The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear List, I suppose Muhamed Ali’s latest message is one of those which Colin described as belonging to the “sanctions' most distasteful advocates”... Unless, of course, Colin is of another opinion?? For the benefit of Muhamed Ali and his “Iraqi” friends here and there, I am reposting my 2 Oct 2003 response to his post. My apologies from the List, but it seems necessary soemtimes to repeat matters before some understand them.. I suggest that Muhamed Ali considers my advice carefully before withdrawing into his usual periods of utter silence. Morality is indivisible; not applicable only to Kurdish issues.. HZ ----------------------------------------------------- http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg04440.html I have always believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt, accepting what they claimed until proven otherwise. I am now glad that Muhamad Ali has explained a mystery: his limited vocabulary is only a reflection of his lack of first hand knowledge of Iraq and its affairs. Terms like “apologists” and “loony ultra leftists” only reveal shallowness in thinking. Here too I am giving Muhamad the benefit of the doubt! I am neither a “Saddam apologist” nor a “loony ultra leftist”, nor for that matter a “loony ultra rightist”, but a normal human being with a brain of his own, and with a gift of thinking on my own without edicts and orders from anyone. To accuse everyone who opposes the illegal US occupation of Iraq of belonging to one of the above two groups is an indication of an inability to see things within their real context. And it is, above all, self-deceiving.. Since when did the “left” become bad? When communist states were helping Barzani in his separatist aspirations in the 1950s, providing him with money and weapons? Or when Talbani became a “Maoist” because the Soviet Union had become “rightist”? Did you call Barzani and Talbani and those who helped them “loony ultra leftists“, or did that happen only after Barzani and Talbani started cooperating with the CIA and the Mossad in the 1970s?? I, for one, have always opposed US interventionist policy anywhere in the world: from the days when I was a student until now. As teenagers, we marched in support of the Algerian resistance to French occupation; in support of Egyptian resistance to the tripartite invasion. As we grew older, we marched against the Vietnam war; against the corruption of the Arif government in Iraq; and against the bloody coup in Chile. We opposed the military coups in Greece and Turkey, and supported the struggle of nations for independence.. We volunteered to go and fight besides our brothers in Syria and Egypt against Israel.. We attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on June 5, 1967 for its support of Israel, and stood behind our beliefs and ideals at any cost. Where were you during that time, Mr. Morality?? Studying in the UK?? At a time when such opposition was considered treason, we opposed the invasion of Iran, even though any other government would have done the same. The great US of A, which you seemingly worship, openly declares its right to resort to pre-emptive attacks to protect its interests. It attacked Iraq on that basis, something you support, but condemn Iraq’s invasion of Iran. The Iranian revolution was a threat to the state of Iraq and other states in the area, and that is why the US supported Saddam in his war against it. That is how US support should be seen: as emanating from protecting US interests, not for the love of black Arab eyes, or not-so-black Kurdish eyes... Iraq was not alone in using chemical weapons: Iran had a larger stock of it, supplied by the US to the Shah, and these weapons were used against Iraq. In fact, Saddam’s weapons programs were all because of fear of an Iranian attack, especially after talk of “exporting the revolution”. And, like has been said, there are conflicting views on which side it was that used chemicals in Halabja. As God is my witness, I cried the day I saw the images from that tragedy at Halabja. But with the increasing number of revelations of lies and fabrications, I do not find reason to believe ANY American or British official explanation or accusation. And I therefore tend to give Iraq the benefit of the doubt.. Whoever used those weapons, Talbani should be held responsible for that massacre, because it was his handing of Halabja to the Iranians that caused the tragedy. So, Muhamad, where have you been all your life? Where were you when Iraqi children were dying at the rate of 5000 a month; 170 a day;7 every hour; one every 9 minutes, for 13 years?? Where were you when the US used DU, vacuum bombs, petrol bombs, and stupid bombs against Iraqis? Where were you when Barzani and Talbani were shelling each other’s bases and towns with artillery, killing thousands of Kurds? Where were you when Iraqis were drinking non-sterilized water, because the US did not let them fix their stations nor buy chlorine? Where were you when Iraqis were without electricity, without medicine, without the basic requirements of life, because the US kept those contracts on hold? Where were you when Iraqis were undergoing operations without anaesthesia because the US decided that anaesthesia is not medicine?? When you have the moral courage and the decency to reply to these questions in all honesty, then you can start judging people’s morals and ethics. It is indeed for the Iraqi people to judge Saddam's rule, the last war and the Iraqi Governing Council. And that is exactly what I am doing here, and I am more entitled to do that than you or any Iraqi who has not been to Iraq since 1958...... But how do you apply that principle to the intervention of Americans, British, Polish and (my God!) even Lithuania and Thailand in Iraq’s affairs? Why is it alright for those to bomb “your country” for 13 years, starve “your” people, give them diseases and poverty, but when someone from the citizens of those countries criticizes these actions, you jump to attack him? Are Americans familiar with ”the language, culture and way of life of Iraq, and its political complexities” would you say? Are you?? Did the Americans and British “have the common courtesy to ask” Iraqis if they want to be bombed to the Middle Ages; deprived of food, medicine and security?? You seem to be the one issuing Fatwas from the comfort of your “ivory tower” in Hackney.. You ask: “How could those who were neither born in Iraq, nor lived there, nor even followed the tragic situation in Iraq in the pre-Gulf war past, be more Iraqi than Iraqis themselves?” And I ask you the same question. You have left Iraq, according to your writing, in 1958, about the same time Ahmad al-Chalabi left it. You have not lived the rule of Qassim, the rule of the Arif brothers, and the rule of the Ba’th Party. You do not understand what war means. You do not understand what it means to be without medicine and food. You have followed the tragic situation in Iraq as much as any person in the West has; through relatives and friends and the media. Some have even gone to live in Iraq, which you didn’t. Having been born in Iraq, does not give you the right to deny others their right to their opinions, nor are you more entitled to “speak on Iraq than the entire loony leftists of this wide world”. For someone who has lived 45 years in the UK, your sense of democracy still has echoes of Barzani tribal thought.. And if we go by your rule, we should not let the people at IPO express their opinions, as they do not fulfil your requirements for an Iraqi. Most of them have not lived in Iraq more than a few weeks at birth, and thus are not entitled to speak on Iraq nor “be more Iraqi than Iraqis themselves”.. Or should we apply the rule only to those who oppose the US occupation of Iraq?? Let us also see who can talk about Iraq. Hamid Al-Bayati, the representative of SCIRI in London, whose real name is Tahir Asfahani, and who is an Iranian? Or the former representative of SCIRI in Syria and now Minister of Agriculture, Baqir Solagh? For over twenty years he used the name Bayan Jabr, and claimed he is an Arab Iraqi from al-Zubaidi tribe. Only now we discover his real name and that he is of Persian stock.. The markers of Saddam's apologists, as you call them, apply to those who supported the sanctions against Iraq, the bombing and death of Iraqis, and the occupation of their country. Next time, before you sit at the computer to punch in your message, Muhamad, check your facts and research the subject. You might learn something! HZ __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ 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