Monday, March 31, 2003

An American would like a word with you

Sometimes we need to declare our beliefs and thoughts loudly. If you are Antiwar, it does not mean that you support Saddam. Cowboy Kahlil writes
I was not a tool of Saddam Hossein, nor any enemy of the US. I won't be bullied into shutting up my opposition to the policies they set or the course they chart by the shouts of any who would call me a traitor. I'm a free man in a free society that grants me the right to raise my voice in opposition, to print my criticisms and to assemble with fellow citizens in protest of what this government does.
...Yes, I am aware of errors past US government leaders have made that caused pain, specifically to the Iranian peoples. I bear some shame for that and apologize for that because I became an adult 7 years before the Shah was driven from power and I lacked the worldliness to know what my government was doing in my name then.
And [Saddam] Hussein is one of the greatest examples of cowardice ever, launching more wars of aggression against his neighbors than any other Arab leader. But it's not his military adventures that make him a coward. It is his refusal to lift his boot off the neck of his own people, his choice to use repression and brutal intimidation, and his fear to submit to a truly unfettered election where his popular support can be fairly measured. That cowardice is shared by other Middle East leaders, too. Yet in a few places, some are displaying the courage to take the first steps toward such freedom. In Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, and to a lesser degree, Syria, I happily note that some measures of civil advancement are being demonstrated. Yemen, sadly, lags well behind.
I despise bloodshed, even though I feel no great fear of death. Whether it's a US soldier, a Palestinian child, a Zimbabwean family, or a Bosnian woman, when I read of their deaths, I grieve with the families who suffer such losses. And I mourn the Iraqis dying for the crimes of their government and from the bullying nature of my government.
Should you wish to contribute something to the world, look for the finest among you. The Iranians contributed math to the world. It has poets and artists and scientists who contribute; why not share that with us more? We can stand a little more enlightenment and civilizing, too. It would benefit far more than the provision of hate, revenge or terrorism that has characterized its contributions of recent decades. I'm sure there's many such positive contributions that each of the Arab nations could add.

(posted by Iman)

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