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Posted by Jeff from d53-152-230.try.wideopenwest.com ( on Friday, April 18, 2003 at 1:17AM :

anti war to anti occupation?

Posted By: Mark XIII (HSE-MTL-ppp67035.qc.sympatico.ca)
Date: Thursday, 17 April 2003, at 10:53 a.m.

I would like this question answered by the likes of qasrani and tony betmello as to who was the real occupier of iraq?

even though saddam was born in tikrit and therefore makes him an iraqi; it seems to all rational people that for the past 35 years he has been treating the whole of iraq as a conquered land.

who has been benefiting from iraq's wealth for the past 35 years?

surely it hasn't been the average iraqi person who has seen their currency and what ever property they own made worthless.

saddam's failures which I believe are as a result of deep character flaws within his personality have bankrupted iraq; as a country iraq owes kuwait close to 300 billion in reparations as well as another 200 billion to its (saddam's) trading partners. maybe we should rename the axis of evil to russia-france-and saddam since he believed that he was iraq and that his self-interest was somehow more important than that of the iraqi people.

the iraqi mukhaberat minister called the coalition troops as mercenaries yet we are just finding out that most of the people that did the fiercest of fighting for saddam weren't iraqis but arab foreigners from the great umm al arab nations of syria, egypt, jordan, palestinians, and sudanese to name a few.

As an Assyrian; it breaks my heart to see that our ancestoral artifacts being looted and destroyed and it might make us feel good to blame the Americans for it. I say that the looting is as a result of saddam's conditioning of the iraqi people, he has showed the iraqis that it is ok for them to do this just as he did when he began awarding his wife the ancient Assyrian Queen's golden bracelets and chains as a sign of his love.

saying no to occupation all the while trying to protect the biggest occupier of our land makes many of these anti war people nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

God Bless America
God Bless Assyrians

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Of course!

Posted By: Qasrani <Qasrani2003@yahoo.com> (vmh3.STUDENT.CWRU.Edu)
Date: Thursday, 17 April 2003, at 1:14 p.m.

In Response To: anti war to anti occupation? (Mark XIII)

Mark, I accept your challenge and respond below. :)

But first a word re: your subject line "antiwar to anti-occupation?" This can be addressed very simply.

Mean--> War
End--> Occupation and exploitation

I did/do not support the ends of this action and the means toward it were even more despicable. It's the natural progression of my whole take on the subject.

Now, on to your question...
Who is the "real" occupier of Iraq?

Well, let's start off with the truth. That, my friend, is a rhetorical question, because you are asking for its effect. But I will entertain the idea simply because it might shed new light for someone else.

"Real Occupier." I think it depends on what you mean by that. An "occupier" is just someone who takes residents in land; there is no requirement to be "of" the land. So, even though Saddam is a "home-grown" Iraqi, he's also an occupier. By that definition, every person living in Iraq is an occupier, native or foreign. But I'm guessing that isn't what you meant. You want to know who has the least legitimacy to occupy Iraqi land.

I will grant the general notion that indigenous people have a right to their land. I think we all believe that and for some of us, THAT is what we hang our entire belief that Iraqi lands are in actuality "Assyria under occupation." So, if I grant this, because most of you believe this; then it must extend to all such examples.

That would include Iraq today. Where a bunch of American-speaking, hot dog-swallowing, beer-swilling, Reality TV-watching foreigners are occupying Iraq by gun point. I think its funny how you say "even though Saddam is born in Tikrit..." He might actually have more indigenous Assyrian blood than you or me, although his lineage was Islamized way back. We ended up in the mountains hundreds of years ago only to come down from them last century. Is it no wonder why the Chaldeans feel such a sense of pride in that they have been in their villages for centuries?

I don't know if the underlying sense of your argument is that America will be a "better" occupier. Lest I remind you, colonialism has been
discredited along with such notions as communism. I don't think I have to go into the "why colonialism is bad" line of argument. If you do want that, I will have to refer you to some books because I have finals in 2 weeks and I can't spend the time outlining that here.

The people of Iraq got a raw deal with Saddam; but that was with the CIAs help, don't forget that. ALL of the regimes of the ME do not reflect the will of their people or work for the interests of their people and the oil boom of the 70s made them even less accountable to the people because they could just tighten the noose around opposition while doling out money to bolster their popularity.

Mark, you have to step away from the idea that it was either Saddam or the US. The sanctions regime of the last 12 years made what happened last month an inevitability. Does that mean that there were no options? No. There were options, they just didn't suit the American bottom line. Americans want to make damn sure that whoever is in Iraq is someone they can "work" with. Given Iraq's circumstances vis-a-vis factions, that was near impossible. So the US went in and performed open heart surgery with a butter knife.

When Bawai Soro is representing Assyrians and giving a $5,000 check to benefit American soldiers, I think you would call it mercenary work. Now, I don't doubt that the Iraqi minister was just spewing rhetoric, but he hit close to home. When you are fighting a just cause, you don't need to be rewarded with cash, right? Look to the semiotics of handing a check as an appreciation for the work done in Iraq. But this only speaks to our (Assyrians in the US) loss of our humanity and our adoption of the materialism of American culture. One more generation and our grandparents will be dead and we will be 10 steps closer to those beer-swilling, reality tv-watching, I-know-more-about-my-favorite-actor/actress's-life-than my-own-brother/sister's-life type of people. The evolution we are heading toward is clear.

"it might make us feel good to blame the Americans for [the looting of Assyrian artifacts"

Make us feel good? Um, this ranks up there with the Peter saying of "let's throw all the religions together and let the best religion win" by the way.

Back to feeling good.... We aren't trying to feel good. This is one of those times where having seen clearly prior to the actuality does not feel good. That is, there is no pride in the "I told you so." of it. [But for the record, I did. :)]

You answered yourself in the end of that post, but you exposed your lack of creativity in thinking through the problem. Don't you believe in the sanctity of human life? Don't you hold it to the highest regard? Doesn't that mean you evaluate every option to attempt to protect it? Do you realize that when you narrow your options to 2 (Saddam or US), you are not giving credence to those values?

In the end, it is people like you that are the hypocrites, Mark. You hold one standard for yourself and those that you deem worthy (Assyrians) and another for the rest of the human race. You are the hypocrite, outright. You lack a true vision.


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-- Jeff
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