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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Like Eric, I also endorse Colin's message. Denying the Iraqi people's suffering under Saddam cannot be part of solidarity with these same people. Tom's distasteful intervention is part of a wider objectionable trend that has total disregard for Iraqis and that is simply willing to use them in a fight over policy in Europe and America. One well-known commentator who strongly opposed the war, recently argued that the best place for US troops is Iraq (where they are taking a battering), and he also argues that the US must now stay in Iraq because it has responsibilities arising from its war. This is not solidarity, but a desire to take the fight into Iraq and a benevolent imperialism, only slightly different from Blair's liberal imperialism. Consistency, honesty, respect for the truth and moral standards are as important as outrage against the US colonial enterprise. Kamil Mahdi Message: 3 From: "Colin Rowat" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <CASIemail@example.com> Subject: RE: [casi] Another bogus mass grave story - from LA Times Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2003 21:16:28 -0000 > I have a backlog of mass graves stories to discuss, I will > try and get through them in the next few days. ... > http://www.latsi.com/latsipix/0506lat1.jpg > > In this photo a man is shown digging with his hand into a > sand dune, that looks identical to all the other sand dunes > in the area (in the article we are also told this area is > prone to flooding!!!). Tom, Do you have any first hand experience with mass graves? I am fortunate not to, but find it quite reasonable to imagine that the photo is accurate - although revolting to engage in a process of coolly wondering about this: if you shoot pleading people in the head at a sandy place, it seems to me that the sand will gradually blow over their bodies, forming dunes of the sort in the photograph. Let us suppose, though, that this is not the case, and that the photo is concocted. Is this relevant? If someone is asked to strike a pose for a camera, that does not in any way alter the truth of the accompanying story. What is the story? You dismiss it as "the 'I was shot and left to die in a mass grave, but crawled out under cover of darkness to tell all' variation, an old favourite in the mass grave atrocity genre." I find sneering like this at mass murder - I assume that you are not doubting that the Anfal campaign took place - deeply offensive. This attitude also seems to me to be found in some of sanctions' most distasteful advocates: the old 'starving children' variation on sanctions, or 'baby funerals', or doubting Unicef because they hired Iraqis. A closer comparison, although different in scale, is to Holocaust denial. I, for one, am not interested in you dumping your 'backlog' of mass grave stories onto this list. I do not feel that your e-mail has contributed to my understanding of mass graves in Iraq, or - more relevant to the list's mandate - the current humanitarian situation in Iraq. It has made me feel unclean. Yours, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | web.bham.ac.uk/c.rowat | ( 44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | email@example.com Dr Kamil Mahdi University of Exeter _______________________________________________ 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