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Dear all The issue is not really about being on topic or off topic. It seems to me that the big issue for CASI not yet addressed directly is what outcome people on the list want to see. During the sanctions, people on the list were divided over the reasons they were opposed to the sanctions, but they were still united in opposition to them. CASI's broad unity in opposing the sanctions has now gone, because there is a division between 1. those who want the occupation to fail to give US imperialism a bloody nose, either even if it costs Iraqis a great deal or because they think that it will be best for Iraqis in the long run. They see the attacks on the US, UN, ICRC etc as legitimate efforts at liberation, and see damage to humanitarian efforts as a necessary part of that struggle. 2. those who do not like the occupation but hope that the violence of both sides will end as soon as possible and want reconstruction efforts to work and to be shaped as far as possible in the interests of the Iraqi people. I put myself in the second category. Of course, there are other ways of constructing the divide, and mine is certainly not neutral. But a profound divide of some sort like this is there. I wonder if CASI can really keep going with this divide. I have to say I doubt it. The feedback I have had from outside people (academic, international organisation and government) who lurk is that the list has gone way downhill since the war. Maybe that should count for nothing or even should be welcomed, but I do not think so. The spirit of CASI lay in nonviolent support for the people of Iraq, not easy ground to hold with the prospect of a war which at the very least many Iraqis now welcome as a war of liberation, but CASI was right to hold it. CASI needs to be about continuing to help shape nonviolent support for the people of Iraq. Still not easy ground to hold - on the one side, there are real arguments to made about the right to resist with force an illegal occupation which uses often indiscriminate force and disappearances, on the other real arguments to be made about how force might be used effectively against those who organise attacks on the UN, Red Cross and Iraqi civilians. Eric ---------------------- Dr. Eric Herring Department of Politics University of Bristol 10 Priory Road Bristol BS8 1TU England, UK Office tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582 Mobile tel. +44-(0)7771-966608 Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133 email@example.com http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Politics http://www.ericherring.com/ Network of Activist Scholars of Politics and International Relations (NASPIR) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/naspir/ _______________________________________________ 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