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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
An Iraqi exile speaks..
    #1320377 - 02/19/03 07:26 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

An American attack on my country would bring disaster, not liberation

Kamil Mahdi
Thursday February 20, 2003
The Guardian

Having failed to convince the British people that war is justified, Tony Blair is now invoking the suffering of the Iraqi people to justify bombing them. He tells us there will be innocent civilian casualties, but that more will die if he and Bush do not go to war. Which dossier is he reading from?

The present Iraqi regime's repressive practices have long been known, and its worst excesses took place 12 years ago, under the gaze of General Colin Powell's troops; 15 years ago, when Saddam was an Anglo-American ally; and almost 30 years ago, when Henry Kissinger cynically used Kurdish nationalism to further US power in the region at the expense of both Kurdish and Iraqi democratic aspirations.

Killing and torture in Iraq is not random, but has long been directly linked to politics - and international politics at that. Some of the gravest political repression was in 1978-80, at the time of the Iranian revolution and Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. But the Iraqi people's greatest suffering has been during periods of war and under the sanctions of the 1990s. There are political issues that require political solutions and a war under any pretext is not what Iraqis need or want.

In government comment about Iraq, the Iraqi people are treated as a collection of hapless victims without hope or dignity. At best, Iraqis are said to have parochial allegiances that render them incapable of political action without tutelage. This is utterly at variance with the history and reality of Iraq. Iraqis are proud of their diversity, the intricacies of their society and its deeply rooted urban culture.

To assert that an American invasion is the only way to bring about political change in Iraq might suit Blair's propaganda fightback, but it is ignorant and disingenuous.

Of course Saddam Hussain crushed all these challenges, but in every case the regional and international environment has supported the dictator against the people of Iraq. It is cynical and deceitful of Tony Blair to pretend that he understands Iraqi politics and has a meaningful programme for the country. Iraq's history is one of popular struggle and also of imperial greed, superpower rivalries and regional conflict. To reduce the whole of Iraqi politics and social life to the whims of Saddam Hussain is banal and insulting.

Over the past 12 years of vicious economic blockade, the US and Britain have ignored the political situation inside Iraq and concentrated on weapons as a justification for their policy of containment. UN resolution 688 of April 1991, calling for an end to repression and an open dialogue to ensure Iraqi human and political rights, was set aside or used only for propaganda and to justify the no-fly zones.

Instead of generating a real political dynamic backed by international strength and moral authority, Iraqis were prevented from reconstructing their devastated country. Generations of Iraqis will continue to pay the price of the policy of sanctions and containment, designed for an oil glut period in the international market.

Now that the US has a new policy, it intends to implement it rapidly and with all its military might. Despite what Blair claims, this has nothing to do with the interests and rights of the Iraqi people. The regime in Iraq is not invincible, but the objective of the US is to have regime change without the people of Iraq. The use of Iraqi auxiliaries is designed to minimise US and British casualties, and the result may be higher Iraqi casualties and prolonged conflict with predictably disastrous humanitarian consequences.

The Bush administration has enlisted a number of Iraqi exiles to provide an excuse for invasion and a political cover for the control of Iraq. People like Ahmad Chalabi and Kanan Makiya have little credibility among Iraqis and they have a career interest in a US invasion. At the same time, the main forces of Kurdish nationalism, by disengaging from Iraqi politics and engaging in internecine conflict, have become highly dependent upon US protection and are not in a position to object to a US military onslaught. The US may enlist domestic and regional partners with varying degrees of pressure.

This in no way bestows legitimacy on its objectives and methods, and its policies are rejected by most Iraqis and others in the region. Indeed, the main historical opposition to the Ba'ath regime - including various strands of the left, the Arab nationalist parties, the Communist party, the Islamic Da'wa party, the Islamic party (the Muslim Brotherhood) and others - has rejected war and US patronage over Iraqi politics. The prevalent Iraqi opinion is that a US attack on Iraq would be a disaster, not a liberation, and Blair's belated concern for Iraqis is unwelcome.

? Kamil Mahdi is an Iraqi political exile and lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter

Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Re: An Iraqi exile speaks.. [Re: Xlea321]
    #1320451 - 02/19/03 07:57 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

I hope Flow reads this. Good post.

Re-Defeat Bush in '04

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Re: An Iraqi exile speaks.. [Re: Xlea321]
    #1320460 - 02/19/03 08:02 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

I met some Canadian Iraqi immigrants against the war on Feb 15. There was a whole family of them.

The daughter is in one of these pictures, holding an Iraqi flag and wearing a "Bread Not War" sign:

I cant post the picture cuz I my upload limit is at -3500 lol

man = monkey + mushroom

Edited by pattern (02/19/03 08:06 PM)

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Two inch dick..but it spins!?

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Re: An Iraqi exile speaks.. [Re: Xlea321]
    #1320701 - 02/19/03 11:40 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

And how difficult do you think it would be to find an opposing Iraqi viewpoint?

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers

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Re: An Iraqi exile speaks.. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1320751 - 02/20/03 12:55 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Not very difficullt at all, in fact Blair has already been parading some Iraqi girl around who is pro-war. The thing is Blair has been trying to make out that she speaks for the whole of the Iraqi people which is blatantly untrue. Who in their right minds wants to be bombed anyway?

Always Smi2le

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