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Dear ppg & List, On the face of it, the 'Occupaton Watch Center' (inspired by peace activists in Palestine?), in Baghdad, is an excellent idea. Described as a coalition of anti-war groups, with connections to the US Greeen Party, Quakers etc. - worthy sources & with vision - what could one possibly have reservations about? Not everyone will agree with my views, here, but they may stimulate some questioning. For starters, unless anyone knows better, no anti-war groups existed during the Baathist regime. Those was despotic times, dissent was never permitted, unless from within the ruling family - but not always, even then! To openly espouse dissent would, frequently, been tantamount to signing your own death warrant. Human rights, in any real sense did not exist, the leadership could, with impunity, commit any number of atrocities. But the breakdown of Iraqi society, partly from the military invasion, and it's aftermath, as well as the years of sanctions, following the first Gulf War, results from ill-planned policies without regard to the welfare of Iraqi peoples. But other factors are involved, too. However neccessary it may be to keep close watch on Coalition (mainly US/UK) soldiers & businesses, it's not enough. To study human rights & wrongs, however genuine the intentions, involves deep, profound soul-searching, to scrutinise one's own behaviour & motives, constantly. Not just pointing fingers at the occupiers. If one believes in Ghandian-style non-violence, for instance, that may be perfectly alright, providing one has thought through the many layers of issues, not merely using it, superficially, as a pragmatic tactic to achieve certain political objectives, however worthy. Yet, Iraq is a disaster-zone, requiring extreme urgency. Even if considered justified, in some respects, to judge the invaders/occupiers as the "baddies", Iraqis too need to be self-critical & responsible. Is the utter mayhem, throughout many areas of Iraq, totally the fault of the foreign soldiers & their hangers-on? The thefts, rapes, murders, the wanton destruction all around, even of hospitals? I can see many of you thinking I'm giving support to the wrong parties, & may be deluding myself. As some friends will confirm, I've been actively involved with anti-war, anti-sanction, campagning for years, & have opposed US-led Western policies. Despite that, & knowing the appalling sufferings, inflicted upon the Iraqi peoples for many years, I still feel Iraqis, too, should now learn to accept their own responsibilties. for their own 'destinies', collective as well as personal. Unless they make a conscious decision to re-discover the true values of humanity - & live it! - then - whether as a "dictatorship", a "democracy" or any other system, without a sense of prevailing compassion, there is no hope, whatsoever, for the future of Iraq. Greetings, Bert. _________________________________________________________________ Use MSN Messenger to send music and pics to your friends http://www.msn.co.uk/messenger _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk