One of the better placards at the London rally read, 'How did _our_ oil get
under _their_ sand?'
It could have been people, of course: 'How exactly did people just like us
fall under this dictator?'
One of the (epistemic) dangers in all of this is that we pick and choose our
Iraqis: we hear the voice in the crowd when it speaks a language we can
recognise, when it makes the points we would make. Iraq becomes an imagined
country whose silent or silenced peoples continue to be the acted upon
whilst *we* continue to act in the names of those *we* want to hear.
Meanwhile the proposed hostilities continue to present themselves (to many
Muslims) as an ill advised 'crusuade' precisely because US political
solipsism is being pitted (for the religious) against the principle of the
umma and (for many in the Middle East) against pan Arabism.
Mr Blair, as so often, works from the intuited conclusion back to the
evidence. ('President Blair,' as Bianca Jagger called him, repeatedly, in
Hyde Park.) Hence Downing Street's willingness to publish a letter which
supports military action in which the writer also states, 'the American
government is indeed big and bad; I have no illusions about their true
intentions behind an attack on Iraq.'
For another Iraqi exile point of view, Cf
http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,896778,00.html. Kanan Makiya is
scathing about US plans for postwar Iraq: 'Ba'athism with an American face,'
he calls it. 'Iraqi opposition is going to become anti-American the day
after liberation. It is a great irony,' he argues.
The same article confirms (as Mark has suggested) that this war probably
means the end of de facto Iraqi Kurdistan. And it seems entirely plausible,
given Shia Iran over the border, that the US regents will be Sunni.
So much for freedom.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anny Ballardini" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 7:47 AM
here is a different view: