Thoughts on a meeting for Ramsey Clark in New York City

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Sep 15 00:43:47 MDT 2002


David McReynolds has provided a list of ten ideas for antiwar activities in
the letter included below..
All of them seem like constructive proposals to me,  worth being
considered for implementation by antiwar groups and coalitions. .

Of course, there is an eleventh thing that we clearly need to carry out,
which in
no way contradicts but strengtthens and  reinforces each and all of
McReynolds' useful suggestions:

MARCH ON  WASHINGTON OCTOBER 26!

I attended the Ramsey Clark meeting at the Fashion Institute in New York
City today (September 14). It was attended by about 400, maybe even 500
people, broadly
representative of antiwar forces today or so it seemed to me.

Clark's  descriptions of the conditions facing the Iraqi people under the
imperialist-run United Nations blockade were devastating.  Clark, who seems
to be a genuinely humanistic liberal of a kind I had come to assume was
essentially defunct, has a soft-spoken style (people were constantly yelling
for him to speak up but he basically couldn't seem to oblige) which adds to
the
power of the terrible suffering and crimes he describes and the action he
feels we must
take to counter the worse crimes being prepared..

 There was no trace of apology for or prettification of Saddam's
regime in any of the talks at the meeting.

. Brian Becker, for example, contrasted Saddam --terming him  "a
ictator"  -- to the
democratically-elected liberal  regime in the early 1950s of Mossadegh in
Iran, which the CIA overthrew, placing the Shah back on the throne.

Becker pointed out that what these very different regimes had in common  was
the fact that Washington had gone all out to destroy them.  The reason for
this was not opposition to dictatorship  or to regimes that murder "their
own people".  Is it credible that Bush is outraged by Saddam killing "his
own people" when the U.S. gpvernment has killed hundreds of thousands of
them without remorse and is  preparing to substantially up the total?

 The only issue is the tendency of both governments (the
democratically-elected Mossadegh in Iran and the dictator Saddam Hussein in
Iraq) to disobey orders from Wasdhington.

Since Clark was delayed,  Becker  gave a very  educational
talk  about the weapons inspections, pointing out how
"obstructions"  by Iraq have been trumped up by Washington.  About 9,000
insprections  have taken place. Becker pointed out that, despite universal
media and government claims to the contrary, Iraq never expelled the
inspectors.  They were pulled out by the UN before the U.S. launched a new
bombing campaign.

Becler's talk highlighted how easily the new inspections regime being
sponsored by Kofi Annan could  be used to trump up excuses for the U.S. to
invade Iraq in a "multilateral" rather than "unilateral" way.

The entire inspections setup is a violation of Iraq's
sovereignty as an independent nation and should be abolished, not
strengthened, along with economic sanctions and without any conditions at
all.  (That's me talking, not Becker.)

Iraq is the victim, not the criminal  in these events and the dictatorial
character of Saddam's regime  is simply being used to blind people to this
fact.

 The control of arms and "weapons of mass destruction"  that Bush, with Kofi
Annan's support, is demanding be imposed on Iraq as a pretext for occupying
the country, really needs to be imposed on Washington.

But the United Nations is clearly unequal to that task -- although they have
actually been quite effective in helping Washington to control and degrade
Iran's military forces, .
as well as in helping Washington, as a member of the Security Council,
prevent the  restoration of adequate
nutrition, medical, and clean water supplies for the people of that country.

So the working and oppressed people of  the United States  will have to take
on
the job of disarming Washington and destroying the weapons of mass
destruction that Washington has used with such criminal disregard of human
life.

The crimes Washington is committing and preparing  impose a duty -- a duty
that can be evaded but not morally escaped -- to respond in a massive and
national
way, regardless of  considerations about who has been right or wrong in
disputes in the movement .
Fred Feldman

From: <DavidMcR at aol.com>
To: <activist at pinko.net>; <107disc at yahoogroups.com>;
<asdnet at igc.topica.com>; <socialistsunmoderated at debs.pinko.net>;
<spnatcomlist at topica.com>; <wrll at topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2002 2:41 PM
Subject: [107disc] Ten Things You Can Do To Stop The War On Iraq


> In a message dated 9/14/02 8:55:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> sheridanpa at earthlink.net writes:
>
> <<
>  Ten Things You Can Do
>  To Stop The War On Iraq
>
>  Global Exchange
>  September 10, 2002
>
>  1. Call or Fax your US Senators and Representatives and express your
>  opposition to an invasion of Iraq. You can find out the names of your
>  Members of Congress and their contact information at www.senate.gov and
>  www.house.gov or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask your
>  representatives to sign the ''Peace Pledge'' available at
>  www.unitedforpeace.org.
>
>  2. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper saying why you
>  oppose the war on Iraq. Your letter should be from one to three
paragraphs
>  long. Possible points to make include: the Administration has not
presented
>  an adequate justification for going to war; Iraq does not pose a clear
and
>  present danger to the US; and an invasion of Iraq would violate
>  international law. You can find out where to send your letters by looking
on
>  the letters to the editor page of your local newspaper.
>
>  3. Email a friend and ask them to join you in opposing the war. Send this
>  list of things you can do to stop the war to a friend along with a copy
of
>  Global Exchange's Top Ten Reasons Why the US Should Not Invade Iraq,
>  available online at www.globalexchange.org.
>
>  4. Join the national mobilization to stop the war on Iraq by organizing
an
>  anti-war event (a rally, march, vigil, teach-in, or other action) in your
>  community October 5-7. Make sure to list your event on the website
>  www.unitedforpeace.org. We expect there will be more than 200 ''No War on
>  Iraq'' protests during those three days.
>
>  5. Distribute flyers about why people should stop this war before it
starts.
>  Good, heavily trafficked locations include bus stops, subway stations,
>  grocery stores, college campuses, libraries, and churches, among other
>  sites. For a sample flyer, go to www.unitedforpeace.org or call us at
>  415-255-7296.
>
>  6. Organize a weekly vigil against the war at the US federal building in
>  your city, at the office of a Congressperson who supports the war, or at
>  another public place.
>
>  7. Call a press conference where local community leaders, religious
leaders,
>  veterans, politicians, and others can speak out against the war. Once you
>  have some community leaders who are willing to speak out against the war,
>  determine the time and location of the press conference, send a press
>  release to local media outlets, and then follow up with a phone call to
tell
>  editors and reporters what you're doing.
>
>  8. Educate yourself about Iraq and the US accusations against Saddam
Hussein
>  so you can discuss the issue with friends, family, and even strangers. We
>  won't be able to stop this war if we can't convince people who don't
agree
>  with us to come over to our position. Websites that have good information
>  include www.zmag.org, www.thenation.com, www.commondreams.org,
>  www.alternet.org, www.pacificnews.org and www.endthewar.org.
>
>  9. Place a ''No War on Iraq'' banner in a prominent public place. Even if
>  the banner is taken down within a few hours, people will see it while
it's
>  up, and they will realize that the opposition to this war is growing. You
>  can hang banners from freeway overpasses and out the windows of buildings
in
>  downtown areas. It's easy to make a banner: just use paint or markers on
a
>  white sheet.
>
>  10. Connect with the local peace group in your community. They will
>  undoubtedly have other ideas for how you can work to stop the war. Some
>  peace groups that have chapters in many cities and towns include Peace
>  Action and the American Friends Service Committee. You can also look at
the
>  events section on the United for Peace website, and see what groups are
>  sponsoring events in your community. Or join Global Exchange's moderated
>  email listserve by sending a message to
>  nomoreinnocentvictims-on at globalexchange.org.


~~~~~~~
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