attitudes that some of their elders may have. (I say 'may have' because I have not personally heard much in the way of criticism about Scott.) He was a featured speaker on Feb. 15 in NYC before hundreds of students - I was there and they were very happy to hear from him. The controversy was still relatively fresh then. Students that I converse with now are likewise interested in hosting him at their schools. The recent international press conference with Scott that was hosted by Traprock had a huge response. Information Clearing House called it a "Must Listen Interview." http://traprockpeace.org/audio/ritter.mp3 http://informationclearinghouse.info/article4101.htm (We posted the transcript at http://traprockpeace.org/RitterTraprockPeace090703.pdf The Washingtn Post called Traprock after the interview. Two days later CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed him (transcript on our website) after CNN had not interviewed him since January. The focus was entirely on Iraq. He also then gave a press conference at the UN, with coverage by the AP and Reuters. The focus was on Iraq. So, is it really that case that Scott is not getting support in the US? Young people and the media seem interested in his message that the American people were Bushwhacked on Iraq. If it is the case that he is not getting support, is this from non-student peace organizations? Sorry for the long email. I would appreciate thoughts - on or off list - about the attitudes of US anti-war groups toward working with Scott. The purpose of that would be to help me understand how best to communicate with these organizations. If Scott is ignored by a natural audience at this critical time, then the US government has won quite a victory. Thank you. Charlie Jenks -- Charles Jenks, attorney at law President of the Core Group Traprock Peace Center 103A Keets Road Deerfield, MA 01342 413-773-1633; Fax 413-773-7507 email@example.com http://traprockpeace.org _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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