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Re: [casi] Some Equestrian Wisdom.

Encouraging note:
In May, peace and civil rights delegates met
in Jakarta and drafted the "Jakarta Peace Consensus."
Occupation Watch Centres are mentioned in that
document. Peace groups, anti-globalization groups,
and religious groups are converging into one big
movement - against war, militarism and neo-liberalism.

Occupation Watch (Baghdad) is supported by all.
Websites in countries around the world are linked
to Occupation Watch: Belgium, France, Italy,
Germany, Macedonia, Indonesia, Sweden, Denmark,
Spain and Latin American countries, and so on.
It was written up in a German newspaper.

And I am beginning to feel some hope... Perhaps
others will too. So please don't let's spoil the

Dear Bert,

Peace pipe...?

I avoided mentioning your name as a protective
measure - to keep you out of it, so to speak.
No 'discourtesy' intended.

And I did realize that the article pg posted had
prompted your comments. That was the point: the
source of that article was - hence the
"big stomach". Sorry about that ill-chosen phrase.
I had no idea that it would conjure up such unhappy

> grossly misrepresents my views re. Peace Groups
> in Baghdad, & unpallatable facts are, conveniently,
> sugar-coated by her.

What I said in essence was that the Occupation Watch
Centre (that's its name) has the right to exist.
That it has set up its own guidelines and will act
accordingly. And that no-one else has any say in it.
At least, that's how I see it.

And I can't see any sugar-coating of "unpalatable
facts" in that.

Yes, I know that atrocities were committed before.
But this is not a 'previous government watch'.
Besides, I don't accept the logic that former
atrocities cancel out the current ones - or
justify the invasion and occupation. You may
differ of course.

> These quotes underscore the views I was putting
> across.

Yes, they do - if you mean the looting, vandalism,
murders, carjackings, and so on.  And the reason I
posted the CARE and ICRC reports was to show what
chaos and insecurity there still is. But that's
only half the story:

The occupying powers (belligerent occupants)
are totally responsible for maintaining law and
order. And the fact that they let these things
happen represents a breach in international law.
Applicable are:

     The Annexed Regulations to Hague Convention
     IV of 1907, the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention,
     and customary international law set forth the
     laws of belligerent occupation...

And both the US and Britain have failed to meet
their obligations. They have invaded iraq, they
have dismantled the existing system, and they have
even issued orders (initially) _not_ to interfere.
Both the Americans and the Brits are on record
for refusing help when asked - e.g, in hospitals.

So any excuses, such we couldn't foresee that; or
we can't cope; or we aren't occupiers, but liberators
just don't hold. They are responsible.

And Rumsfeld's "stuff happens to free people"
is a bit of nonsense.

You can see that these laws go back to 1907/1949.
The fact that they do exist suggests that such
things would happen in any country - to varying
degrees - if law and order is completely disbanded.
Even in yours.

That the Iraqis had a totalitarian government,
that they experienced 13 years of gruelling
hardship through the embargo, and that they
were at starvation point after the invasion
obviously made people more vulnerable.

But history shows that every society has weak
members unable to govern themselves. Looting
and vandalism even happen even in regulated life.
Crime too. But once the legal and societal codes
are totally abandoned, anything can happen, I think.

You may also remember that back in April the ICRC,
the UN, and other agencies repeatedly begged the
occupiers to meet their responsibility in
re-establishing law and order. All was in vain.
So in the end the NGOs gave up. And now papers
just report the incidents.

To make things even worse, the occupiers disbanded
400,000 soldiers from the former government. 400,000
more unemployed people with no money, no food, and
families to feed.

In any case, the occupiers's responsibility remains.
They are in breach of their obligations. And this
is a war crime.

To a better world!

Elga Sutter

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