Respond to Rania Kashi's e-mail

An Iraqi immigrant living in Britain sent a moving e-mail to Prime Minister Blair. Please debate her points. Some high lights.

This e-mail makes total sense to me, even though I would be less critical of the US. Opposing views are invited.

Manipulative tripe.
The criticism of America is the only thing she’s right about.

Of course the Iraqi people are the victims in this theatre but I would think it misleading to suggest that they are in favour of invasion, given that it would be their young men being buried alive in trenches and their women and children risking death in bomb shelters should another war break out (a continent away from Cambridge’s reasonable spires).

If maltreatment of its own people justifies war against a regime, our armed forces and our taxes must be ready for a world tour encompassing at least North Korea, Israel, Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe, not to mention other Middle Eastern authoritarian states.

If the reasons for this war are consistent, I will support it. I have yet to be convinced that Bush would have reignited this burner were it not for the elections next year.

Incidentally, she is not an Iraqi immigrant but a citizen as British as the Queen, since she was born here and has never even been to Iraq.

So our options are A) Do everything or B) Do nothing. There can be no middle ground, eh?

I call your Blair-spun Britisher and raise you one genuine Iraqi.
Feel free to join in everybody, as if one opinion proves anything, except as a juvenile debating tactic.

Carol Naughton, chairwoman of CND - co-organisers with the Muslim Association of Britain - said: "When it went above a million it was amazing.

"An Iraqi called me over and told me he’d escaped his homeland a few months ago after being tortured.

"He hated Saddam with all his heart but had family and friends in Iraq and he didn’t want them bombed. He’d just spoken to them and they’d asked him to get someone to thank the crowd.

“When I did, I felt so emotional my voice was breaking.” John Rees of Stop the War Coalition said: "Hundreds of thousands of people out there had never done anything remotely political in their lives.

“Every single one of them has helped to make history. Now they must believe they can change its course.”

On the contrary, Brutus, of course I advocate a practical approach to intervention.

However, to suggest that this is a humanitarian effort similar to Kosovo (which I supported and which, IIRC, many right-wing Americans “none of our damn business”-ed) is distinctly disingenuous given that such concern has seemingly appeared out of the blue after 12 years of sanctions.

Had the US prioritised eg. Sudan, Somalia or Yemen over Iraq I would have have admired their honourable intentions and certainly understood, given the crises in these countries and the direct links to Al-Quaeda. (Incidentally, would you support intervention in Sudan after Iraq?). I argue that Iraq is not the scene of the biggest humanitarian abuses in the world today, tragic though Iraq’s plight may be, and that the choice of Iraq for intervention smells extremely suspect.


Saw her interviewed on MSNBC today. Quite a well spoken woman, but when asked specifics of why America was “bad” she just stumbled over something along the lines of “Everyone knows this… there are so many examples… you don’t need me to tell you this.” Now, just because she fumbled this doesn’t mean she’s wrong, but it irritates me to no end when people trash the US w/o even thinking thru what their reasons are.

Her thesis that the Iraqi people don’t like us, but still want us to invade sure makes me want to jump in the line of fire to save their asses!

She doesn’t know anything about the Iraqi people. It’s just propoganda.


You may think so, but the same thoughts came out in an article in yeseterday’s NYT (Perspectives section). “Real” Iraqi refugees were interviewed in Jordan. They had no great love for the US, but wanted to see us invade so that Saddam Hussein was overthrown. The interviews all sounded pretty much in line with Kashi. She may be an Iraqi poser, but there appear to be many Iraqis who agree with her.

Considering the number of exile-iraqees around the globe you could easily produce statements supporting that the general opinion of iraqees appear to be whatever you want it to be.


So let me get this right: The NYT is trying to drum up support for an invasion of Iraq? I don’t think so.

Well all i am saying is this: i don’t think the NYT article is a proof in either directions what the iraqi people think. In the biggest daily newspaper in my homecountry Sweden (Independent liberal - in editorial and news sections mostly supporting invasion) they ran interviews with iraqis in iraq. The major feeling expressed was that of fright of anticipated bombing.

And then the counter-argument goes: “Iraq is run by Saddam Hussein who persecutes people with wrong opinions”. Well. Either way i wouldnt say that any interview with individuals can be made to represent the feelings of the iraqi people in general. Even if run by an ever-so respected newspaper. Isnt the NYT conservative, though?

In the peace rally i attended Saturday, right next to me there were marching about 100 exile-iraqi kurds protesting the war, and demanding that Turkey should free PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan…

So i think it is fair to say that exile-iraqis host a fair number of different views on an invasion. For specific numbers someone will have to do some polling.

No, the NYT is definitely not known as a conservative paper, and the Boston Globe isn’t either. But there’s a similar piece in there today:

Cambridge itself is like the anti-war capital of the world; they don’t allow pro-US propaganda in there. :wink:

Heh, well i admit i wouldnt really know about NYT. Of course it might be that democrats and republicans alike, would be characterized as conservatives in sweden. :slight_smile:


NYT=Liberal, WSJ=Conservative. As much as I hate those labels, that works OK for shorthand.

My response was really directed at Cynic who trashed Kashi as “not knowing anything about the Iraqi people”.

BTW, the people interviewed by the NYT were not living comfortably in the West. They were refugees with the real possibility of being deported BACK to Iraq. Yes, there is certainly a plurality of opinon, but I’d listen to the poor folks in Jordan before I’d listen to some peacenick Swedish-Iraqi. (Just kidding about the peacenick part, sort of…)

And also BTW, I am in no way pro-war myself. Although I believe the West would be morally justified in invading Iraq (The first Gulf War issues are still valid), I do not think it is in our overall interest to do so. And hearing anti-US rhetoric from people who want us to help liberate their country makes me sick to my stomache.

  • Incidentally, she is not an Iraqi immigrant but a citizen as British as the Queen, since she was born here and has never even been to Iraq.* ~ SentientMeat

Yes, SentientMeat, she is indeed as British as the Queen. That is, incidentally, if the Queen had had 17 relatives in Iraq killed or otherwise become non-alive since her parents escaped to freedom from Iraq to England in 1979.
She doesn’t know anything about the Iraqi people. It’s just propoganda. ~ Diogenes the Cynic

I see. Interesting logical extension there, Diogenes. ___:slight_smile:

John: Well that only holds if you take those opinions viewed by the **those poor folks[B/] in the refugee camps to stand for all poor iraqis in refugee camps.

I hate to make the following point, because i’m not sure i wan’t to go there. But, i’m think there are a whole lot of people around the world that has sound reasons to use anti-US rethorics, even those who supports an US invasion (just as i believe there are a lot of people that has the US to thank for a lot, hell rock music for one thing). Still, it costs to be the world leader with all kind of interests all over the globe.

Besides no state has asked the US to invade Iraq. Neither has any organsation representing exile-iraqis. As i perceive it, that agenda comes very much from within the US government.

Well having said that, i hope i’m not picking any fights here!

damn i cant seem to get those tags right


Well, as you said, everything in the US looks conservative when viewed from Sweden…

Yeah, we could go 'round and 'round about who really speaks for the Iraqi people. Suffice it to say that we’ll probably never get a Gallop poll done inside Iraq. Therefore, we need to make our best judgement on the issue with the info we have.

Again, I am NOT pro-war, but I head something earlier today that made me think. Suppose, someone said, those war protestors suddenly found themselves living in Iraq as Iraqi citizens. How many of them would then be calling for the US to liberate them? Just a thought experiment with no real answer, but I just think it is very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize leardership and action.

And how about Chirac telling the Eastern European countries today that they better shut up about supporting the US if they want a chance to join the EU? Sounds like pure bullying tactics to me.