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Dear Eric and list Painful as it may be - and it may get more painful - this is a discussion that is long overdue. My own view is that there is NOTHING any of us can do for the moment either to help the reconstruction of Iraq (accepting the occupation) or to help the resistance(s). At least there might be things one can do but not on this list. In other words I don't think CASI, whatever it is, can be a campaigning organisation at the present time. There will be those who want to campaign to get the US out of Iraq (where they pose a clear and present danger to Iraq's neighbours, never mind the Iraqi people(s)); there will be those who want to campaign against the privatisation of the Iraqi economy; there will be those who want to develop arguments in favour of the privatisation of the Iraqi economy; there is Justin Alexander's campaign for a 'jubilee' (he, I think, has come closest to formulating a useful focussing idea); there are those who will be anxious that Iraqi dates coming back on the market may be contaminated with depleted uranium; there are those who will want an Islamic country to have Islamic laws (I wish we could get a few of those on to the list. We would then be getting a bit closer to the nitty gritty of the country that interests us); there will be those who will want Iraq to be a beacon of secularism etc etc etc And in my view ALL these and the whole multitude of other possible views should be expressed freely and untidily on the list. The list's main focus - sanctions - has gone. CASI as a campaigning organisation has effectively gone (for what it's worth I agree with Rahul about the press statement welcoming 'the ending of sanctions' - I gave my views on this in the news mailing at the time). What is - or can be - left for the moment is information. I would have liked CASI to be renamed the Iraq Information Centre. And then if anyone is able to form definite ideas they want to campaign for they can form their own groups elsewhere (without necessarily leaving the CASI list). I have long been conducting a one-man campaign for the abolition of the UN Security Council. The day I receive the sort of support that could constitute an effective campaigning group I shall go off and work on that. But I would still like to be able to use CASI purely and simply as a source of information. That should be the main focus and what is missing at the moment is someone to organise it and bang it into shape on the - or a new - website. Best wishes to all the different tendencies Peter > From: Eric Herring <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 16:20:30 +0000 > To: Hassan <email@example.com> > Cc: CASI <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: [casi] The big issue for CASI not yet addressed directly > > 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 > _______________________________________________ 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