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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>you for your contributions to the list, but ask that >their relevance to understanding humanitarian needs in >Iraq be considered more carefully in some cases? I understand the concern (which we all have, and led to the !OT designation), but it is not clear to me that the topic discussed actually is off the topic, although it is surely broader in scope. The cultural fascism in the US is not easily translated directly into a specific body count, but we need to consider the forces behind the deaths occurring. I haven't been a member of this list all that long, but the list itself, and casi, has been in operation for a years -- yet the sanctions remained. Why? Have the facts been overlooked here or hidden? No -- they have been ignored by the bulk of the American public. Why were Bush and crew able to mount the war? Because the bulk of Americans are ignorant, badly educated, incapable of analysis and seeing through the propaganda. Of the nations I know of, only the US -- the one who most strongly drove the attacks on Iraq -- had a majority of people supporting the assault. If the American people had not been under the cultural fascism and ignorance described, the war would not have happened. An analogy: there are outbreaks of cholera in Iraq. The real solution is not more drugs but a clean water supply. Likewise the fundamental solution to US imperialism and the occupation of Iraq is to clean up the public intellectual capacity and assumptions -- more clarity of thought by the people of the US. That means changes in governmentally and culturally driven education, TV and radio, and printed media -- or at least undestanding it and finding ways to compensate for it. Currently the administration is talking about occupying Iraq for years to come, and that means spreading this cultural and intellectual fascim there as well. The only way to stop that is to inform the American public as to the true nature of the takeover, and to do that it is essential to understand why the public allows such things: why so many people think Iraq was responsible for 9/11; why so many believed the garbage about yellow cake and aluminum tubes; why so many think Islam is an evil and violent religion; why so many did not even know where Iraq was; why so many unquestionably believe the mass media. It is this ignorance -- this "cultural fascism" -- which is the "pump" which feeds the foul disease of American foreign policy, and we have to find a way to "remove the pump handle" if we are to be effective in changing it. It seems to me that while this American attitude and ignorance may not be strictly "on topic" for the casi list, per se, it must surely be on topic regarding the actual situation in Iraq and the crucial political forces driving the rape of that nation. The essential thing to understand is that this cultural and educational fascism is the old peasants and noble structer. Most people are educated as "peasants", trained to work and obey the "nobles". The next largest class is the nobles (such as Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al) who is groomed to rule and exploit the "peasants" -- including the Iraqis (in this case by the theories of those like Leo Strauss). Only a relatively few people escape this conditioning to deal with reality and critical thinking (at least until they become boots on the ground). The nobles make their grandiose plans of conquest, and the peasants, wanting to emulate the nobles and think themselves to be sophisticated and noble, or just not caring, support them. A true middle class is largely illusionary, based almost entirely on consuming rather than political and cultural awareness. That's why it was possible to make war on Iraq, and why so few foresee the problems with the attempt to colonize and exploit it. I don't know how others on the list think about this, or what the wisest place to draw a (fuzzy) line is. Perhaps the root causes are obvious to some, and all they want is the specific information about what is currently happening on the ground in Iraq. Others might want to include shifts in policy. Some might want only announcements of counter-actions, demonstrations, and relief efforts. I can't find any one bright line in my thoughts about it, but these root conditions do seem quite relevant to me. I had hoped that the !OT type headings might provide a solution for these different levels and desires, allowing people to quickly and easily ignore and delete material outside their immediate concerns. ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! 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