At 02:53 PM 10/21/02 -0500, you wrote:
>Todd Gitlin wrote:
>I spoke at an antiwar rally outside the UN on September 12, the same day
>that President Bush, inside, addressed the General Assembly. The turnout was
>ragged, 300 or so. But the numbers weren't the most dismaying aspect of that
>gathering. The signs were.
>Most of the printed placards held by the protesters said 'NO SANCTIONS, NO
>BOMBING.' The international sanctions against Iraq have been a humanitarian
>disaster for the country's civilians. But doesn't Saddam Hussein bear some
>responsibility for that disaster? Must that not be noted? The bombing, US
>and UK attacks in the no-fly zones of northern and southern Iraq, are taking
>place under the auspices of a mission to protect Iraqi Kurds in the north
>and Iraqi Shiites in the south. Again, the Iraqi leader bears
>responsibility; Washington and London have made a credible case for the
>no-fly-zone sorties because and only because Saddam Hussein has trampled
>these long-suffering people in more ways than there is room to describe in
>this space. Those picket signs are emblematic of a refusal to face a
>grotesque world. They express a near-total unwillingness to rebuke Saddam
>Hussein, and a rejection of any conceivable rationale for using force. The
>left-wing sectarians who promote 'NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING' don't want the
>US, or anyone, to lift a finger on behalf of the Kurds to whom you might
>think we have a special responsibility, since our government invited them to
>rise up in 1991.
>One wonders why Gitlin bothered to speak at the anti-war rally at all, since
>he can't make up his mind whether or not he's against the war. "NO
>SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING," means exactly that. We have killed at least a half
>a million children through our sanctions yet we claim that Saddam somehow
>has reconstituted his never terribly impressive WMD arsenal. (Rumsfield
>must get his info from the "Psychic Friends Hotline.") Madeline Albright
>claimed this was "worth the price." Bush is even worse. I haven't heard
>anyone on the left complain about inspectors, though I've read THOUSANDS of
>articles on the subject. This is despite the fact that we planted spies in
>the inspection teams and information their reconnaissance developed was used
>by Clinton to pinpoint bombing in Desert Fox in 1998, immediately after we
>pulled our covert agents. This is also despite the fact that Bush's current
>grudging acceptance of inspectors is seen worldwide as a charade, a
>subjective pretext to trigger imminent an invasion when he thinks he can get
>away with it. We couldn't give a damn about the Kurds, and if we did, we
>would have not helped Saddam gas them (though Iran did most of the gassing).
>If we cared, we'd get our allies, the Turks, to stop slaughtering them.
>Similarly we misled the Iraqi Shiites by urging them to revolt against
>Saddam when we had zero intentions of supporting them.
>The only difference between Gitlin and former '60s "leaders" like Eldridge
>Cleaver and Ira Einhorn is that Todd doesn't know he's dead or finished.
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