Kurdish anti-war spokesperson?

loupaulsen at attbi.com loupaulsen at attbi.com
Thu Mar 6 15:25:20 MST 2003

The Chicago Reader, the supposedly 'hip' free newspaper with entertainment
info and matching ads, which often prints some good community journalism, is
displaying the pro-war bias of its ownership, I think.  It printed a couple
impenetrable opinion pieces of the semi-Nation variety earlier in the year.
Today, it pulled out all the stops and printed a front-page, 8-page article
entitled "War: What It's Good For" subtitled "In the endless debate over war
in Iraq, we seem to have forgotten something: Saddam Hussein is torturing and
killing his own people."

The author is a person named Kitry Krause, who is a Senior Editor of the
Reader.  The article is based entirely on the experience and testimony of
Scott Portman, who has been active in humanitarian work with the Kurds for a
long time and is today with the Kovler Center in Chicago, which helps victims
of torture.  The article is composed entirely of sentences like "Portman
says", "Portman believes", "Portman fears", and so on.  There is no dissenting
voice and really no other voice at all.  Portman/Krause presents a detailed
description of the 'evil' of the Saddam Hussein government, and then goes on
to explain that disengagement is wrong, we can't stand by as with Hitler, US
intervention sometimes has wonderful positive results, and so on.  It's the
Blair humanitarian war line, really.

I don't have to explain to this list the many reasons why the Iraqi
government's crimes against the Kurds are not a reason to support "Shock and
Awe".  Naturally when we respond we will be pilloried as either naive dupes of
Saddam or cold-blooded apologists for genocide.  What I would like to know is,
can anyone recommend a strong anti-war voice among the Kurdish community who
might be willing to respond to this?  Write me off list if you want.

Lou Paulsen

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