MONDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2007
The clutching at straws continues, another one-day event, sponsored by SIUI (Solidarity for Independent United Iraq) http://solidarityiraq.blogspot.com, and advertised by the Iraqi league http://www.iraqirabita.org.
I wanted to go, but at the last minute could not, but I got hold of recordings of the event, and having watched most of them I have put together a summary of the day's talks I have also extracted a minute of an accusation against the Iraqi Medical Association, who were the organisers the July meeting that produced my Mind the Gap post.
After the opened words from the Iraqi author Haifa Zangana, the meeting started with an overview of Forced Migration presented by the Director of the Iraqi League Mazin Younis and London based academic Dr Mundher Al-Adhami.
A concise presentation with several case histories of forcible deportation of people and families from all over Iraq starting with the family of an executed detainee taken hostage by the British forces to force his brother out of hiding in Basra in April 2003, the systematic displacement of families in certain areas of Basra, followed by the handing over of their homes to the militias, the extension of this policy to the American controlled areas, the map of Baghdad showing the five main entry points into the city which just happen to be the areas of greatest insecurities and ongoing “sectarian” or “religious” displacements.
Deadly distractions diverting attention from the entry and exit sites needed for troop movement.
The targeted murders of the intellectuals was detailed by Doctor Ismail al Jalili and was a followed by a presentation on the work carried out by Professor John Akker of the council for assisting refugee academics (CARA).
Dr Sawsen Ismail a senior lecturer in political sciences in Baghdad University gave a presentation on the situation of academics in Iraqi universities, the 200 plus murdered lecturers and senior lecturers, the 40% student attendance rates, and the virtual encouragement by the government of the taking of long unpaid leave by those students and lecturers it cannot protect and who are fearful for their lives, her talk was in Arabic which was simultaneously translated to English by the young woman chairing of the session; a third year medical student who left Iraq a year ago and is still waiting for admission to university here to complete her degree.
Mr Al-Shaikhly who only recently arrived from Iraq, started by a sweeping criticism of all the well known satellite channel speakers who were “unable” to attend the meeting in London, he went on to speak with passion of the situation of women in Iraq before and after the occupation, the daily toil to stay alive, the forces that had made her return to a “middle ages” role in her black cloak following the turbaned leader into the American tank protected parliament building.
He detailed the sectarisation of universities, hospitals, and ministries, giving an example of the non-eligibility of his son to attend the University of Mustansiryia. The indoctrination of elementary school students, with the daily reminders of the birth and martyrdom days of one or other of the imams.
He went on to describe the violent alteration in demography of Mosul and Kirkuk specifically, and was less than complimentary towards Jalal Talabani. His concluding remarks where “the Iraqi will remain, after the tanks have left, the price will be high, the time may be long but we the Iraqis will prevail”.
International Law Lawyer Sabah Al Mukhtar who made several points, starting with the Guantanamo situation, and how it’s (il)legal status and the world’s silence but more importantly the silence of Americans within government, parliament, and the legal system makes the apparent international acceptance of what continues to happen in Iraq easier to comprehend. He went through the legal options available to bring countries or people to trial for all the breaches in law that have been and continue to take place, international courts would need a state or an international body to commence proceedings The Arab League could, but clearly wouldn’t, individuals could take their cases in civil courts, an interesting example could be for an individual from Falluja to take Ayad Allawi (a British Citizen) to court in the UK, provided enough funds could be found, the one piece of advice he did have was to document everything and anything, anyone can and should do this even if just on a scrap of paper dated with details of the event be it personal injury, damage to property committed by the occupying forces, it may be used by future generations of lawyers to sue the occupying forces who legally at least would be held accountable.
He gave a breakdown of the 40.000 currently held detainees (outside the militia prisons).
He was asked a question regarding making a legal case for an international tribunal on the grounds of genocide to cover events in Iraq and it was in the context of responding to this question that he mentioned how the IMA formally objected to a submission made to the British Parliament to allow the British Medical Journal to be sent to Iraq during the years of the sanctions, an accusation of complicity in UN enforced genocide (no mention of the timing of this event or who was in charge of the IMA at the time).
Tahrir Numan who was chairing this session went on to speak amongst other things about the ongoing detention of women in lieu of their men folk by the American forces. The day’s final session was presented by Mustafa Elmara titled Control of Oil is the Mission. The common feature in this like so many other events is that they are preaching to the converted, with a small group of vigorous head nodding listeners, and one recurring thought at the end of all such events “what should be done? Can anything be done? “
POSTED BY 3EERAQIMEDIC AT 23:13 3 COMMENTS
I was going to attend it but I didn't.
The thing is; watching the video I can say that the speaker said the truth.
That happened to us and when we complained they said it's Saddam's propaganda and there are ones who still try to put things as they're propaganda.
But; saying that someone was not accepted in a university for sectarian causes is doubtful; still accepting students for undergraduate studies is controlled by the ministry of Education and the universities have nothing to do with it; it doesn't mean there is no cheating in that; but cheating by accepting ones who are less qualified for it.
I totally agree with the way you ended the post; what will be done?
I don't think anything will be done.
31 October 2007 18:23
I may have misquoted, I don't think he meant his son would not accepted in University but they he would notbe welcomed in the University I think you wrote something about Mustansirya yourself sometime ago.
As for the final statement it is why I started the post with clutching at straws.
31 October 2007 20:57
I didn't deny the sectarian and militias control of Al-Mustansiriya university.
I just doubt not accepting the guy in the university.
At the end of the day; you're right I said before it has been Al-Musawiyia university.
31 October 2007 21:52