In Reply to: Re: HELP ! posted by parhad on September 08, 2001 at 07:16:25:
I agree with you parhad, as sad as it is, the British policy of "divide concur" has won.
But still, I am not a Palestinian, actually I am mad at Palestinians because they forgot about Iraq during its dark days, while they were signing the Oslo agreement, although Iraq has, and still do a lot for Palestinian, when it
has no boarder with Israel. Still I care about Palestinians, and feel sad when I watch the crimes committed against them, and have spoken out in their defense.
I care about Assyrians, and I am not Assyrian, and there is no reward in caring about Assyrian. Mr. Ross will probably climb the ladder fast as a result of his comments, he will not get the same results if he make a pro- Assyrians comments.
Assyrians are small in number, have no political influence, or much money, they have no special status, or good reputation in the West. But they are my people.
I will address Hajjar's BetNahrain one day in the future, but I think Assyrians without Iraq do not amount to much.
As far as your last point, I agree these petitions are not likely to convince the world pirates to stop stealing Iraq, and drinking the blood of its children, and will not make Kofi Anaan take a risk of reducing his fat salary, if he takes a stand to stop the West from using the UN as a tool of genocide.
But there is another view about this articulated by the person who asked people to sign the petition in response to a question like yours, (see it below) and he could be very well right.
It all depends on numbers and what is done with the petition (the action), you need both.
I have come across this debate in the anti-capitalist circles. The debate is usually between two sides, the action (do or die) side also known as spikies and the peaceful (change through changing public opinion) side also known as fluffies.
If you get 500,000 signatures and take it to the UN, it might not make a single headline, but if you get 500,000 signatures and a bunch of you star a riot, the 500,000 signatures will show that there is a large public backing to the cause.
If 50 people go to the UN and start a riot, without 500,000 signatures, they will be labelled as hooligans with no moral authority.
Unfortunately both sides have a point, the press will not take any notice unless there is civil disobedience (usually violence with police), but without large number of people showing support, the violence is just an everyday violence (like football hooliganism) and people ignore it even if it gets reported.
The point I am trying to make is that you need both to build a social movement, these two work as feedback to each other.
People in voices in the wilderness have been campaigning for public awareness for 11 years now, it is the increasing number of petition signatures and public support that keeps them going, otherwise they will give up, because nobody cares anyway.
With public support they will get the moral backing to carry and do more things.
One woman not so long ago painted anti-sanctions slogans on the UK foreign office wall, she got arrested and fined 800 pounds, during her trial, she claimed that there was an issue of genocide that had to be brought to the attention of the British public, she also claimed to represent a large body of public opinion that the government continuously ignores, so such an action was necessary due to a democratic failure on the government's part. Such a claim must be backed with evidence like signatures on opinion polls and so on.
It all depends on what those people will be doing with the signatures afterwards. In this case there is a 40 day fast outside the US mission to the UN, those people got arrested and labelled as fanatics and so on, if they can produce a million signatures, they can claim that the USA is forcing the UN against global public opinion. This will be one more step forward.
: Jesus H Christ. It almost defies belief. And the entire thing was a set-up from the start. Iraq played right into those same old hands. When will we learn, when will we learn.
: One of the problems we face in helping Iraq is that our people are not just divided among various sects, but we've become separated by borders, developing alliegence to countries which have swallowed us up within their regions. Assyrians of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey, are just different enough to see these differences as a part of their very "being". Hence the ridiculous argument with Hanna Hajjar about what really constitutes BetNahrain...with him claiming it could just as easily mean his backyard in Syria as anything else.
: Assyrians who are not from Iraq, or feel no special tie to the land, do not relate to Iraq's problems. They see them as separate from the concerns of THEIR Assyrians. Some might even secretly think the Assyrians of Iraq have been too quick to claim a special status as occupying the heartland of our ancient empire...we are a terribly envious people and very capapble of cutting off our big noses to spite our faces.
: Against such an array of opposing forces, and with such division and hostility within our own camp, it seems impossible to gather the will to make much of an impact...still one might rest a little easier for doing it...though the very ineffectiveness of it all makes it a bitter sort of "activism".
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