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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Hello, all. I almost never post to CASI except when I have a specific question, and have observed, as have Eric and others, a deterioration in the quality of the list since the war. I have also noticed a deterioration in the quality of CASI's analysis, as in the press release it put out lauding the US oil-money-grab in UNSCR 1483 as the "lifting" of the sanctions, but that's another story. I just want to object strongly to Eric's formulation of the split on the list. There is, of course, as he says, the basic opposition between those who want the occupation to fail and those who want it to succeed. Given the relative weakness of international opposition and domestic opposition in the USA, clearly those who want the "violence of both sides" to end want the occupation to succeed -- it is the armed resistance that is causing the occupation its problems. There are, however, further splits. There may be some of those who want the occupation to fail that think that the UN humanitarian headquarters and the ICRC as legitimate targets, but I imagine the majority of those who are against the occupation are also in favor of international law and the distinction between military and civilian targets. I will be speaking on an Iraq panel at the European Social Forum on November 13, where I imagine many of these issues will come up again. Hope to see some of you there. In solidarity, Rahul Mahajan >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 >firstname.lastname@example.org >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 email@example.com >All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ 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