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Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:12

Saddam Hussein’s Ongoing War Against the Iraqis

By Safia Taleb Al Souhail

Safia Taleb Al Souhail is Advocacy Director for the Middle East and Islamic World at the International Alliance for Justice (www.i-a-j.org), and the publisher of the independent newspaper Al Manar Al Arabi. Al Souhail participated in a delegation of nine Iraqi women who met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on December 2nd 2002, to brief him on the persecution of their communities in Iraq. This perspective is based on the delegation’s remarks.

As we watch UN inspectors search Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, I ask, why are there no UN inspectors investigating Saddam Hussein’s crimes against the Iraqi people? Along with hidden caches of biological and chemical weapons, Iraq also has hidden torture chambers, prisons and mass graves.

In Saddam’s Iraq, women are especially vulnerable pressure points - victims who can be used to influence other victims. They are harassed, abused, raped, tortured and gassed both for their resistance to the regime and as a means to control their families. For reasons like this, other Iraqi women and I have been organizing to get our voices heard in the international arena. Last December we met with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain to brief him on the Ba'th regime's systematic abuse of women in Iraq, and how our families and communities have been persecuted by Saddam's regime.

Zahraa Mohammed is a Shi'a, Feyli Kurd from Baghdad. She described to Mr. Blair how she was imprisoned with her family for three months in 1980, during a mass deportation campaign of Feyli Kurds from Iraq to Iran. Saddam’s regime has conducted three such campaigns, in 1969, 1971 and 1980, in which hundreds of thousands of Feyli Kurds were expelled and lost all their property.

Saddam’s agents took away Mohammed’s four brothers and eight cousins, and dumped the rest of her family on the heavily mined Iranian border. To this day, she does not know what happened to her brothers and hundreds of other relatives who have also disappeared. In total, seven thousand young men of the Feyli Kurdish community were taken hostage in April 1980, and twenty-three years later their fate remains unknown.

Berivan Dosky, a Kurd from northern Iraq, described how her mother was forced to flee her village in Duhok province in the 1961 Iraqi war against the Kurds, merely two hours after giving birth to Berivan. Berivan herself was later forced to repeat the scenario with her three-month-old son. In 1988, during a chemical attack against the Kurds, Berivan had to make a Faustian choice: She had only one gas mask, and had to decide whether to use it for herself, or give it to her then two-year-old son. She decided neither would wear it; they would either live or die together. Berivan is worried that Saddam will once again use chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds who live in the British and American-protected Kurdish safe haven. She asked Mr. Blair to make sure that there are enough gas masks for everyone.

Fatima Bahr-al-Ulum is a Shi'a from a respected religious family in Najaf, in Southern Iraq. She listed over twenty clergy members in her immediate family who are in prison; none of them were released in the recent amnesty. Scores of others have been killed. The Iraqi Shi'as have suffered greatly from the discriminatory policies of Saddam's regime, which has massacred over two hundred thousand Shi’as, murdered five of their religious leaders (Al Maraji'), and destroyed their Marsh lands, known as the Venice of the Middle East. All the great Sh'ia religious families in Iraq, like Fatima Ulum’s, have been targeted by Saddam's regime for their opposition to its brutal policies.

Layla Kelenchy, a Turkoman from Kirkuk, in Northern Iraq, described how she was expelled from her home during the 1990's as part of Saddam's "Arabization” campaign in which Sunni Arab Iraqis are resettled around the country to disrupt other Iraqi ethnic communities. There are an estimated one million non-Arab refugees within Iraq who have been displaced by Saddam's ethnic cleansing campaign and live in refugee camps or scattered in various cities in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Melina Bakhos, an Assyrian poet, told the Prime Minister how Saddam’s regime has destroyed more than two hundred villages, and dozens of ancient churches and monasteries, in her small Christian Assyrian community. Only this summer, his agents beheaded a 72-year-old nun in a Mosul Church. Hundreds of Iraqi women have been beheaded in the last two years under the orders of Saddam’s son Uday. Their heads are displayed on the walls and doors of their houses. Teachers have been beheaded in front of their pupils. These women, and others who were doctors and engineers, were accused of being prostitutes. In reality they were killed because of they were related to opponents of Saddam.

My father, Sheik Taleb Al Souhail, was the chief of the almost one million strong Bani Tamim tribe from the central part of Iraq. Our family fled from Iraq after the Ba'ath coup d'etat of 1968, but Saddam's agents still managed to kill my father in his exile home in Lebanon, in April 1994. Although the case is well documented, it was never prosecuted in the Lebanese courts. All our property in Iraq was confiscated by the Ba'ath regime, and several members of the tribe were arrested and executed. My mother and six sisters have remained in exile in Jordan. We receive constant death threats from the regime. Earlier this year, a voice on the phone told me: "Do not think that because you are a woman you will not face the same fate as your father."

These stories are a just a tiny sample of crimes that the Ba'ath regime has committed against the Iraqi for the past three decades. It is essential for people of the world to understand that the suffering of the Iraqis will not end as long as the current regime is in power. The British prime minister's agreement to meet us was a heartening and encouraging gesture. We asked the British government to enforce those sections of UN Security Council Resolution 688, passed in 1991, which call upon the Iraqi government to end its repression of the Iraqi people. Resolution 1284, passed in December 1999, also calls on Iraq to cease its discrimination against various Iraqi ethnic groups. And we asked that a UN commission be created to investigate human rights violations in Iraq. There is ample evidence with which to indict Saddam Hussein for genocide and crimes against humanity in the international criminal court.

For the past three decades, we have been seeking international support for our efforts to bring about an Iraq within which our children can be brought up in peace and security. Iraq has violated sixteen UN Security Council resolutions, most of which were passed under the rarely used Chapter VII, which makes them legally biding on all UN members to enforce by military means if necessary. What is the point of these resolutions if the member nations of the UN do not show the will to enforce them?

Saddam Hussein is himself a weapon of mass destruction. Disarmament is not enough. It may avert a chemical or biological attack, but it would not protect the people of Iraq from arbitrary imprisonment, executions, rape, torture and daily intimidation and deprivation. Saddam’s oppression of Iraqis is the "king of wars." His ongoing war against the Iraqi people must be stopped. The long-suffering Iraqi people deserve to be freed, and to live in a democratic, pluralistic and federal Iraq that is at peace with itself, the region and the world.

***

Prospects for Democracy in Iraq

By Rend Rahim Franke

Rend Rahim Franke is the Executive Director of The Iraq Foundation (www.Iraqfoundation.org), a non-profit, non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Iraq. This perspective was drawn from her remarks at a discussion on “Iraq, the Day After,” hosted by The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and The Hudson Institute on January 17, 2003.

As the international community debates a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein, a larger moral issue is missing from the discussion: The Iraqi people’s yearning for freedom. For decades, a nation of 24 million people has been oppressed in way that is unprecedented since Hitler and Stalin. As the world considers regime change in Iraq, it should recognize that it faces a remarkable opportunity to change the fate of the Iraqi people for the better. This also could have dramatic repercussions beyond Iraq.

Removing Saddam Hussein would liberate the Iraqi people’s energy and talents so that they may be directed towards good, not evil. A free Iraq would have sufficient critical mass in terms of its culture, its people, and its resources to galvanize the Arab and Islamic world. A free Iraq would unleash new voices and new visions for the people of the Middle-East, opening perspectives of freedom that have long been quashed by their autocratic rulers. The project of establishing democracy in Iraq should therefore be considered not only in terms of the benefits it would bring the Iraqi people, but also in terms of its catalyzing effect in the rest of the region. Success in Iraq would disprove the canard that democracy is not a realistic proposition for Muslims or Arabs – a racist idea that deserves to be challenged.

We should not underestimate the potential for democracy in Iraq, but nor should we overestimate the ease with which it will establish itself in the wake of decades of totalitarian rule. The key question is, what can and should the international community do to help the Iraqi people achieve the freedom that they, like all people of the world, aspire to and deserve.

A good starting point is the unity of the Iraqi opposition on the goal of democracy. Much has been reported about how diverse, if not fractious, the opposition is. It includes Sunnis, Shia’s, Kurds and Christians; Islamists, Secular Democrats and Communists. But what is most remarkable about this diverse umbrella is its unity of vocabulary: Every faction of the opposition speaks the language of democracy. There is a broad consensus that a post-Saddam Iraq should be representative, decentralized and federal, with civilian control of the military and respect for individual rights and ethnic diversity. There are still debates about the precise structure of this federal system, but what is key is the agreement that power in a future Iraq should be devolved. This is a radical idea in the Middle East.

Iraqi society is highly conducive to democracy. It has long been an urban society. Indeed, one of the tragedies of Saddam’s rule has been his campaign to de-urbanize the culture of Iraqi society, with a massive social experiment designed to revive tribalism. Even so, Iraq’s foundation remains largely urban. Iraqi society is also highly educated: It has the highest number of engineers per capita in the world, higher even than India. Iraq has a rich tradition of arts, culture and literature.
Historically, Iraq and Egypt have competed not only for political leadership but also for the intellectual leadership of the Arab world. In addition, unlike other Arab societies, Iraqis began extensive interactions with the West as early as the 1930s, and as a result Iraqis have a broader worldview that blends Western ideas with Arab identity. Because of the extraordinary repression they have endured, the Iraqi people have a great thirst for freedom. Their pursuit of democracy will not be driven by the abstract ideas of intellectuals; it will be rooted in a deep and emotional desire for freedom arising from the long years of tyranny.

The greatest social challenges to democratization will be transforming the institutions of the state. All power in Iraq is concentrated in the hands of a single individual, Saddam Hussein, and this has affected how government functions and officials behave. Their mental energies are geared exclusively towards remaining in step with the will of Saddam. They do not think or act independently. While the ideology of the Ba’th may be only skin deep within the bureaucracy of the state, it has nevertheless left its mark in conformity and fear of innovation.

The legal and institutional foundations of Iraq have been subverted by Saddam’s regime. The Iraqi constitution includes exemplary language that enshrines individual liberties, but infamous Article 42 gives the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) the power to promulgate any edict, even if it contravenes all the other articles of the constitution. Thus, in one fell swoop, the entire constitutional basis of government in Iraq is nullified by the whims of Saddam Hussein, as expressed through the RCC. Adding to his tyranny is the fact that there are secret public laws alongside public laws. Lacking knowledge of these secret laws is no defense for those who break them. The whole legal foundation of Iraq will need to be overhauled.

To create a modern political system in Iraq, political parties will need to be created that have national appeal and cut across the boundaries or ethnicity and religion. It will be most important to create avenues for political participation at the local, grassroots level. One of the detrimental effects of Saddam’s reign is the Iraqi people’s loss of faith in their ability to influence their environment and effect change. Iraqis barely have control over the details of their daily lives; the idea that they can be involved in shaping their collective destiny is inconceivable under Saddam Hussein. We will need to target Iraqi individuals and teach them to organize and advocate for their interests in their local communities and at the national level.

If the United States does not take an active role in nurturing Iraqi democracy, there are many elements both outside and within Iraq who will do everything they can to make sure it fails. Middle-Eastern autocrats understand all too well the danger that a successful democracy in Iraq poses to the regional status quo. The world, and the United States especially, as leader of the free world, should not content itself with replacing Saddam Hussein with a new autocrat, a dictator-lite.

The United States should be committed and vigilant in ensuring that the building blocks of democracy are established. The Iraqi people will do their part; the international community should give us its support. Anything less will be a great opportunity foregone to dramatically change the fate of millions of Iraqis, and sow the seeds for even greater changes across the Middle East.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:13

The United States and a Post-Saddam Iraq
By Entifadh K. Qanbar

Entifadh K. Qanbar is the Director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Iraqi National Congress, a coalition of Iraqi opposition groups (www.inc.org.uk). Mr. Qanbar served in the Iraqi Air Force during the Iraq-Iran War from 1980 to 1985 and was arrested by Iraqi Military Security in 1987 for “suspected activities” against Saddam’s regime. This perspective is drawn from remarks he gave at a discussion on “Iraq, the Day After,” hosted by The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and The Hudson Institute on January 17, 2003.

All of the Iraqi opposition is united around two common goals: The removal of Saddam Hussein, and the creation of a democracy in Iraq. We welcome the United States’ leadership in helping us achieve these goals.

Two fundamental principles should guide our relationship. First, the Iraqi opposition should always be treated as independent. And second, the Iraqi opposition should have a strong alliance with the United States. There is a fine line between supporting the Iraqi opposition and interfering with it. The United States must focus on maintaining that line, and that means committing itself to a democratic leadership in Iraq. An interim, transitional Iraqi government should be created as soon as we have a foothold in Iraq, at the start of the liberation. This interim government will establish Iraqi sovereignty on its own soil. We are not in favor of a government in exile. Nor do we want the United States to take responsibility for governing Iraq.

As the United States steps up its military preparations to remove Saddam Hussein, it should also coordinate with us to train an Iraqi liberation army, in accordance with the Iraq Liberation Act of October 1998. We will encourage members of the Iraqi army to defect to the liberation forces. Iraqi freedom fighters are the ones who should liberate Iraqi cities.

The day after liberation, we will need to engage in a process of de-Baathification – analogous to the de-Nazification that was undertaken in Germany. Baathism is the ideology of Saddam Hussein’s regime. There are one million Baath party members. The good news is that few of these members are true believers of the ideology, which has been reduced to the will of Saddam. But these party members depend on the perpetuation of the regime for their sustenance and will need to be redirected in a new society.

Some of America’s alleged allies are recommending that it replace Saddam’s regime with a sympathetic autocrat, modeled on the relations that the United States has with many “moderate” countries in the Middle East. On the contrary, Iraq represents an opportunity for the United States to forge a new kind of relationship with an Arab state whose political legitimacy will be based on the consent of its people, not the power of its rulers. I am annoyed at the use of the word “moderate” when referring to Arab leaders who perpetuate the belief that their citizens are unfit for democracy. The truth is that the autocrats in the region are worried by the prospect of a free Iraq. They will use their relations with the United States to try to thwart Iraqi democracy.

Similarly, I heard an Israeli ambassador say that democracy in Iraq is highly unlikely. I say to Israel, as a country of the Middle East, it is also in your interest to promote democracy in Iraq. And also for the Palestinians. Only democracy can bring true peace to the region.

I am surprised when I hear people state that since democracy will be difficult to establish, it should not be pursued. We don’t do things because they are easy to do. We do them because they are the right thing to do. We should not be debating whether democracy is a viable path for Iraq. Rather, we should be engaged in discussions about how to make it work. The stakes and the opportunities are high. The failure to establish democracy in Iraq will strengthen the anti-democratic forces of the Middle East. And conversely, its success will not only serve the Iraqi people, it will serve the entire world.

***

The Liberation of Iraq

By Barham Salih

Dr. Barham Salih is the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, in the region controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (www.puk.org). This perspective was drawn from remarks he gave at a luncheon hosted by The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 2003.

There will be no war on Iraq. There will be a liberation of Iraq.

There will be an end to the war that the Ba'ath Party has been waging on the people of Iraq through its policies of racism, persecution and genocide. Liberation will bring hope to enslaved Iraqis and justice for the dead, for the hundreds of thousands of Kurds murdered during such campaigns as the Anfal, for the Assyrians who were "disappeared," for the Shi'a Arabs slaughtered for rising up against the regime, for the deported Turkomans and the Sunni Arab officers shot for plotting to overthrow the regime

In Iraqi Kurdistan, we have suffered a brutal settlements policy that few have heard of, that fewer still protest about. Close to a million Iraqis have been forcibly displaced and are refugees in their own country. A hundred thousand Kurds, Turkomans and Assyrians have been “ethnically cleansed” from the city of Kirkuk, expelled from their homes and replaced with Sunni Arab settlers in a deliberate policy of Arabization. In Southern Iraq, hundreds of thousands more Shi’a Iraqis have been displaced from the marsh areas through a campaign of destruction that has included draining the water from the marshes, poisoning the fishing grounds, burning and shelling villages, and assassinating and abducting Shi’a leaders.

Yet there is hope. Already, thanks to American and British airpower, four million Iraqis now live in freedom, in the safe haven of "Free Iraq," in the no-fly zones of Iraqi Kurdistan. We are building a free, open society. We have a flourishing free press, two new universities, hundreds of new schools, and triple the number of doctors we had in 1991. We respect the rights of minorities. The ethnic differences with which all societies struggle are increasingly accepted as part of the landscape rather than seen as a cause of conflict. The most brutalized and marginalized segment of Iraqi society, the Kurds, are now the example that the rest of Iraq can follow.

Iraqis will welcome an American military presence. We will not be a burden on you. We have shown, in "Free Iraq," that we can build democracy. The various ethnic groups of Iraq understand that our common interest lies in a decentralized, federal government based on individual rights. The revival of Iraq will not be the enormous effort that was required in Germany and Japan. Rather, it will be more like Italy, where the dictatorship showed little military resilience and was soon replaced by a raucous democracy.

Six months after liberation, when the president of the United States drives through Baghdad in his limousine, the streets will be filled with thousands of Iraqis waving American and Iraqi flags.

He will not be alone. All Iraqis know that our country has been one of the most disastrous creations of British colonialism, unstable from its inception as ethnic groups were played against each other. Yet we will welcome with similar acclamation the prime minister of Great Britain, who, like the President of the United States, wishes to liberate Iraq. And we will cheer the other world leaders who are willing to lend their moral authority and deploy their forces to rid the Iraqi people of Saddam’s tyranny

To rebuild Iraq, we need you to be with us after our liberation, to ensure that a post-war Iraq is fair and democratic, peaceful and just. We need your commitment to a free Iraq, where the state is constrained by law and works for its citizens. An America that is true to its own values will help us to create a democratic, federal Iraq that will become a model for other democracies in the Middle-East.

The Kurdish safe haven of Northern Iraq was created under UN Security Council 668 in 1991. It is protected by British and American pilots, who enforce the no-fly zone and secure the area from Saddam Hussein’s forces, and has been self-governed by the Kurds for the last decade. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Jalal Talabani, governs the eastern part of the Kurdish free areas, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani, governs the western part. They coordinate through the Kurdistan National Assembly, which was elected in 1992 and recently reconvened. Municipal elections were held in the KDP and PUK areas in 2000 and 2001, and certified as free and fair by international observers. Additional information about the Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq can be found in our white paper, “The Kurdish Model,” by Andrew Apostolou.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:14

The Kurdish model
For Iraq’s “Day After”
By Andrew Apostolou

Executive Summary

Supporters of regime change in Iraq are often asked to describe the kind of nation that would replace Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. But the model for such a state doesn’t need to be imagined – it already exists and it exists within Iraq’s borders.

In recent years, protected by US and British war planes, the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq have developed into a remarkably free, open and prosperous society. Iraqi Kurdistan can and should serve as the model for a new Iraq -- one that would be free and democratic, with substantial autonomy for each of Iraq’s important ethnic groups. Such a federal -- and pro-Western -- Iraq also would have a significant impact on the future of the Middle East.

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Largely unnoticed, an experiment in liberalization and free expression has been taking place in the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq. The "Kurdish Spring", as some have called it, is the most impressive recent attempt to create a free society in the Middle East. Under the cover of British and American war planes, a free press has flourished. Ethnic minorities can publish and broadcast in their own languages, a right unheard of in most of the Middle East.

The Kurdish achievement is both a model and a warning for the future of Iraq. The way in which free debate and a free media have begun to emerge under western military protection is precisely what will be needed in a post-Saddam Iraq. There is no need to create a costly US military government of the kind installed in Germany and Japan in 1945, a proposal that plays into the hands of those who oppose a war to oust Saddam Hussein because it might involve a long-term and intricately involved US commitment. Rather, by providing military protection for a fledgling democracy, the US can help to shield a liberated Iraq from its interfering neighbours and the possible follies of its post-Saddam leaders.

During the last ten years, the Kurds have managed to build schools and educate their young people to a historically unprecedented extent. According to the Kurds, the number of schools has been trebled from 804 in 1991 to over 2,700. There are now three universities where before there was just one. The Kurds claim that a remarkable 100,000 students have been educated in these universities. The number of doctors has also more than trebled, but at just 1,870 is pitifully low for a population of 4 million. While infant mortality has reportedly soared in areas under Saddam's control, it has fallen in the Kurdish areas. The Kurds are also rebuilding most of the villages that were destroyed in the genocidal Anfal campaign during which the Iraqi army murdered as many as 182,000 Kurds in 1988.

There are now scores of independent publications which dare to criticise the local leaders. Not only are there broadcasts in Kurdish, but Aramaic, the language of the Assyrian Christian minority, is also on the airwaves, as is Turkoman, a language closely related to Turkish. Those who manage to travel to northern Iraq from the area controlled by Saddam Hussein are taken aback by the contrast between the grinding repression of Baghdad and the free flowing conversations of Suleymaniyeh.

As impressive, is the fact that all of this has been achieved without "democracy building" programmes or the usual legion of overly earnest international do-gooders. Rather international non-governmental organizations and even human rights groups have largely shunned the Kurds. There also has been little money on offer, the UN "oil for food" programme having consistently short changed the Kurds to the benefit of Baghdad.

The "Kurdish Spring" is also a warning because it sprang from a series of disasters and betrayals. The American and British air cover which has allowed the Kurds to begin their experiment with freedom is a result of the betrayal of 1991. The Kurds, like the Shi'a Arabs of southern Iraq, rose up against the Saddam after the Iraqi army had been driven out of Kuwait by the US and its allies. Although the US encouraged the revolt, it did not in the end support it. As a result, tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed by the Iraqi army. Over a million Kurds fled into Turkey. Fearful of the effect that the Iraqi Kurdish refugees might have on its own restless Kurdish minority, the Turkish government sent the refugees back with British and American military assistance, creating the "safe haven" that still exists today.

Free from Saddam and protected by American and British warplanes, the Kurds held elections and started building institutions from scratch. The first hopeful sign was the decision to assign five reserved seats in the 105 member parliament to the Assyrian Christian minority, a group that has suffered repeated persecution at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the Iraqi government and the Kurds themselves.

The attempt to run the "safe haven" as a single Kurdish enclave failed when clashes between the two main Kurdish groups, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), turned into a civil war that lasted intermittently from 1994 to 1998. The Kurds had been deliberately isolated. The neighbouring countries had closed the borders, making the Kurdish economy dependent on aid and smuggling. Competing for scarce resources, the two Kurdish leaders, Masoud Barzani of the KDP and Jalal Talabani of the PUK, decided to settle their squabbles by force. To make matters worse, they brought outsiders into their squabble. Talabani, a secularist with a left-wing background, turned for support to the Islamic Republic of Iran. An even stranger alliance was formed by his rival, Masoud Barzani, who in 1996 received direct support from the Iraqi government. Barzani's alliance with Baghdad was as shameful as it was foolish. In 1983, the Iraqi government had "disappeared" around 8,000 Barzani tribesmen.

The shabby civil war cost around 3,000 lives and dented the credibility of the Kurdish leadership. The US, which did little to stop Iraqi troops from invading the "safe haven" in 1996 and destroying the opposition network, did play a key role in arranging a ceasefire and drawing up a peace agreement, the Washington agreement of September 1998. Although many of the provisions of the Washington agreement have not been implemented—the KDP and PUK still argue over sharing revenues from transit trade—the US-brokered peace helped set the scene for greater freedoms to develop. Above all the peace agreement and the resulting liberalisation helped to stem the prestige, and halt the rising activity, of Islamist groups which portrayed themselves as a principled alternative to the squabbling of Barzani and Talabani.

The inhabitants of northern Iraq have now had a small taste of freedom and they like it. They also know that there is still much to be done. There are very few political prisoners. There is no religious persecution, but some KDP members have abused their powers to occasionally harass Assyrians. There are around 20 political parties in northern Iraq—all but one of whom is backed by an armed militia. The leadership is getting used to being criticised, but has not held elections since 1992.

Importantly, Kurdish political leaders have swapped their previous recklessness for extreme caution. Some Kurdish politicians have done something unheard of in most Middle Eastern countries—they have apologised for their mistakes. The Kurds are now committed to a pragmatic future in a federal Iraq instead of aiming for impossible independence. Indeed, there is a striking contrast between the moderation and openness of the Kurds and what passes for Palestinian leadership.

There is no reason why what the Kurds have achieved cannot be repeated in the rest of Iraq – among the Shi'a community in the southern part of the country, and among the Sunni Muslims in the central region. There is no reason to believe that those groups would not like to emulate the success of the Kurds and enjoy a similar level of freedom, self-government and cultural autonomy, while coming together within a federal system to decide questions of national policy.

The impact that a free, democratic, prosperous and pro-Western would have on the region – on Turkey, on other Arab countries and on progress toward resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict -- can only be imagined.

It is worth remembering that the Kurds started in a worse position than the remainder of Iraq is likely to find itself – even after a war to oust Saddam Hussein. A largely rural and poorly educated society, the Kurds had suffered hundreds of thousands of dead and years of being constantly uprooted and resettled on the orders of Saddam's regime. Furthermore, Iraq is not Afghanistan. There is a functioning administration in areas under Saddam's control, even if it suffers from corruption caused by Iraqi government manipulation of the sanctions regime.

There are certainly rivalries, ethnic, regional and tribal, that will always divide Iraqis, rivalries that Saddam encouraged and manipulated. The Kurdish civil war was a perfect example of how Iraqis can still be manipulated, whether by Saddam or by their neighbours. Yet with Saddam gone and the protective shield of western military power covering the whole of Iraq, there will be less scope for the country's meddlesome neighbours to stir the pot.

Protecting Iraq from the rest of the Middle East so as to foster a fairer and more democratic system of government will not be cheap or easy, but it is a lesser burden than a full-scale and long-term occupation. Above all, having already invested so much in protecting the Kurds, it would be foolish not to build on the successes already achieved, both for the Kurds and for their fellow Iraqis.

Andrew Apostolou, an historian who has taught at St. Antony’s College, Oxford and a frequent contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit, is a Senior Fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:16

When the Enemy Is a Liberator
By JOHN F. BURNS

AMMAN, Jordan — Every day now, a flood of battered cars and buses arrives in this city, bearing migrants from Iraq. Many are men of military age who have driven across the open desert, or paid bribes to Iraqi guards at the border crossing 250 miles east of Amman, to escape being drafted into Saddam Hussein's battalions. Crowding into lodgings on the hillsides of Amman's old city, the Iraqis become wanderers in a no-man's land, emerging by day to look for casual work, staying indoors after dark, all the time fearing Jordanian police patrols that hunt illegal immigrants and return them to the border.

Gathered around kerosene heaters in their tenements, the Iraqi men talk of a coming conflict, and what it will mean for them and their families. Since all gatherings inside Iraq take place in the shadow of Mr. Hussein's terror, with police spies lurking in every neighborhood, the talk in Amman offers a chance to discover what at least some Iraqis really think, and what they hope for now.

Almost to a man, these Iraqis said they wanted the Iraqi dictator removed. Better still, they said — and it was a point made again and again — they wanted him dead. The men, some in their teens, some in their 50's, told of grotesque repression, of relatives and friends tortured, raped and murdered or, as often, arrested and "disappeared."

But their hatred of Mr. Hussein had an equally potent counterpoint: for them, the country that would rid them of their leader was not at all a bastion of freedom, dispatching its legions across the seas to defend liberty, but a greedy, menacing imperial power.

This America, in the migrants' telling, has enabled the humiliation of Palestinians by arming Israel; craves control of Iraq's oil fields; supported Mr. Hussein in the 1980's and cared not a fig for his brutality then, and grieved for seven lost astronauts even as its forces prepared to use "smart" weapons that, the migrants said, threatened to kill thousands of innocent Iraqis.

The men refused to accept that their image of the United States might be distorted by the rigidly controlled Iraqi news media, which offer as unreal a picture of America as they do of Iraq. But when it was suggested that they could hardly wish to be liberated by a country they distrusted so much — that they might prefer President Bush to extend the United Nations weapons inspections and stand down the armada he has massed on Iraq's frontiers — they erupted in dismay.

"No, no, no!" one man said excitedly, and he seemed to speak for all. Iraqis, they said, wanted their freedom, and wanted it now. The message for Mr. Bush, they said, was that he should press ahead with war, but on conditions that spared ordinary Iraqis.

The conflict should be short. American bombs and missiles should fall on Mr. Hussein's palaces and Republican Guards and secret police headquarters, not on civilians. Care should be taken not to obliterate the bridges and power stations and water-pumping plants that were bombed in 1991. And America should know that it would become the enemy of all Iraqis — and Muslims — if it prolonged its military dominion in Iraq beyond the time necessary to dismantle the old regime.

Although these Iraqis may represent a small sector of opinion — they fled their country in terror, after all — the conversations offered powerful clues as to how a war might play out across the wider Arab world. While polls in Europe and Asia show deep opposition to a war against Mr. Hussein, the mood among the 350 million people of the Arab states has been even more critical. Polls alone don't capture how visceral anti-American feelings have become, spreading beyond traditional centers of hostility — mosques and other strongholds of conservative Islamists, Arab nationalists and others — across the spectrum of Arab society.

For years, mainstream politicians and other Arab leaders have conceded, at least privately, that Mr. Hussein is a monstrous tyrant whose ambition to acquire the most powerful weapons has made him, potentially at least, more of a threat to his neighbors than to Europe and the United States.

Two years ago, an Egyptian editor told a traveler back from Iraq that Mr. Hussein was "Israel's best friend" in the Arab world, because the Arab failure to isolate and condemn him had the effect of blackening all Arab states in the eyes of the West.

But as the United States has ratcheted up pressure on Baghdad, Arab voices — politicians, intellectuals, businessmen and students — have remained largely silent about the miseries Mr. Hussein has inflicted on his people and the threat his weapons might pose. Instead, condemnation has been mostly reserved for the United States. How vitriolic it has become was clear in the way many newspapers treated the shuttle loss.

Along with militant imams who proclaimed the Columbia disaster to be God's punishment for America's "curses" on Muslims, there was this, typically, from a columnist in the Saudi newspaper Al Yaum: "The American view of the world crashed even before the Columbia. America, which sees itself as the symbol of freedom and justice, has become an arsenal of weapons in advance of a military campaign across the entire world. The world has become a map of targets for the American arrows represented by the trinity of war — Bush, Rumsfeld and Condoleezza, and behind them the famous 'quiet' man, Dick Cheney."

On its face, the hostility promises only deeper trouble ahead for the United States. But there is another possibility, one that Arab leaders who are cooperating with the Americans are relying on as Mr. Bush's moment of decision draws closer. These nations include Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which allow American military bases, as well as Jordan, where American troops would man Patriot missiles against missiles Iraq might fire at Israel and mount pilot rescue missions into Iraq.

The leaders of these nations, all monarchies, know that if an American war bogged down, with heavy casualties on both sides, their own legitimacy, never strong, would be challenged by their own people in ways they might not survive. For these rulers, it is crucial that any conflict be short and inflict minimal casualties on Iraq's civilians.

At least one of the rulers, discussing American war plans with his advisers, has concluded that Mr. Hussein's regime is apt to collapse quickly as non-elite army units surrender or change sides.

But it is not the rapidity of an American victory alone that sustains the hopes of these Arab rulers. The pro-American Arab leaders are confident of something that invites mockery among the Europeans and Americans who oppose any war: that American troops would arrive in Iraq's major cities as liberators.

When Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the American commander in the Middle East, visited one Arab palace in recent weeks, Western diplomats reported, the Arab ruler quieted his restive courtiers by predicting that American forces would be met in Baghdad by Iraqis lining the street in celebration.

If that happens, anti-American opinions in the Arab world might swing, these rulers hope. There would then be revelations about the extent of what Mr. Hussein has inflicted on his people in 23 years. Just as the worst abuses of the Taliban and Al Qaeda were revealed after they were chased from Kabul and Kandahar, the full horrors of Mr. Hussein may be known only after his downfall.

That, America's friends in the Arab world believe, might yet be enough to remake Mr. Bush's image in places where he is now vilified, as if Iraq's miseries were his fault more than they have been Mr. Hussein's.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:17

From a young Iraqi: an open letter to the peace movement
Rania Kashi
14 - 2 - 2003

The huge campaign against war in Iraq offers no comfort to this young Iraqi woman. She has no illusions about US power. But in the face of a people longing for liberation from Saddam’s terrible rule, how can the peace movement turn its back?

Dear All,

I am writing this email after a lot of deliberation about whether I have the right to argue the case for an invasion in Iraq. But in the end I have decided that if I keep quiet I have more to lose.

My parents, my family, are from Iraq. My parents fled from Iraq some twenty-three years ago leaving everything and everyone behind. At that point, seventeen of our relatives had been “disappeared” or imprisoned for no reason whatsoever.

They sought refuge in Kuwait for four years, but once again were forced to flee with us (my brother and I) when Saddam had the Kuwaitis deport the Iraqi men back to Iraq. On the border he had these returnees shot dead.

We were lucky; we made it safely to Britain. My father was lucky – his brother was caught trying to escape, and tortured. So here I am, nineteen years later, never having set foot in the country of my parents.

The anti-“war” feeling prevalent among most people I speak to seems to me totally misjudged and misplaced. (Incidentally, the quotation marks here are deliberate: in truth it will be no war, but an invasion. A war presumes relatively equal forces battling against each other, with resistance on both sides. A US-led force will encounter no resistance from the Iraqi people nor the army).

I have to be honest here and say that, to me, this feeling is based partly on a great misunderstanding of the situation in Iraq, and partly on people’s desire to seem “politically rebellious” against the big, bad Americans.

Let me say also, that I agree the American government is indeed big and bad; I have no illusions about its true intentions behind an attack on Iraq. The Iraqis have long known the ignorant and truly atrocious attitude of the American government towards most of the world’s population. Iraqis felt the effect of this when America (and other western countries) eagerly supported and supplied Saddam when he waged his war-of-attrition against Iran between 1990 and 1998, causing the death of 1 million Iraqis and Iranians and the disappearance of many more. There was no anti-war movement to help them.

Iraqis also felt the effect of this attitude when America and the west ignored, supplied even, Saddam’s use of biological weapons on the people of Halabja in 1998, killing 5,000 people immediately, and causing the deformed births of children in the area to this day.

Iraqis knew well the untrustworthy nature of western governments when the coalition gave Saddam permission, a few days after the end of the Gulf war of 1991, to massacre the rising people after they had wrested control from him of most of Iraq’s cities.

In short, the people inside Iraq know the realities of American and western policy towards their country far better even than Iraqis outside – for they live with its realities every day.

Questions to the protestors

I now want to invite those who support the anti-“war” movement (apart from pacifists – that is a totally different situation) to ask themselves some hard questions about their motives and reasoning.

You may feel that America is trying to blind you from seeing the truth about its real reasons for an invasion. I must argue that in fact, it is you who are still blind to the bigger truths in Iraq. I must ask you to consider the following questions:

Saddam has murdered more than a million Iraqis over the past thirty years; are you willing to allow him to kill another million?

Out of a population of 20 million, 4 million Iraqis have been forced to flee their country during Saddam’s reign. Are you willing to ignore the real and present danger that caused so many people to leave their homes and families?

Saddam rules Iraq using fear; he regularly imprisons, executes and tortures large numbers of people for no reason whatsoever. This may be hard to believe, and you may not even appreciate the extent of such barbaric acts, but believe me you will be hard-pressed to find a single family in Iraq which has not had a son/father/brother killed, imprisoned, tortured and/or ‘‘disappeared” due to Saddam’s regime. What then has been stopping you from taking to the streets to protest against such blatant crimes against humanity in the past?

Saddam gassed thousands of political prisoners in one of his campaigns to ‘‘cleanse” prisons; why are you not protesting against this barbaric act?

This is an example of the dictator’s policy you are trying to save. Saddam has made a law excusing any man who rapes a female relative and then murders her in the name of adultery. Do you still want to march to keep him in power?

Throughout my life, my father and many other Iraqis have attended constant meetings, protests and exhibitions that call for the end of Saddam’s reign. I remember when I was around 8 years old, I went along with him to a demonstration at the French embassy, protesting against the French sale of weapons to Saddam. I have attended the permanent rally against Saddam that has been held every Saturday in Trafalgar Square for the past five years. The Iraqi people have been protesting for years against the war: the war that Saddam has waged against them. Where have you been?

Why is it now – at the very time that the Iraqi people are being given real hope, however slight and however precarious, that they can live in an Iraq that is free of the horrors partly described in this email – that you deem it appropriate to voice your disillusions with America’s policy in Iraq?
Speak out – for democracy in Iraq

Whatever America’s real intentions behind an attack, the reality on the ground is that the majority of Iraqis, inside and outside Iraq, support invasive action, because they are the ones who have to live with the realities of continuing as things are – while people in the west wring their hands over the rights and wrongs of dropping bombs on Iraq, when in fact the US and the UK have been continuously dropping bombs on Iraq for the past twelve years.

Of course it would be ideal if an invasion could be undertaken, not by the Americans, but by, say, the Nelson Mandela International Peace Force. That’s not on offer. The Iraqi people cannot wait until such a force materialises; they have been forced to take what they’re given. That such a force does not exist – cannot exist – in today’s world is a failing of the very people who do not want America to invade Iraq, yet are willing to let thousands of Iraqis die in order to gain the higher moral ground.

I say to them: do not continue to allow the Iraqi people to be punished because you are “unhappy” with the amount of power America is allowed to wield in a faulty world. Do not use the Iraqi people as a pawn in your game for moral superiority – when you allow a monster like Saddam to rule for thirty years without so much as protesting against his rule, you lose the right to such a claim.

Do not get me wrong. I am not saying that war is a good thing and that all should happily support it, but I feel that the current anti-“war” movement has been hijacked by an anti-Americanism that ignores the horrors and realities of living under Saddam’s rule.

If you want to make your disillusions heard then do speak out. But I urge you to put pressure on Blair, Bush & Co to keep to their promises of restoring democracy to Iraq. Make sure they do put back, in financial aid, what they have taken out over the years. Make sure that they don’t betray the Iraqis again. March for democracy in Iraq, be part of ensuring that America doesn’t just install another dictator after Saddam.

I urge you to consider your reasons for supporting the anti-“war” movement, and if you are going, the anti-“war” demonstration on 15 February. If you still feel that what I have said does not sway you from this stance, then I can do no more.

There is much to admire about the movement; it has proven what people can achieve when they come together and speak out. Unfortunately for Iraq, nobody spoke out earlier.

BeeKay
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: North Carolina mountains
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 03:19

Just a quick thought ... I know on other boards I visit the moderators don't allow articles to be posted in full due to copyright concerns. Shouldn't links be provided rather than copy and pasting the entire articles here? Just curious ...

Cell Number: 494 / Inkstick

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 03:21

Bollocks to that I say!

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 03:25

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 03:32

mmm....that's a *great* response to a valid question

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 04:13

Links to the articles with the salient points quoted here would have been much more effective and far more considerate. While I agree with your position I disagree with your tactics.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 04:17

6 Million people say you are wrong, MR.

The biggest global peace movement in Mankind's history...


WebShaman

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 04:44

I would like to think that the validity of your position was not dependent on how many people agreed with it.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 04:57

What's my position? I never posted my position. I posted a series of articles, documents, letters written by former citizens of Iraq who represent the views of the general peasant population of Iraq. These documents are for your interpretation and do not represent me or my views.

If you want to know MY views, I will not post them in the Asylum because I tend to be received with condescendence.

These are my views: http://www.sosuave.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21947

viol
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Charles River
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 02-17-2003 05:02

Make love, don't make war.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 05:04

I think you mean, "Make music not war."

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 02-17-2003 05:32

Yes, but you still haven't addressed the copyright issue that was raised. Unless you really want us to take "bollocks" seriously...

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 05:39

There is no copyright issue. Each document was credited to their rightful owners.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 05:45

I'm sure you can find links to the other documents if just do some searching of your own. I received this documents as hardcopies in the mail earlier this week and happened to have the time to type them up.

Here's a link I found after a few minutes of searching. It's for the last document by Rania Kashi. http://www.inyourarea.gov.uk/output/Page7218.asp

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 08:48

MR, do you know what the QUOTE tag is, then? Presenting the...information, like you have, is paramount to saying "That's mine" or "That's my view of things, represented by what someone else has wrote".

And since you say, that doesn't necessarily represent your view(s), then why post it? Aside from the Copywrite issue (which you have, btw, violated unless you happen to have express permission from the Authors), you give (according to you) no reason for posting it. Either give a reason (and fix all that with quote tags), or I will close this, as I see absolutely no purpose for it, and it is taking up space.

Have a nice day.

Morgan Ramsay
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
posted posted 02-17-2003 08:51

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 09:41

Ok, I was fair with you...you could have taken my advice, fixed your posts (that's what the edit button is for). But instead, you make a big ordeal about it. Your choice. Case closed, pending review.

If you make a good case (per Mail), I may consider opening this again.

Dan
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 11:22

I've re-opened this,
lets face it, its no more pointless than the thread it was made to combat, and hopefully now Morgan will give his insight onto the relevance of the posted material, and everyone else can stop being so critical of how he presented it, even if they happen to disagree with what he said.

Of course, if it gets out of hand again, feel free to close it.

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 11:29

Will do

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 12:14

NP...

On with the topic?

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 12:23

World's Biggest Peace Movement, and still the US, the UK and Australia want to go to war! Will the world leaders ever get the message?

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 13:40

I think we'll try to keep most of the discussion on the war in P&S to stop stupidity spilling into the main forum (and because all the other discussion is going on down there).

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 18:00

And another arguement for war:
http://argument.independent.co.uk/regular_columnists/johann_hari/story.jsp?story=376121

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 21:29

That's an excellent article, very balanced and much more honest than most on this issue. I would hope that all who marched this weekend would read it with an open mind... not to be convinced outright but to understand real reasons why sometimes force is required in cases like these.

Dan, thank you very much for saving this thread and for sticking up for the free exchange of ideas.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 23:33

Bugs:

quote:
Dan, thank you very much for saving this thread and for sticking up for the free exchange of ideas.



No problem but I think you may be wrongly categorising my thinking on this situation as I expanded on here:
www.ozoneasylum.com/Forum17/HTML/000714.html

I find myelf agreeing with most of that article - Churchill was an incompetent butcher (there was recently a series here where we were all asked to vote for the 'Great Britons' and they had an hour long show focused on putting the case for various people's cases and Churchill's was a catalogue of errors, mistakes and some other pretty unflattering stuff) but if the outcome is a more stable world and a better result for everyone then, in some ways, I can live with that - its not a perfect world.

quote:
Of course, the US is morally compromised. I wish there were a pristine, perfect state with no oil interests and the military power to help the people of Iraq, but there isn't one.



My concern isn't necessarily about war (if that is what is required - and I have never fought in a war but I hope I am still allowed an opinion on this - teachers are paid to teach, dustbin/trash men are paid to collect rubbish and soldiers get paid to kill people, if called upon to do so) its about the war the US/UK are pushing us into.

And who is 'right'? We will only be able tell in hindsight (if we can ever really tell).

In some ways this whole situation is more morally complex than other conflicts (or we, the general populace, realise it at an earlier stage - thanks to things like the Internet progaganda from both sides is much more transparent) and it can't be so clearly broken down into distinct groups and one thing that worries me is that Bush & Blair might think that it is eventually impossible to win around the bulk of the 'doubters' when it isn't.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-17-2003 23:46

I'm sorry, Emps, but I'm not sure how you think I categorized your position. I honestly had no intention of doing so, perhaps I've not made myself clear on something?

About Dan saving the thread, it's just that I went to bed last night seeing how the thread was taking a nose dive like so many others have done and then I got here this morning and found it had been moved here and an attempt at real dialogue had been revived.

Sorry for my confusion.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-17-2003 23:51

Bugs: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - wrong Dan. This is why I keep getting confused around these parts!! there are far too many of us - perhaps its time I really tried to thin the numbers down (I knew I was foolish to start with Wakkos - now I'm worried that its Jeni who went for the walk off the pier in concrete shoes).

I suspect you can probably ignore what I said above then I'm having 'one of those days'

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 02:58

I think about each of us here far more in terms of our usernames than I do our real names and I TOTALLY forgot that was your name too.

Dan
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 03:42

That kind of funny because my real name is "The Emperor"

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-18-2003 04:06

Dan: Now isn't that a coincidence!!!! This isn't helping with my Stupid Day though

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-18-2003 10:36

Ok Bugs...this is Why I feel that the war with Iraq, as it now stands, is not good. Especially this part

quote:
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.


Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant &#8211; these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.


The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that remote and devastated land.

--War: The Most Horrible Human Experience By Senator Robert Byrd, AlterNet



The thing is, isn't the Al Qaeda network more dangerous? I thought there was a war on Terrorism? How are we supposed to do this, if we are willing to treat those that we need on board on this like dirt? If we can't seem to get a UN sanction for the war on Iraq, how does that compare to what is needed to be done against Global Terrorism?

Like Emps, I'm not against a war against Iraq...I'm against this war against Iraq...



[This message has been edited by WebShaman (edited 02-18-2003).]

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 02-18-2003 18:25

- Meow -

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