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RE: [casi] major film - The Journey a Film for Peace this weekend in London

Dear List,

>"I am more American than the Americans," said Syed
Farquar Quizwini, a cleric at the religious university
in Hilla who has met a string of senior American
officials in Iraq and claims to have a significant
following in Hilla.<

Quizwini (or Qazwini), as any Iraqi knows, is not
Iraqi but Iranian. Qazwin means “Caspian”. So Syed
Farquar Quizwini can be “more American than the
Americans” as much as he wants, but he certainly does
not reflect the wishes and wills of Iraqis. He may
fool some simple people in Iraq with his false title
of Syed or his turban, but he is still an outsider;
just like the Americans...

Now for some REAL good news from the same Guardian...

Maybe the Governor of Hilla who said: "If you respect
the law, you will succeed; if you don't, you will
fail" could explain to us how this principle can
accommodate what Perle says!!


War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was

Oliver Burkeman and Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday November 20, 2003
The Guardian

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted
with astonishment yesterday after the influential
Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion
of Iraq had been illegal.

In a startling break with the official White House and
Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in
London: "I think in this case international law stood
in the way of doing the right thing."

President George Bush has consistently argued that the
war was legal either because of existing UN security
council resolutions on Iraq - also the British
government's publicly stated view - or as an act of
self-defence permitted by international law.

But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy
board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald
Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have
required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this
would have been morally unacceptable.

French intransigence, he added, meant there had been
"no practical mechanism consistent with the rules of
the UN for dealing with Saddam Hussein".
Mr Perle, who was speaking at an event organised by
the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, had
argued loudly for the toppling of the Iraqi dictator
since the end of the 1991 Gulf war.

"They're just not interested in international law, are
they?" said Linda Hugl, a spokeswoman for the Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament, which launched a high court
challenge to the war's legality last year. "It's only
when the law suits them that they want to use it."

Mr Perle's remarks bear little resemblance to official
justifications for war, according to Rabinder Singh
QC, who represented CND and also participated in
Tuesday's event.

Certainly the British government, he said, "has never
advanced the suggestion that it is entitled to act, or
right to act, contrary to international law in
relation to Iraq".

The Pentagon adviser's views, he added, underlined "a
divergence of view between the British government and
some senior voices in American public life [who] have
expressed the view that, well, if it's the case that
international law doesn't permit unilateral
pre-emptive action without the authority of the UN,
then the defect is in international law".

Mr Perle's view is not the official one put forward by
the White House. Its main argument has been that the
invasion was justified under the UN charter, which
guarantees the right of each state to self-defence,
including pre-emptive self-defence. On the night
bombing began, in March, Mr Bush reiterated America's
"sovereign authority to use force" to defeat the
threat from Baghdad.

The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, has questioned
that justification, arguing that the security council
would have to rule on whether the US and its allies
were under imminent threat.

Coalition officials countered that the security
council had already approved the use of force in
resolution 1441, passed a year ago, warning of
"serious consequences" if Iraq failed to give a
complete ac counting of its weapons programmes.

Other council members disagreed, but American and
British lawyers argued that the threat of force had
been implicit since the first Gulf war, which was
ended only by a ceasefire.

"I think Perle's statement has the virtue of honesty,"
said Michael Dorf, a law professor at Columbia
University who opposed the war, arguing that it was

"And, interestingly, I suspect a majority of the
American public would have supported the invasion
almost exactly to the same degree that they in fact
did, had the administration said that all along."
The controversy-prone Mr Perle resigned his
chairmanship of the defence policy board earlier this
year but remained a member of the advisory board.

Meanwhile, there was a hint that the US was trying to
find a way to release the Britons held at Guantanamo

The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, said Mr Bush
was "very sensitive" to British sentiment. "We also
expect to be resolving this in the near future," he
told the BBC.

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