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Re: Lets Support The War & The President-Reply to Sitangshu Guha

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  • Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
    ... THE WAR ... unfortunately ... people are ... All of ... peace or ... that, that ... people, never ... terrorists.
    Message 1 of 145 , Mar 23, 2003
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      > Message: 17
      > Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 23:53:45 -0500
      > From: "Sitangshu B.Guha"
      > Subject: Lets Support The War & The President
      THE WAR
      > I saw a lot of posting about the "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and
      > noticed that all most all of those are against the war and some
      people are
      > even against President Bush and as well as America! I wonder why?
      All of
      > those who are against the war will say univocally that, they want
      peace or
      > will claim themselves 'Peace-loving'. Fine, but only problem is
      that, that
      > is not the fact, at-least not for everybody. I understand, why some
      > Americans/Westerners' are against the war, they are real good
      people, never
      > face the atrocities caused by the Islamic fundamentalists or

      Applying the same argument, when we consider
      -the genocide of North America
      -the death of 3 million Vietnamese
      -the ravaging of Africa
      -the US supported terrors in Latin America
      -the dispossession of the Palestinians

      we must consider that Europe and her offspring America has much
      atrocities to apologise for.Therefore the current self serving
      proclamation by Bush et.al about freedom and all that jazz has to be
      viewd with scepticism. People are against the war for various reasons.
      A large number of them are against the war because they are finally
      waking up to the fact that their government lies to them.

      > Americans & Westerns' would never understand how heinous are the
      > or terrorists if there were no 9/11. Surely,You people noticed
      that, all
      > the fundamentalists & terrorists are also against this war . I

      This is a non sequitur. A fundamentalist being against the war does
      mean everybody opposing the war are fundamentalists.

      > somebody will say that, Saddam is not a fundamentalist! Well, a guy
      > built a mosque in his every birthday--what you will call him?
      > Yes, I am in favor of this war. I am with 71% Americans. You know
      > Because like all civilized people I don't
      > want another 9/11. Actually I want President Bush to win the
      election again

      I would be delighted to know whether you want any of the following to
      happen again:

      a) Sending a cruise missile to Al-shifa pharmaceutical factory in
      Sudan.US has not apologised for the attack and have not paid any

      b) Introducing Osama Bin Laden to Afghanistan SIX MONTHS BEFORE the
      Soviets were to come in. Osama was introduced to provoke Soviets to
      enter Afghanistan. At that time the Government in Afghanistan had
      women ministers.

      c) Overthrowing Mossadeq- the secular prime minister of Iran in a coup
      which brought in the brutal dictatorship of the Shah and then saw the
      political opposition coalesce around the Mullahs.

      d) Overthrowing the secular and democratic Sukarno of Indonesia and
      replacement by Suharto who undertook a genocide in East Timor.

      e) Killing all passengers of an Iranian jet liner by American Missile.
      America never apologised.

      > and finish the task he had started. That is, crush the Islamic
      > fundamentalists every where in the world including Bangladesh.
      Somebody has
      > to do this and Bush has started that and we need to support him. I
      know some
      > people will say that, what is the relation between terrorists &
      Saddam. Just
      > watch, let the war finish, you may find Talibans/Chechen & Kasmiri
      > Separatists' /Bangladeshis(?) there fighting against the infidel(!)
      > That is why almost all the Muslim countries and even its peoples
      (Even in US
      > or West) support Saddam (Wrong Choice). See, all infidels (In their
      > language) are not supporting President Bush, that is the beauty of
      > progressive world.

      Lets say after the war we find Islamic terrorism multiply
      This is a real possibility and this has been predicted as a possible
      outcome by many antiwar commentators. What will that prove- that Bush
      deliberately went down a path which stoked the fires of Islamic

      > Let me tell you a story: 3/4years before one guy told me, where is
      your Bush
      > (senior), (Note that I am not registered as a republican or
      democrat) Saddam
      > is still in power. There are plenty of people like that and
      ofcourse, we
      > should feel pity for them because those people say that from their
      > fundamentalist point of view. Here again I have another reason to
      > the war, that is, may be in future civilized world need to go to the
      > countries to change their rulers, the kings, the dictators, military
      > like Iraq (Because someone has to show them the good). Have you

      This is the "white men's burden" argument. This was used for the
      colonisation and impoverishment and genocide in most of the world. It
      will be much better if the "civilized" world refrain from interfering
      in other countries affairs. Each country will find their own solution.
      Also I hope that you know about the Eishenhower doctrine
      which promised that US will defend Saudi Arabia as if it is its own
      territory- this of course meant protection for a feudal and corrupt
      and fundamentalist ruling monarch and his family.

      In Afghanistan there is an organisation called RAWA (Revolutionary
      Association of Women of Afghanistan). In Taliban times they used to go
      inside Taliban controlled areas and educate and organise Afghan women.
      Their leader Meena was captured by Taliban and executed. When US
      declared its intention to bomb Afghanistan,
      RAWA opposed it. RAWA said that opposition and resistance to Taliban
      should grow up from within Afghanistan. It was ignored. After the war,
      RAWA was never involved in the discussions about the future of
      Afghanistan. So much for the noble intentions of the West and their
      commitment for lofty ideals like women's rights. Let us also not
      forget that Taliban was supplied arms by the US through the ISI of

      > that, people from Islamic countries including Bangladesh (Not
      > there are some progressives too in Bangladesh, some of my muslim
      > support the war) enjoy the democracy, free sex, religious freedom,
      > properties & wealth etc. in America & West and everywhere, but they
      > their own country to become an Islamic country!! (So that all
      > become their slaves??)(Please find me one muslim country where
      > are growing!!). So long the mentality is like that, America has to
      go to
      > Afganisthan or Iraq or some where else. (Sovergenety? Bangladeshi

      I really don't understand the meaning of the above statement. Firstly
      are we talking about growth in absolute numbers- then I am sure many
      examples can be found as there is a general rise in population level.
      Are you talking about percentage growth? If so then is percentage
      growth an indicator of absence/presence of discrimination. In India
      the small community of Parsis are declining with falling birth
      rate. Nobody will argue that Parsis are discriminated against in

      > minorities don't have that in their own country, and in almost no
      > country, non-muslims have that!!).

      Islam- like other great faiths- is a highly nuanced religion and has a
      highly nuanced history. During the conquering of Spain by Isabella and
      Fernandez, many Jews left Spain and came to settle in the middle east
      in muslim ruled areas.. They were the forefathers of Sephardic jews.
      If you look at our own land (Bengal) you would find that Hindus and
      Muslims had coexisted here for thousands of years. The Muslim
      Nawabs had plenty of Hindu high officers. Look at Chaitanya
      Kazi talking to Chaitainya
      "Gram shambandhe Chakraborti hoy mor chacha
      Deho shambondho hoite hoy gram shombondho sacha
      Nilambar Chakraborti hoy tomar Nana
      Se shombondhe hoou tumi aamar bhagina"
      [For Non-Bengalis-Kazi was telling Chaitanya that he is Kazi's nephew
      village relations"]

      Islam has been interpreted variously and some of these interpretations
      clash with
      the orthodox fundamentalist Islam.
      Here is a poem from Hasan Raja
      "Momo aankhi hoite poida aasman jamin
      Kaanete korilo poida Musalmani Deen
      Nake poida koriache khushboy bud boy
      Aama hoite shob utpotti Hasan Rajai koi"
      Later in the poem he says "Aama hoite Rab"
      [Fro non-bengalis- Hasan Raja says that he is the source of
      including god and the Islamic faith]

      The present day communal politics in Indian subcontinent has its
      origin in 19th century. For understanding the genesis of Muslim
      communalism I would refer you to the book Bengal Muslims by Rafiuddin

      We need to oppose communal politics in Indian subcontinent but that
      does not mean that we should swallow the Western propaganda hook line
      and sinker. Actually the West (or the US) has never had much problem
      with fundamentalist Muslim rulers like the King of Saudi Arabia. On
      the other hand it had undermined secular Muslim leaders like Nasser of
      Egypt, Sukarno of Indonesia and Mossadeq of Iran.

      > Either way, you support it or not, Saddam is history now. Who is
      next? Just
      > today, my friend 'Kalam' (True but not the full name) told me:
      'Like all
      > Muslims are brothers, All Hindus are brothers & All Christians are
      > too.' I told him, I never heard Christians saying that, All
      Christians are
      > brothers.' If they say that, and tell us that they will not give
      > to non-Christians, then half of the fundamentalists will just die of
      > starvation (They are civilized people and will not and can't let us
      die like
      Are you at all aware of the doings of the conquistadores in South
      America? Also look up A peoples history of the United States by Howard
      Zinn. Especially look for the part where they killed 10% of the people
      of Phillipines in order to "civilize and Chiristianise" them.

      > Solution of that problem is to support the war against terrorism.
      This war

      I would be curious to know whether that means supporting the first
      against terrorism" launched by Ronald Regan and which devastated Latin
      american countires.

      Ignorance may be bliss. My personal preference is to keep my eyes
      Here is a short reading list.

      1. Rogue State - William Blum

      2. The clash of fundamentalisms- Tariq Ali.

      3. 9-11 by Noam Chomsky.

      4. Perpetual war for perpetual peace by Gore Vidal

      5. Tragic Partition of Bengal by Suniti Kumar Ghosh

      (also published in Bengali as Bangla Bibhajoner Orthoniti-Rajniti)

      with best wishes.

      Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
    • Bishnu Dey
      I do not know why this war with Iraq is one I cannot come to grips with! Why do I not feel happy, the way I did when the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was
      Message 145 of 145 , Mar 31, 2003
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        I do not know why this war with Iraq is one I cannot come to grips with!
        Why do I not feel happy, the way I did when the Taliban regime in
        Afghanistan was being pounded? There was immense joy in watching the
        Taliban mullahs being hog-tied and huddled in cages, where they indeed
        deserved to be! This time around, I watch the TV and see the flashes of the
        cruise missiles and the bunker-busters and with each strike I grimace. I
        feel a pain at the sight of the regal buildings being shattered into rock
        and dust. I look at those broad highways that crisscross Baghdad and deep
        inside I used to feel a tinge of envy when I compared those with the city of
        Kolkata, where I spent a part of my early life. But now, all are in
        shambles and as I hear the screams of those haunted residents of Baghdad and
        feel a strange empathy for those huddled masses, who are indeed paying a
        horrible price for crimes perpetrated by their leaders.

        This war is not a clash of civilizations as some might wish to portray. To
        me, this war is the epitome of the degradation of human virtues. It is also
        beginning of a prolonged struggle for all of us to re-examine our values.
        Have we all become so desensitized that we accept everything like a horde of
        cattle being huddled to the slaughterhouse? Where is the outrage, where is
        the cry of shame? When shall we all be able to stand up to this mindless
        destruction and say enough is enough?

        I am afraid and I am torn apart. I am struggling to convince myself that in
        the end the sun will shine and bring happiness and peace to all. I strive
        to ignore the actions of my government against the Iraqi regime. Even as I
        readily concede that Saddam Hussein is a despot and a cold blooded murderer,
        I still can't convince myself that these actions justify the untold
        sufferings that is wrought upon the people of Iraq. I see the pictures of
        the suffering people and the children and try to imagine what would I have
        felt if I were in their place? How would I cope with the torments that the
        nighttimes bring endlessly? I think of the little children and I feel their
        anguish, I sense their fear, and I imagine their horror with every
        "successful" strike of the "precision" bomb. What would I have done, if I
        were there??

        I am a citizen of a free nation and I am also a proud citizen of this
        wonderful country, which I chose to be my adopted motherland. I breathed
        the air upon arrival to this land many years ago and heaved a sigh of
        relief; at last I am free! I am free! I was glad to escape from the
        clutches of the oppressive political system in India run by the Congress
        mafia, which offered nothing but corruption, despair and pain to its
        thriving mass of uncounted millions. I was lucky, so I thought when I set
        foot upon the land of the free and the home of the brave! Home of the
        brave, yes - but land of the free? I don?t know. I am so confused!

        I love this country, I love the wonderful people, but I am also saddened
        that 70% of the people feel that the war is justified. I know how caring
        the people of this land are, and how much they feel for the sanctity of
        human lives! But, I am saddened to see the apathy and the general sense of
        complacency in their display of nationalism at the expense of humanism.
        Perhaps they are afraid to speak out, perhaps they are apprehensive of
        letting their feelings known, and perhaps they are like me fearful of being
        branded as unpatriotic, should they voice their opinion against this
        mindless war. This war has torn me; this war has shaken me apart.

        Little did I imagine that all hopes, aspirations and the tranquility of the
        21st century would soon come to a crushing halt as I remained transfixed to
        the tube, watching the twin towers of human civilization go down in a rubble
        of smoke and dust, the fateful morning of 9/11. The perpetrators of that
        horrible crime probably envisioned this outcome and much worse, but did they
        really care for the untold misery that their brutal actions would unfurl?
        The hate, the rage, and the lack of compassion implanted and deeply embedded
        into the minds of individuals through the masterful interpretation of
        so-called words of Allah, is what opened the floodgates of this calamity
        that we are all confronted with.

        No, all Muslims are not terrorists, nor are they deserving of the scorn and
        suspicion that many are subjected to. In fact, the Muslims are the biggest
        victims of the scourge that befall upon them. This is what happens when
        religion is used as a tool of governance and when people fail to perceive
        the hidden dangers in allowing the clergy to decide the course of nations.
        I wonder, how a mass of humanity comprising of a billion plus individuals be
        so easily be brainwashed by the Kazis, Mullahs, and Imams to accept such
        degrading, hateful, and intolerant teachings to be the words of God!
        Wouldn't the believers of Allah now wish that he came down from his heavenly
        abode riding the timeless "Jibrail" to defend the hapless children of Iraq?
        Why doesn't he? What prevents him from saving his devoted children who go
        to sleep and wake up every morning chanting "Allah Hu Akbar", from the
        suffering inflicted by the "Great Satan"?

        This opium of religion is what has brought this scourge upon us all. No one
        is left unaffected by this war; we are all victims. Some justify this as an
        act of self-defense; others shy away from taking a stand. I however, feel
        ashamed that there aren't enough sensible souls in this planet who could
        stand up and say, let's work together and solve our problems in a manner
        befitting of human dignity. Unfortunately, the onus of this falls squarely
        on the shoulders of the Muslims of the world. They have to stand up against
        their own clergy and uproot them from their lofty perches. The world needs
        to see the victims collectively voice their outrage against these
        fundamentalist despots and they will no longer stand by and let these
        vicious, ignorant barbarians dictate human values to them, while
        disregarding all norms of civilized life in their pursuit of holy jihad
        against the "kuffirs", with their one track pursuit of geo-political

        In the end, I know that my country will be victorious in this endeavor, but
        this be very costly and there is a hefty price that will accompany this
        victory. The world is indeed "shocked and awed" by the display of might and
        superiority of our airpower and technology, but at the same time there will
        be a chilling effect on the rest of the world as to what this triumph really
        establishes. Is this the "new world order" that we all talked about at the
        turn of the last century following the demise of the Soviet empire? I am
        afraid that now in the eyes of many my country will not appear as a beacon
        of civility, nor will be perceived as a champion of freedom; rather a bully
        whose mantra is "my way, or no way"!

        In ending, I would like to state unequivocally that I am in full support of
        the lead my country has taken in eradicating this world of the scourge of
        Islamic fanaticism. I also support my country?s drive in removing Saddam
        Hussein from power in Iraq. I hope that this war is over soon, and the
        young soldiers of this land, many of them mere teenagers, return home safely
        to be with their family and loved ones. I salute them for undertaking the
        heavy burden of this awesome responsibility. I also hope and pray that the
        people of Iraq are able to overcome this suffering. If there is a God, may
        his presence save the lives of the innocent Iraqis.

        Bishnu Dey
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