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Re: [casi] Strategy at CASI

First paragraph of Point 3 is absolutely right on the nose except for
the 'almost succeeding derailing the war' part (highly over optimistic I
thought then and would obviously remark now).

Point one I will always disagree with. It's not like saying lets censure
points of view we disagree with such as Richard Perle, Pipes, Bush,
Rice, Blair, etc who ARE policy makers, or very close to. My argument is
censure those who would censure you if you proposed the same arguments
from your side. The equivalent of torture is terrorism. Would any media
go to the extreme left to publish stories about proponents of violence
against Israeli occupation of  Palestine, except to shed discredit on
that person? If violence discredits the left in the eyes of the
mainstream media, then it must be made the same for the extreme right.
Cordesman is not a policy maker and he was advocating for indefinite
"containment"(isolation through sanctions) of Iraq, not Bush's military
attack. He IS NOT influencial in the US policy maker circles but is
frequently quoted and given space in the mainstream US and Canadian
media as an 'expert'. Experts don't promote violence and instead of
'knowing' is arguments' they should be debunked and denounced. Given
space to persons of such ilk on CASI helps to promote this fraud as
something serious. Obviously we disagree on this. I'm not and never will
be for the willing or unwilling promotion of such people (of which Alan
Dershowitz is another fine specimen) on lists.

Point 4: Since I'm not a connoisseur of British politics I do limit my
comments to the present Bliar administration.

Present poll results, as fluid as those can be, giving me faint hope
that 24 years of Tatcherism has not completely blighted the moral
compass of British citizens.

Peter Brooke a écrit:

>Dear Marc and list
>This email is mainly made up of apologies and explanations, since I seem to
>have expressed myself badly.
>1. On Anthony Cordesman. I am not an admirer of Anthony Cordesman and do not
>regard him as a reliable source of objective information. I do, however,
>know that his arguments and his facts (true or false) will be used by the
>defenders of current government policy. So I want to know what they are. But
>I am a lazy person and am not sufficiently excited by Mr Cordesman's
>thoughts to want to have to chase after them through the pages of the New
>York Times or all the other places where they can be found. One of my
>reasons for joining the CASI list is the hope that such information will
>come my way, with a minimum of effort on my part, preferably, where
>necessary, with a commentary indicating where he's wrong or what could be
>said in reply.
>2. I didn't mean to suggest that this discussion list was engaging in
>'hysterical rhetoric' and I apologise if I gave that impression.
>3.  It would be wrong to confont lobbying and mass action as if they were
>opposites. They are both necessary and complementary activities. CASI as
>such specialised in lobbying (not just government but also media and
>academia). Many contributors to the list, especially recently, have been
>more interested in mass action. But Marc will surely remember that mass
>action only took off in opposition to the war. We didn't have mass action
>against sanctions. And the argument which almost succeeded in derailing the
>war (let the inspectors do their work, no war without a UN mandate, Iraq
>doesn't pose a threat, leave well enough alone) was a pro-sanctions
>It occurs to me that CASI's lobbying may have been more effective than we
>would like to think. At the risk of depressing everyone, it may be that CASI
>contributed to speeding up the war, since I am persuaded that one of the
>reasons for the war was the government's conviction that sanctions were
>indefensible and could not be kept in place for very much longer.
>4. I suspect that the disgreement between myself and Marc isn't great but if
>there is anything in it it comes down to this: I favour multiplying contacts
>with the enemy and think this may be CASI's distinctive talent. I certainly
>don't favour it to the exclusion of other approaches and I certainly don't
>approach it in a spirit of optimism. I think it is an unpleasant duty that
>should be assumed without any great expectations of success. And it becomes
>all the more indispensable in the UK if Marc's understanding of British
>politics (as essentially scornful of 'democracy' when it manifests itself in
>the streets) is correct.
>Best wishes

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