Re: Lets Support The War & The President-Reply to Sitangshu Guha
> Message: 17THE WAR
> Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 23:53:45 -0500
> From: "Sitangshu B.Guha"
> Subject: Lets Support The War & The President
> WE SHOULD SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH AND
> I saw a lot of posting about the "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and
> noticed that all most all of those are against the war and somepeople 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 wantpeace or
> will claim themselves 'Peace-loving'. Fine, but only problem isthat, that
> is not the fact, at-least not for everybody. I understand, why somepeople, never
> Americans/Westerners' are against the war, they are real good
> face the atrocities caused by the Islamic fundamentalists orterrorists.
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 theislamists
> or terrorists if there were no 9/11. Surely,You people noticedthat, all
> the fundamentalists & terrorists are also against this war . Iguess,
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 guywho
> built a mosque in his every birthday--what you will call him?why?
> 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 theelection again
I would be delighted to know whether you want any of the following to
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
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 IslamicSomebody has
> fundamentalists every where in the world including Bangladesh.
> to do this and Bush has started that and we need to support him. Iknow some
> people will say that, what is the relation between terrorists &Saddam. Just
> watch, let the war finish, you may find Talibans/Chechen & KasmiriAmerica.
> 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 ofthe
> 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
> (senior), (Note that I am not registered as a republican ordemocrat) Saddam
> is still in power. There are plenty of people like that andofcourse, we
> should feel pity for them because those people say that from theirsupport
> 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 theMuslim
> countries to change their rulers, the kings, the dictators, militaryjuntas,
> like Iraq (Because someone has to show them the good). Have younoticed
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 (Noteverybody,
> there are some progressives too in Bangladesh, some of my muslimfriends
> support the war) enjoy the democracy, free sex, religious freedom,want
> properties & wealth etc. in America & West and everywhere, but they
> their own country to become an Islamic country!! (So that allinfidels
> become their slaves??)(Please find me one muslim country wherenon-muslims
> are growing!!). So long the mentality is like that, America has togo to
> Afganisthan or Iraq or some where else. (Sovergenety? Bangladeshireligious
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 nomuslim
> 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
Islam has been interpreted variously and some of these interpretations
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
> today, my friend 'Kalam' (True but not the full name) told me:'Like all
> Muslims are brothers, All Hindus are brothers & All Christians arebrothers
> too.' I told him, I never heard Christians saying that, AllChristians are
> brothers.' If they say that, and tell us that they will not givewheat/food
> to non-Christians, then half of the fundamentalists will just die ofdie like
> starvation (They are civilized people and will not and can't let us
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
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.
- 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
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.