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Re: [casi] Full Amnesty Report on Iraq 2002

Dear CASI members,

As an Iraqi living in Europe, I found the discussion on the AI report quite

Yasser Alaskary seems to have an agenda of his own, as does the member signing
as Baghdad. This is their full right no doubt.
However to build everything on personal hatred for one person (Saddam Hussein)
is not the right way to approach problems.

To begin with, I personally do not have much faith in AI and its reports. Some
will not like this, but I have my reasons. Its reports are written by people, not
infallible human beings. It is mostly based on hearsay and second hand
information; from people who claim to have witnessed this or that. In many of the
cases, if not most of them, people have been known to fabricate stories in order
to gain asylum in the west. I know of many cases in Europe where people have come
seeking political asylum (because they are Shi’i or Kurd) when in reality their
only reason was looking for a better life (economically).

In 1990, AI embarrassed itself and us by accepting at face value the US
allegations about Iraqis killing babies in the incubators in Kuwait. AI did not
check the allegations, simply rushed to condemn Iraq. I would hesitate very much
before trusting news in such a way…

I was in Baghdad last month and I met Tony there too. Nobody is claiming Iraq
is a paradise or that there is no oppression. But to make an issue of check points
in the roads borders on the ridiculous. If the writer would have travelled to
Syria or Jordan, he would have seen similar or worse cases. None of those
countries is at war or under sanctions
or daily bombings.

Was Tony “concentrating on "bad points" of the sanctions system?”. Definitely.
And so should every fair-minded person in the world. We set out our priorities
first before acting, and I for one believe that sanctions are the worst crime in
human kind. Nothing else compares to it…

I lived most of my life in Iraq, not only “was in Iraq prior to the Coalition
attacks of 1991”, and I can say with all fairness that Iraq enjoyed a social
standard unmatched in the whole area. This is confirmed even by UN organizations.
Salaries were amongst the highest in the area, medical service was excellent as
was education. The government spent on electrification, water and sewage projects,
housing and a whole range of public benefit projects. I am sure both Yasser and
Baghdad enjoyed those benefits, bought the subsidized goods from the shops,
travelled like they wanted, and finished their studies without paying a penny.

Getting involved in politics is another issue, not only in Iraq, but also in
any country in the area. Iraq is not the exception. Just
a look at the recent oppressive measures in the Arab world where demonstrations
were stopped by the army tells us a lot.

Halabja is brought back now and then, and I still haven’t seen a single shred
of evidence, apart from a report by some Zionist researcher for HRW, that shows it
was Iraq that had gassed halabja. There is also another report which accuses Iran
of being the one that did the gassing. Why do Yasser and Baghdad disregard that
report, and accept the other? Is it hatred, or is there a sectarian agenda behind

What happened in Dujeil should perhaps be explained, not taken out of context.
An assassination attempt was made against Saddam, who escaped it having changed
his route. His cars were attacked. He retaliated (the American/Israeli term
nowadays accepted?). I believe George Bush would have done the same. In fact,
Clinton bombed Baghdad with cruise missiles because of an allegation that Iraq had
tried to assassinate George Bush Sr. in Kuwait; a simple allegation and suspicion
was enough…. Do we hear comments about that? Do we hear comments about how the
Syrian city of Hama was bombarded by the army in the 1970’s for a similar reason?

I am not saying I approve what happened in Dujeil. On the contrary, I oppose
any form of violence or oppression. My point is that you can not
go about trying to kill somebody, and when it fails and he turns to you, you
start screaming: murderer! There are no good killers and bad killers.
During the 1991 uprising, members of the Ba'ath party, officials and even
members of their families were killed by members of the uprising. In one famous
case, a poet who used to praise Saddam had his tongue cut before he was excuted.
Is this the kind of regime that will replace Saddam's?

I believe that our main mission is to fight sanctions, not find faults in
this regime or that. Otherwise, we will be wasting our energies. The AI report
also mentions many other states in the area, in Europe, in Asia and Africa and
even the US.

This group, if I understand right, is for “the Campaign against sanctions in
Iraq” not the campaign against the Iraqi regime or Saddam. Please let’s keep it at

Best regards to all.


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