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Circus2Iraq: An English Activist in Iraq

By kpaul in News
Sun May 23, 2004 at 04:29:35 AM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)
Interviews

This is an interview with someone who works with Circus2Iraq, a group that travels and helps children in Iraq. The idea for the interview started one night after reading and blogging about an action alert from FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting). The group recommended emailing Wolf Blitzer of CNN to take him to task for letting a lackey fumble and bumble through an interview with the editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera. As can be assumed with a man of Blitzer's stature, I received nothing more than a canned response from a lackey intern didn't find my note interesting enough to send on to Blitzer.

Later that same night, I ran across Circus2Iraq (pics) and heard mention of Jo and a band of people travelling the wasteland that was ancient Babylon, trying to bring cheer to children. I tracked down her blog and dashed off an email. I asked her if she'd take the time to do an email interview. She not only answered my email, she agreed to answer my questions. I asked around in several 'net neighborhoods (including the K5 diary section) as to what I should ask her. I also checked in the meat world with people from the newsroom. Inside is round one.


The Interview

kpaul: Who are you? (What do you do for a living? etc.)

Jo: I'm a 29 year old trainee lawyer and social justice activist from Bristol, UK. I was working in immigration and welfare in Bristol Law Centre and as an advocate for Bristol Mind, a mental health organisation until I left to come to Iraq.

kpaul: How did you come to find yourself in Iraq?

Jo: I was an activist mainly on environmental issues in the UK when we organised an information squat café in Bristol in May 2003. There was a different theme for each day, with speakers, and one of the speakers was a woman called Joanne Baker, who had been to Iraq twice to break the sanctions. I was outraged and started campaigning against the sanctions with Bristol Peace and Justice Group. In August 2001 I came to Iraq for the first time to break the sanctions and see what was happening for myself.

I forced the British government to take me to court for breaking the sanctions, the first time their legality had been directly at issue in a UK court. I then decided to come back, and was here for the month before the war and the first 12 days of bombing, before I was told to leave by the Iraqi foreign ministry, talking to people and interviewing civilian casualties.

I had to leave without saying goodbye to most of my Iraqi friends, at a time of complete chaos. I wanted to come back and do something positive, make some links, work on some solidarity projects that would enable people at home in the UK to more effectively support Iraqi people, put people who have skills and information in touch with people who need it. So I came back.

kpaul: Can you explain some about Circus2Iraq?

Jo: During the war I was in one of the hospitals and there was a little boy whose home was destroyed by a rocket. He was traumatised, not responding to anything, till a friend of mine started blowing bubbles. He watched for a while and then reached out and popped one and it was the first thing that made him smile since the bombing. Over the summer I thought about bringing a circus to Iraq for all the hundreds of thousands of children who had been traumatised by the war and sanctions and everything before and since.

I sent out an email about the plan and we got a wicked crew together and spent 3 months touring in Iraq, working in squatter camps, orphanages, schools, youth centres, theatres, anywhere there were children, with really positive results. The girls and young women, especially, loved seeing a woman in the show and with the squatter camps we noticed that each time we went back the girls' confidence grew and they played more and more.

A newspaper in the UK sneered about it, but without knowing anything about what we did. Play is incredibly powerful when people are suffering. Yes, there are a lot of physical needs here, but people also desperately need the psychological reconstruction, the transformative and healing effect of playing.

kpaul Who has funded your trip to Iraq?

Jo: The British public, via donations and fundraising events.

kpaul: Is it difficult posting on your blog from Iraq?

Jo: No, I just write on my laptop and then go to the internet café. The main problem is that the electricity is erratic, the surges have destroyed my laptop battery and that means whenever the power goes off, so does my computer.

kpaul: Have you seen any US troops killing civilians first hand?

Jo:I have not seen any civilians being killed by Americans.

What I have seen is people who have come into the clinic in Falluja from US held parts of the town with bullet wounds which they said were caused by US soldiers shooting at them, for example a woman and two young children were brought into the clinic with bullet wounds. The other relatives with them said they were trying to leave their house to flee to Baghdad and were shot by US soldiers. I saw a man who was clearly unarmed and had been shot in the back in an area controlled by US marines on nearby rooftops. The families trapped in the houses said they were afraid to come out because the US soldiers were shooting at anyone who came out.

I was travelling in an ambulance, clearly marked as such, in English, with a blue flashing light on top, trying to reach a pregnant woman who had gone into premature labour, when the ambulance was shot at by US soldiers on a nearby rooftop. At least one bullet hit the ambulance, among several which were fired. It was hard to tell which were new bullet holes as there were already so many. We were forced to withdraw from the area.

Likewise in Thawra [Sadr City] I received several reports of attacks resulting in civilian deaths that people were certain were US-fired.

kpaul: Being there first-hand as opposed to getting your info from the media, how is the situation in Iraq. That is, are things falling apart? Are they getting better?

Jo: Hmm - that's a very big question.

I met a man today who was conscripted into the Iraqi army, as normal, at the age of 18. They weren't given proper food or uniforms and the pay was so low that he couldn't support his young relatives who depended on him as the only adult male in the family. [H]e bribed an officer to give him a counterfeit ID and cover for him, and returned to his family. Eventually he was caught because of the fake ID and jailed for a year in Kirkuk, in the north.

After his release, he was sent back to the army but the same conditions applied so he bribed an officer and escaped again. He lived for years that way, getting caught now and then and bribing the police to let him go. He thought the US invasion had to make things better. Now he thinks the US is worse. He is poorer, more desperate, more afraid. He lives in a tiny farm building in the squatter camp at Shuala with his wife, unemployed like most of the men there, like a majority of the population of Baghdad and afraid to go out much because of the security problems.

Things are extremely unstable at the moment with fighting ongoing in several areas and liable to erupt more or less anywhere at any time. I don't much go for predicting what's going to happen because there are so many factors involved and I haven't got a crystal ball to gaze at, but there are certain events and issues that are obviously significant.

The purported "handover of power" on June 30th is a big one, as there's increasing frustration with the US administration here and they've now started talking down the amount of power that will actually be handed over. The situation in Falluja is still very delicate, as are those in Najaf and Kerbala and the killings of civilians in Thawra have caused a lot of anger in a densely populated area of 2.5-3 million poor Shia people who were among the more willing to give the US a chance to do something good.

An added complication in the Najaf situation is that some of the prominent Shia leaders have started to express differences in public. A split between supporters of Sistani and Sadr, who have thus far said essentially the same thing in different ways, could cause a lot of chaos. There is also the problem that most people in Najaf depend on the flow of pilgrims for their income and that's been stopped by the recent conflict, so dissent is growing.

The torture photos are another factor. There were many, many people who already knew this was going on and of course now there are more people who know. So it's not only a question of "things falling apart" as you asked, but also of the image falling apart. The US started a number of TV and radio stations with names like "Freedom TV" and "Al-Iraqiya" and recently killed two of the Iraqiya reporters and is finding the control of information increasingly difficult to maintain - within Iraq, at least, though perhaps less so in the US.

kpaul: What can the citizens of the world do to help in Iraq?

Jo: 1. Kick our governments up the arse. Especially in the UK and US, we need to plague the politicians who are responsible for all this. In both countries there is no real anti-war vote, no real vote for social justice on a whole range of issues so the only answer is to take back the power that's been delegated to them and make the changes ourselves. We are not their servants, they are ours, and it's time we gave them the boot. There's so much we can do to take back control of our lives and our country, no matter how small or how huge a project it might seem.

2. Kick the corporations up the arse. This goes for the corporations which are sucking Iraqis' blood through "reconstruction contracts" and for the ones that are part of our everyday lives, the petrochemical companies, the supermarkets which have so much control over food issues, the ones who contributed so generously to the election campaign of George W. Bush. Setting up co-ops, buying local, joining unions and taking control of our workplaces - and our unions, if necessary, living in a more eco-friendly way and so on.

3. Kick the arms trade up the arse. The arms trade is what fuels wars. It's that simple. They sold weapons to Saddam, with government complicity. In the case of Britain, at least, the British taxpayer subsidised the sales and the shareholder profits by millions of pounds, mainly through the Export Credit Guarantee system, whereby if Saddam (or other buyer) didn't pay the bill, we did. Now Iraq is firmly over the IMF / World Bank debt barrel, all it's public services open to privatisation as part of enforced structural adjustment.

See www.caat.org for more on the arms trade and www.jubileeiraq.org for more on Iraq's debt.

4. Take action on human rights in other countries. Failure to address Saddam's human rights abuses was part of the reason that many Iraqi exiles didn't engage with the anti-war movement. In order to become a genuine and sustainable movement for peace and justice, the human rights issue needs to be taken much more head on. There are abuses going on all over the world and this one links with the last on the arms trade and debt: the World Bank, IMF and arms dealers are inseparable from human suffering.

5. Keep looking for and passing on alternative sources of information on Iraq, outside the mainstream media. There are some good weblogs coming out of Iraq, as well as news sites - www.newstandardnews.com and www.informationclearinghouse.org and www.backtoiraq.com. Also check out www.electroniciraq.net There are interesting articles and discussions on www.opendemocracy.net and of course people should read my website frequently - www.wildfirejo.org.uk

6. Detainees The thousands of Iraqis held prisoner without charge, without access to a lawyer and without family visits have become an issue with the publication of The Photos, but the problem is not new. It looks like a lot of prisoners are being released now as a result of the proof that the prison can't cope with all the people locked up. It needs continued attention though and continued pressure to pay compensation to families whose main earner [h]as been killed or disabled in prison.

There are lots more things, but if I go on, you'll never get this. Let your imagination run wild.

Closing note:

An interesting beginning, no? I realize the limitations of an email interview. So, if this strikes up enough conversation, I want your help in forming the next set of questions. As a follow-up we could chase down some of the paths she's started us on here. CYOA for the intellectual geek crowd. (Well, mostly...)

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Poll
CYOA: Continue the Interview?
o yes 58%
o no 25%
o maybe 11%
o other (see below) 4%

Votes: 43
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o reading and blogging
o action alert
o Wolf Blitzer of CNN
o Circus2Ira q
o pics
o her blog
o K5 diary section
o www.caat.o rg
o www.jubile eiraq.org
o www.newsta ndardnews.com
o www.inform ationclearinghouse.org
o www.backto iraq.com
o www.electr oniciraq.net
o www.opende mocracy.net
o www.wildfi rejo.org.uk
o Also by kpaul


Display: Sort:
Circus2Iraq: An English Activist in Iraq | 136 comments (89 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
Oh c'mon (1.61 / 13) (#27)
by sien on Thu May 20, 2004 at 10:32:59 PM EST

Iraq needs more clowns? WTF? Surely genius George and his disappearing weapons act is good enough. And his support act Tony Bliar, who made all his own credibility vanish. Why, they've even been doing acrobatics stuff and getting the Iraqis to make human pyramids.

one of the things that stood out, for me... (none / 3) (#33)
by kpaul on Thu May 20, 2004 at 11:13:55 PM EST

was when she capitalized 'The Photos' as if they'd taken on a life of their own. in my mind i suddenly imagined an old iraqi lady and others whispering amongst each other about 'The Photos' - 'have you seen them?' etc.


2014 Halloween Costumes

you. blogging. douche. (none / 3) (#88)
by Hide The Hamster on Sat May 22, 2004 at 11:59:09 PM EST

you.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
...squat...cafe...? o_O (2.00 / 5) (#35)
by Kasreyn on Thu May 20, 2004 at 11:49:37 PM EST

was an activist mainly on environmental issues in the UK when we organised an information squat café

Ok, I am having SERIOUSLY TWISTED mental images here. Someone please make them stop. What is it SUPPOSED to mean, so I can stop thinking about beret'd people squatting in a circle and comparing feces while writing haikus?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Bristol is that kind of place<NT> (none / 3) (#36)
by GenerationY on Thu May 20, 2004 at 11:59:00 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Bits (Gloucester Road) are but... (none / 2) (#44)
by idiot boy on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:12:31 AM EST

Nowhere else is really. Mostly, it's a mix of extremely well off 'burbs, Council Estates (some truely awful - Knowle), dilapidated private accomodation (afformentioned Gloucester Road) and this wierd yuppie ghetto called Clifton where you're hard pressed to find someone who hasn't been to public school.

Actually, now I think about it, most of the squatters have been to public school too.

Note for USIANs, don't misunderstand "public school".

+1

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

But as English cities go (none / 2) (#45)
by nebbish on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:15:12 AM EST

Bristol is more chilled out and hippyish than most.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

True [NT] (none / 0) (#47)
by idiot boy on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:26:31 AM EST



--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]
squat (none / 2) (#41)
by bloat on Fri May 21, 2004 at 05:37:31 AM EST

A squat is a disused building which is used by people without permission, often as a living space, but sometimes for other things.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
Also used by... (1.40 / 5) (#49)
by idiot boy on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:33:54 AM EST

Hippies to get really smelly by never bloody washing 'cos the Water Company turned the water off and they're too far from Mummie's place to get their washing done (launderette's are all owned by McDonalds and therefore verboten apparently).

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]
Excellent article (1.55 / 9) (#42)
by I Hate Yanks on Fri May 21, 2004 at 05:45:15 AM EST

I have a great deal of respect for Jo, and I've read her website regularly since I first found it.

It's refreshing to know that there are people who are working to make things better there, and to inform the rest of us how it really is.

Her journal entries are important because she doesn't write with an obvious bias. She simply reports what she sees. It's very very clear from her journals that things are going horribly wrong. I started reading it before the torture photos came out and it made me realise just how wrong things are over there.

She's right. We need to give our governments a big kick up the arse.


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.

She doesn't? (2.40 / 5) (#54)
by CENGEL3 on Fri May 21, 2004 at 01:17:27 PM EST

"Her journal entries are important because she doesn't write with an obvious bias."

Really, I find her to be incredibly biased. It makes it difficult for me to believe the accounts she purports to be relating.

For instance. She hasn't stated or reported one positive thing the U.S. millitary or government has done in Iraq. Even if the U.S. was as bad as the S.S. there aught to be at least 1 or 2 good things that could be reported about it.

For example....

 "I saw a G.I. give a chocolate bar to an Iraqi kid."

 "I saw a U.S. medic risk getting shot to give aid to an injurred Iraqi civilian."

 "The U.S. has built some hospitals and schools in areas Saddam had neglected because they weren't very loyal to him."

 "Some of the Kurds seem to think things are much better now."

At least some of these statements aught to be true. She must have at least encountered one positive aspect of the U.S. occupation or witnessed/heard 1 positive act by individual servicemen in her time there. Yet her picture of the U.S. government and millitary is so cartoonish that she might as well have them all wearing black hats and twirling waxed mustaches.
In short, she is not believable.


[ Parent ]

On the other hand (1.50 / 4) (#60)
by I Hate Yanks on Fri May 21, 2004 at 05:09:57 PM EST

There's a good reason why she's not reporting anything good about the USAF. She's mixing with the Iraqi people. She's seeing things as the Iraqi people are seeing them. She's not on a US "diplomatic tour".


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.
[ Parent ]

On the other OTHER hand (none / 0) (#68)
by Skywise on Sat May 22, 2004 at 12:02:03 AM EST

The only one on a good will tour is... her... Doing the good will.

Sort of dries up the funds and support if things are getting "better".

(Not implying that the US/UK are doing a fantasic job there... but everything's not a complete and total disaster, either)

[ Parent ]

hahaha (none / 0) (#100)
by Fuzzwah on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:30:53 AM EST

You should sign up, this post is excellent proof that you wear clowns shoes.

You're accusing a volunteer who's travelling through a war torn nation attempting to make children smile of only reporting the negitive stuff so that she can continue reaping in the massive profits of such a task?

That's some kick arse logic.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Yes I am. (none / 1) (#101)
by Skywise on Mon May 24, 2004 at 01:14:36 AM EST

Have you seen any other posts on here about the "evil" that Christian missionaries do?  It's the same thing.

Why couldn't she have her clown troop in her own country for the sick and poor there?  Doesn't she have sick and poor children in her own country?

No, she had to go there to DO something for THOSE sick and poor children.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy she's doing it and more power to her.  But she went there because she had a vision of a nation being repressed by an invading country and she wanted to counter that.  She's going to continue to see the same bias because it she didn't it would invalidate her reasons for being there.

[ Parent ]

weight of numbers + worst conditions (none / 0) (#102)
by Fuzzwah on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:11:05 AM EST

The sick and poor of the UK have at least some support from society already. The sick and poor of the UK aren't sick and poor because their daddy's were shot in the head by soldiers.

The "vision" of a nation being repressed by an invading country? You can just lose the first three words off that sentence..... These people are being repressed by an invading country. That's her opinion. Your opinion is that it's "just a vision".

Go back to watching Fox News, I think they've got a new vision for you to base your opinion on. With this opinion you can feel supieror to people who are actually out acting on their opinions and attempting to make a difference.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#104)
by Skywise on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:39:06 AM EST

I'm out making a difference and so is my country.  But thanks for your superiour reasoning about what my opinion is.

[ Parent ]
Hehe (none / 1) (#129)
by kurioszyn on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:48:06 AM EST

"Go back to watching Fox News"

As opposed to you going back to BBC and feeling all superior about it.

In'tt that something ?

[ Parent ]

Practical Impossibility (none / 2) (#108)
by CENGEL3 on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:33:26 PM EST

It is a practical impossibility that nothing good is being done by the Coalition Forces or that none of the "Iraqi People" see anything good being done by Coalition Forces, even if on the level of individual servicemen.

Again, even if the behavior of the Coalition Forces were as bad as the SS this would not be the case. This should be evident to anyone that has made even a cursory study of history.

Secondly, all the polls show that the view of the Coalition among the "Iraqi People" is more then 50% positive. Additionly, which "Iraqi People" are you talking about? Are you saying that the Kurds (for example) have a negative view of the Coalition Forces..... because that goes directly against virtualy every public statement that Kurdish leaders and the Kurdish media have made. They are something like %20 of the population of Iraq, you know..... or do they not count as part of the "Iraqi People" in your and Jo's book because they happen to have a positive view of the U.S. ?

At the very least some positive things should be evident to her and should appear in her reporting IF SHE WERE BEING HONEST. The fact that they don't.... and that everything U.S. is presented as a cartoonish characature of a villian tells me that her reports aren't very representative of the actual situation.

[ Parent ]

Doesn't even happen anymore (none / 2) (#61)
by fenix down on Fri May 21, 2004 at 05:26:16 PM EST

"I saw a G.I. give a chocolate bar to an Iraqi kid."

They don't let them do that.  They're not allowed to stop the hummer to help some bleeding guy at a car wreck in case he's trying to blow them up.  Stopping to give free food to kids isn't even close.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 1) (#99)
by Fuzzwah on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:26:56 AM EST

I find it easier to believe that someone who is actually over there is reporting what they see than write her off as biased because she's not mentioning anything that you consider she aught to be seeing.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

+1 FP (none / 2) (#46)
by nebbish on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:18:47 AM EST

I think I commented a while back taking issue with the Iraqi people's need for circuses full of hippies, but after reading this I've changed my mind. Well written and presented too.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Agreed but.... (none / 1) (#48)
by idiot boy on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:32:05 AM EST

The hippy still managed to get a bit of hippieness in there whining about buying local etc. How buying mutant greenhouse grown straberries from Hampshire is going to help Iraqis is totally beyond me.

I feel a story about why eating food grown 3000 miles away is a good thing for the environment.

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

Better path (none / 3) (#53)
by ProfessorBooty on Fri May 21, 2004 at 12:24:57 PM EST

To me at least, these sorts of interviews would be better discribing to what degree the coalition and its contractors have rebuilt iraq, rather than just focusing on what "naughty" thing the UK/Us has done today.

Since the media has rarely reported on this, I would expect to hear more on this topic from someone who is actually there.

Rebuilding iraq's infrastructure is a subject which needs more focus.

Currently, isn't the US paying for that right now since the oil fields are not in the greatest of shape?

I like to know that... (none / 0) (#66)
by vqp on Fri May 21, 2004 at 08:27:59 PM EST

And how is the "civil government" is managing the oil extraction business


happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
This Would Be News... (1.23 / 17) (#64)
by thelizman on Fri May 21, 2004 at 06:42:51 PM EST

...if it weren't yet another leftist interviewing yet another leftist who is doing their best to present a skewed picture without actually telling a bold faced lie, when the fact is they haven't a clue about the total picture on the ground.

If I wanted to see this, I'd turn CNN on.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
for the record, i'm an 'uppist' (none / 2) (#65)
by kpaul on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:05:44 PM EST

heh. ;)

anyway, if you haven't noticed the little clues in the piece and poll, you can help guide the next stage of this interview.

what do you want to ask her? i can't guarantee she'll keep answering, but i'm going to try to keep it up.

are you game?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 2) (#109)
by thelizman on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:54:34 PM EST

As I've said, I'm already convinced of her bias. I'd rather hear from someone with the opposite bias. Perhaps we could find a Halliburton worker, and ask them what its like to wear a ballistic vest and kevlar helmet in 100 degree heat while trying to repair a water treatment plant, but that's not your problem; it's mine.

Lets try these questions:
  1. You talked about the lack of an "anti-war vote" in the US and UK, yet leading up to, during, and after the war there were huge demonstrations against the war hosted by groups such as International ANSWER. Polls show that 52% of supporters for John Kerry cite the war as a major issue behind their support of Kerry, but despite this an overwhelming majority continue to support the war in the US, even as numbers decline. On what basis do you consider there to be "no real anti-war vote". Do you think it's disingenous to propose that the will of the majority should be subverted by a minority, as you do when you say "the only answer is to take back the power that's been delegated to them and make the changes ourselves"?
  2. You lambast corporations for "sucking Iraqis' blood through reconstruction contracts". Since these contracts are being paid for by US taxpayer dollars, how does the reconstruction do anything but benefit Iraqi's by creating an infrastructure on which the future stability of their country depends?
  3. Has your organization visited any of the 600 schools, 70 mosques, or 75 medical facilities that are receiving or have received renovations by the Coalition Provisional Authority? Could you comment on the standards of those facilities?
  4. As a foreign entity in Iraqi borders during an "unstable situation", have you been the target of any attacks?
  5. A new Iraqi Dinar has been issued and in circulation for some time. Is the Dinar the predominant currency, or are Iraqi's still using the currency of its neighbors and the US?
  6. Six of Baghdad's 37 city councilman are women. How is this seachange in womens enfranchisement playing out among the Iraqi people?

--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
i like that idea re: haliburton worker... (none / 0) (#119)
by kpaul on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:29:16 PM EST

how to find one? i'm sure with the 'net the word could get to someone?

also, i like some of your questions for Jo...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Odds are (none / 1) (#134)
by needless on Wed Jun 02, 2004 at 09:49:54 PM EST

that a Haliburton employee would soon become a former employee were he/she to tell you anything, since their entire perspective hinges on being an employee of the company.  Most corps (and I would imagine especially Haliburton) have various stipulations about what you say.  You could do an anonymous interview, but then there will always be the people howling that you made it all up.

You could maybe find a former employee, but their opinions are likely skewed from those still working as well.

[ Parent ]

well, i haven't heard back from her... (none / 0) (#135)
by kpaul on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 11:01:16 PM EST

perhaps the project is dead in the water... ;(

oh well. ;)

thanks for the thoughts, tho.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

A few questions for Jo Wilding: (2.75 / 16) (#67)
by Lode Runner on Fri May 21, 2004 at 11:21:35 PM EST

1) Rightwingers aren't shy about labelling those like you [Jo Wilding] as "useful idiots", and that's probably unfair. But are you willing to acknowledge that many of your actions and positions were effectively pro-Saddam?

[Context: By opposing the sanctions you opposed the UN's mechanism for containing Saddam; even if I accept your claim that the sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that figure is dwarfed by the number of Iraqis Saddam killed. By opposing the invasion, you opposed the only viable mean to remove Saddam's regime from power. How else could the world leverage out the (petro-rich) Ba'athists? UN sanctions? A stern letter? What?]

2) Let's say you had your way and lifted the sanctions and stopped the war. Would you want to be a Kurd or Arab Shiite living in Saddam and Uday's, erm, I mean Jo Wilding's, Iraq?

[NB: stating that the US and UK armed Saddam via loan guarantees may address the issue of historical guilt, but doesn't solve the immediate problem posed by Saddam.]

3) As a student of jurisprudence and a future lawyer, do you recognize Sharia (in all its mysogynist glory) as a valid legal system and would you participate in a trial that took place under its auspices?

[You don't have to answer any of the above questions if believe your responses will jeopardize your safety.]

Thanks for your time

So, yeah, kpaul, continue the interview; but if you don't want to throw Jo Wilding anything but lazy softballs, then please take the discussion back to indymedia. I welcome revisions to my question as long as the core arguments remain.

well, folks... (none / 1) (#69)
by kpaul on Sat May 22, 2004 at 01:10:31 AM EST

what do you think of Lode Runner's questions? personally, maybe they're too far opposite the 'softball' - i.e. a very fast 'fast ball' or a curve ball even?

thoughts?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

I think they're (1.62 / 8) (#70)
by smg on Sat May 22, 2004 at 03:39:54 AM EST

fucking stupid. They're not hard questions, just leading, irrelevant and loaded with right-wing values.


[ Parent ]
he may have a point (none / 3) (#71)
by anmo on Sat May 22, 2004 at 03:46:22 AM EST

I don't think any war opposer can escape those questions. I would like to see what aswers can be given as I am struggling with this myself. There seems to be lots of reluctance to accept the fact that Iraq without Saddam is better than Iraq with Saddam. I would ask her this: why is it so difficult for Iraqis to admit that Saddam gone is a  Good Thing, despite other (bad) things that came with his removal?

[ Parent ]
the thing is... (none / 2) (#76)
by kpaul on Sat May 22, 2004 at 12:47:34 PM EST

that's not the direction *i* want to take it in - i want more on the circus and making people happy.

anyone to back me up on this, though?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

i hear ya (none / 2) (#82)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 22, 2004 at 07:42:22 PM EST

I'm not unsympathetic to your wish to focus on the positive--who wouldn't want to learn more about efforts to bring joy to Iraqi children?--but from Wilding's answers to your questions thus far, the interview has taken a decidely political turn.

Q: What can we do to help?
A: Shove your foot up George Bush's arse!

I wonder what she would make of people like Chief Wiggles, whose project, Operation Give, has airlifted tons of toys from the USA to Iraq. Hey, why don't you ask her?

[ Parent ]

that's maybe a better one, me thinks... (none / 0) (#83)
by kpaul on Sat May 22, 2004 at 08:33:26 PM EST

i do see what you're saying. perhaps some of my anti-war stance came off in the orig. round of questions.

can k5 as a whole come up with a better second set?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

ouch (none / 1) (#85)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 22, 2004 at 08:59:43 PM EST

can k5 as a whole come up with a better second set?

18 months ago I would've said yes and 3 years ago you'd be modded down for asking such a dumb question. Most of the intellectually and emotionally mature users, however, have since departed. The present population could never carry out this discussion.

[ Parent ]

it beats (none / 0) (#113)
by Battle Troll on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:56:14 PM EST

The California porn store that sent dildos.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
did that actually happen? (none / 0) (#122)
by Lode Runner on Mon May 24, 2004 at 09:33:02 PM EST

and did they include batteries?

[ Parent ]
it was in /Harper's/ in March, IIRC (none / 0) (#123)
by Battle Troll on Mon May 24, 2004 at 09:51:40 PM EST

'Readings' section, sometime this year. I don't have another source for it. The letters are a scream; I devoutly hope they're real.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
this is the one i liked... (none / 0) (#126)
by kpaul on Tue May 25, 2004 at 07:20:08 PM EST

i'm adding it to my notes. still haven't heard from her, though.

and yes, i'll admit her POV was a bit harsh. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Contradictory. (none / 1) (#74)
by Znork on Sat May 22, 2004 at 11:34:32 AM EST

I'd suggest the questioner go through the Wikipedia entries on Iraq, Saddam, Sharia and Kurds (and the other ethnic groups of Iraq), before rephrasing his questions.

As is, they merely reflect a fairly biased and rather uninformed worldview, and are hardly worth asking anyone.

They're not hardball questions, more oddball or screwball.

[ Parent ]

Be just a little less specific please -nt (none / 1) (#80)
by czth on Sat May 22, 2004 at 05:58:53 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Very well. (none / 2) (#90)
by Znork on Sun May 23, 2004 at 10:24:55 AM EST

1) The sanctions and the '91 gulf war were much of the driving force of the repressiveness of the Baath party and Saddams regime. Much of the post gulf war killing was directly to put down rebellions triggered and supported by external forces.

The pre-91 Baath regime can also be credited with dragging Iraq into the modern age, instituting everything from public schools, hospitals, westernizing law, gender equality, revolutionizing farming and bringing electricity to most of the country.

There was a reason for the (rare) Western _and_ Soviet support of the Baathists, especially against Iran, which threatened with the spread of Islamic revolution.

While none of that excuses the repression, the picture is not as simple a matter as the Baathists being 'evil' as such, nor should the understanding of the Iraq situation be limited by such misapprehensions.

Even post '91, the western stance has been uncertain, with Turkey opposing Kurdish separatism, and the other mideast nations being scared of an Iran-Iraq axis of Shia fundamentalism. The combination ended up with implicit support of Saddam as ruler, with most of the world still effectively 'pro-Saddam'.

Saddam's regime wasnt removed, not because it wasnt possible to accomplish it, but because the west and other nations basically did not want Saddam removed.

The current change of hearts did not occur until when the neocons got into positions to influence the agenda. The method of invasion did not have as much to do with removing Saddam (which could have been accomplished in other ways), as with establishing a stronger military presence in the mideast.

So, as the sanctions and the implicit support of Saddam were responsible for much of the death, as the sanctions were not aimed at removing Saddam, and as the invasion was not primarily to remove Saddam, the context is flawed.

2) The Kurds dont want to live in anyones Iraq, they want a Kurdistan. And the Shia have also been separatist and/or revolutionary for a long time, aligned in parts with the Iranian idea of islamic revolution. Which makes the question pretty much pointless.

3) Sharia is not 'a' legal system. Sharia can be implemented in any number of ways, so asking such a question without specifying implementation would be pointless.

Still, one can find it rather ironic that when there is an intervention in the mideast, it's against the only country that doesnt have a Sharia based legal system, and with the likely effect of instituting one.

[ Parent ]

Pedant...and not a very good one either... (none / 2) (#94)
by SPYvSPY on Sun May 23, 2004 at 12:14:45 PM EST

1) He said "pro-Saddam". Saddam became his own political force when he effectively coopted Baathism from the poor saps that brought him to power.

2) The Kurds suffered greatly under Saddam. The fact that they are not entirely satisfied with remaining under an Iraqi leadership in no way proves that they would have been happier if Saddam had not been deposed. Your logic is atrocious.

3) Given the context, it's obvious that he meant 'Sharia' in the sense of a legal system. Even you figured that out.

Take your condescending nonsense elsewhere. We all promise to read Wikis by uninformed jackasses like you on our spare time.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Rhetoric (none / 1) (#106)
by Znork on Mon May 24, 2004 at 03:07:18 AM EST

1) Oh, indeed. And removing Saddam became necessary, and a good thing. However, the context of the question is grossly flawed, as the sanctions were not 'anti-Saddam', and their goals of containment had arguably been accomplished a long time ago, and as the invasion itself was not the only way to remove him, but rather a desired part of a regional strategic goal.

As such, opposition to both the continued sanctions and the invasion were not effectively pro-Saddam by necessity.

2) The Kurds suffered greatly under Saddam.

And the Kurds suffer greatly in Turkey. And the Shia suffer greatly under Bremer.

The question is mere rhetoric, no more valid than 'Lets say you had your way and the US launched an invasion. Would you like to be an innocent Arab Shiite getting rounded up in a raid on insurrectionists and getting tortured in US run jails'?

Such a question has few possible answers and the intent is merely to get the questioners point across.

3) Given the context, it's obvious that he meant 'Sharia' in the sense of a legal system.

But Sharia is not 'a' legal system. It can be implemented in a legal system, but the various implementations of it vary vastly. Without specifying a specific implementation of a Sharia based legal code, the question is pointless, as the variation is too great to make a comment on it. Do you mean Canadian Sharia? Do you mean Iranian? Saudi? Nigerian? Sharia with liberal interpretors? Or with hardline clerics?

It's like asking 'do you recognize western law (in all its witchburning glory)' as a valid legal system?

Again a rhetoric question framed in a way as to make it pointless and without any interesting answer.

[ Parent ]

Painful to continue this... (none / 1) (#107)
by SPYvSPY on Mon May 24, 2004 at 08:35:17 AM EST

...you lost the plot somewhere, I guess. Or maybe you're always this unintelligible.
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[ Parent ]

Uhm... (3.00 / 4) (#110)
by CENGEL3 on Mon May 24, 2004 at 01:19:41 PM EST

 No, no they really weren't. The Shia revolts following Gulf War I (not neccesarly the sanctions) certainly drew the loudest and most visable reaction from Saddam (from a Western standpoint). But the Baath Regime can be credited with opressing and killing Kurds, Shiites and other political opponents stretching far back beyond even when Saddam came into power in '79.

The Kurds have been wanting to be independent since before Saddam came into power. There has been repression and pograms against the Shia since at least the beggining of the Iran-Iraq war... and the Baath regime has been an opressive, facist, Sunni only club pretty much since it's inception.

The sanctions did NOT cause any of these situations... so don't even try to play that game. The only thing they really did was help hinder Saddams ability to rebuild his millitary.... which is exactly what they were intended to do. They also had the unfortunate side effect of causing great deprivations among the Iraqi people.... but the diversion of funds from the Oil for Food progam to Saddam's own personal coffers along with those of corrupt U.N. bearucrats is at least as responsible for that.

"The method of invasion did not have as much to do with removing Saddam (which could have been accomplished in other ways)" . Tell me WHICH other ways, oh great Carnac?  Assasination, yes I'm quite sure no one ever tried that one....and even if they could have succeded I'm sure the next Baathist in line would be so much gentler then Saddam. You've been playing Splinter Cell too much, methinks.

"There was a reason for the (rare) Western _and_ Soviet support of the Baathists, especially against Iran, which threatened with the spread of Islamic revolution."

Don't gloss this statement over. There was nothing "rare" about Soviet support of the Baathists. It was massive, far predated the Iran/Iraq war .... and continued afterwards. The vast majority of Iraq's arsenal is Soviet...and not paid for. Essentialy Iraq was a Soviet satilitie with an independent streak (just like Iran under the Shah was ours). It's "Western" support consisted almost entirely of the French. The U.S./U.K. certainly did not share Frances interest in this regard. The Baathists recieved minimal support from the U.S. during the Iran/Iraq war....and ONLY after it became evident that they were loosing the war.... and ONLY to the extent required to cause a stalemate.

The U.S. certainly would have liked to intervene against the Baathists during other periods.... however doing so prior to the fall of the Soviet Union would have been the equivalent of invading East Germany... i.e., it would have started WWIII.

[ Parent ]

Good questions, but... (none / 0) (#75)
by bakuretsu on Sat May 22, 2004 at 11:35:00 AM EST

In #1, I would not phrase it in that way, saying "effectively pro-Saddam." More important than eliciting an admission of that sort, I would want to  hear her response to the CONTEXT, e.g., what would she have done other than sanctions and other than war to contain Saddam and/or control the human rights issues she discusses in the original interview.

#2 certainly doesn't have to be phrased so sarcastically. Let's try to keep this professional. Throwing a "fast ball" question doesn't mean you have to be condescending. Leave off the part about "Jo Wilding's Iraq" and merely ask whether she would be comfortable living in an Iraq post-war, post-sanctions.

I'm not sure what #3 is trying to determine, but it seems a valid question. I think many of the conservative US hegemonists would answer "no" to that question, and maybe that's part of the problem.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

For the purposes of this discussion (none / 1) (#97)
by Lode Runner on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:29:20 PM EST

assume that I'm critical of Sharia because it represses the most basic freedoms of expression and because of its treatment of women and homosexuals.

But, hey, who am I--after all, I'm not a Muslim let alone a scholar of Fiqh--to judge an ancient tradition? Maybe apostasy really does merit the death penality.

[ Parent ]

um. (none / 0) (#81)
by pb on Sat May 22, 2004 at 07:22:32 PM EST

"even if I accept your claim that the sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that figure is dwarfed by the number of Iraqis Saddam killed."

Don't you think she'd oppose both of these? You can't take Saddam killing Iraqis and use it as a justification for us to kill them too. Or hey, what do I know, maybe you can.

Who knows, maybe in your binary world there were only two courses of action--let Saddam run Iraq into the ground, or take over and run it into the ground ourselves. But I think it would have been possible to have kept inspecting for weapons (and found none!), lifted the sanctions, and supported the Iraqi people.

As for Saddam himself, maybe the CIA could have looked into that. At the least, they certainly could have looked into getting some actual intelligence operatives into Iraq!
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Even if I were (none / 1) (#84)
by Lode Runner on Sat May 22, 2004 at 08:48:48 PM EST

of the manichean pursuasion, I wouldn't agree with your premises.

Before the war, most thoughtful opponents of Bush's plan argued that Saddam would eventually acquire nukes (etc) but he could be contained because he'd be acting within the paradigm of mutually assured destruction. War proponents argued that Saddam probably wasn't a rational actor like Stalin or Khrushchev; and even if he were rational, he was sufficiently weak that he might be forced into a position wherein he would give WMD to irrational parties (viz Islamist crazies).

Intelligence agencies have traditionally been unable to infiltrate police states.

[ Parent ]

-1, Uses paradigm [nt] (none / 0) (#91)
by r0b on Sun May 23, 2004 at 10:32:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Logic doesn't matter (none / 0) (#86)
by duffbeer703 on Sat May 22, 2004 at 10:39:37 PM EST

This guy is a self-described activist and social justice advocate.

He cares... that's enough.


[ Parent ]

Trying to make a name for himself... (none / 0) (#95)
by SPYvSPY on Sun May 23, 2004 at 12:18:10 PM EST

...trying to force the square peg of meaning into the round hole of life. Look what happened to all the hippies--they're living in the OC, driving a Prius at breakneck speed and they're on the South Beach diet. Too bad we have to suffer the growing pains of every generation.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

this guy? (none / 0) (#118)
by kpaul on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:25:18 PM EST

yo, you talking to *me*?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Fair Questions... (none / 0) (#93)
by SPYvSPY on Sun May 23, 2004 at 12:07:50 PM EST

...but I doubt you'll get far with kpaul, given that he started down this road by writing a letter to Wolf Blitzer for letting Darin Kagan say mean things to Al Jazeera. This whole article gets a -1, Head-In-The-Sacharrine.
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[ Parent ]

I feel your pain (none / 0) (#96)
by Lode Runner on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:11:33 PM EST

and the ball's in kpaul's court now. I've yet to see any of the questions I posed answered by vocal opponents of the war. At this point, they'd rather gloss over those thorny issues and focus on prisoner abuse.

[ Parent ]
ok, i'll bite... (none / 0) (#117)
by kpaul on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:24:05 PM EST

i haven't heard back from her. will try again this week. you had another question, i think, that i might use/ask.

re: your questions:

1) 1) Rightwingers aren't shy about labelling those like you [Jo Wilding] as "useful idiots", and that's probably unfair. But are you willing to acknowledge that many of your actions and positions were effectively pro-Saddam? [Context: By opposing the sanctions you opposed the UN's mechanism for containing Saddam; even if I accept your claim that the sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that figure is dwarfed by the number of Iraqis Saddam killed. By opposing the invasion, you opposed the only viable mean to remove Saddam's regime from power. How else could the world leverage out the (petro-rich) Ba'athists? UN sanctions? A stern letter? What?]

i wasn't pro-Saddam. i go back farther, though, and that picture of Rummy shaking Saddam's hand and smiling is etched in my mind. sure, Iran was the 'bigger' enemy at the time, but why effectively support someone you know is so bad?

working with the lesser of two evils for good? well, why did we end up invading iraq and not iran, then?

2) Let's say you had your way and lifted the sanctions and stopped the war. Would you want to be a Kurd or Arab Shiite living in Saddam and Uday's, erm, I mean Jo Wilding's, Iraq?

[NB: stating that the US and UK armed Saddam via loan guarantees may address the issue of historical guilt, but doesn't solve the immediate problem posed by Saddam.]

those in power should just be honest about it - that is, say, openly, "we're about to enter ww4 and we want bases in the theatre so the battle isn't at home. also the oil for any impending battle.

sure, you can China doesn't have enough tech or that Russia doesn't have enough money or troops - what about them together, though?

i think what we're seeing now in the ME and SE asia are the 'opening moves' of an even larger global conflict.

unlike the first two world wars (and the cold war to an extent) we have our 'pieces' on the 'board' first whereas in the past we were usually last to get into the battle, strong and fresh.

i guess what i'm saying is just be honest about it. saddam wasn't our biggest threat in the world at the time of DS2. it was one of the weaker ones after afghanistan, though. (which we haven't rebuilt yet either? who's gonna pay for all these countries we invade? my tax dollars? or will we abandon them like we have in the past, which caused part of the mess we find ourselves in?)

3) As a student of jurisprudence and a future lawyer, do you recognize Sharia (in all its mysogynist glory) as a valid legal system and would you participate in a trial that took place under its auspices?

[You don't have to answer any of the above questions if believe your responses will jeopardize your safety.]

i'm not even gonna try this one. maybe none of the anti-war crowd answered any of your questions because they were kinda specific to Jo (and a little flamey and condescending to boot...)

anyway...

as for the prisoner abuse, i've been following it since afghanistan. it's happened in most wars? what i don't like about the current instance is that the lower ranks are taking the fall for everyone higher up. or at least it reads that way if you look into it at all rather than worry about american idol or any of its clone shows...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

here we go again (none / 0) (#127)
by Lode Runner on Tue May 25, 2004 at 09:34:09 PM EST

1.) There was a time during the early-mid '80s when everybody--except Iran and Israel--supported Saddam. Most knowledgeable commentators chalk this up to the exigencies of the Cold War and Iran's Islamic Revolution. After the Cold War ended and the Ayatollahs' capacity for waging war was diminished, there were no justifications for taking any actions that would prolong Saddam's tenure. Yet even when Saddam was universally as a nasty guy there were a number of organizations whose actions benifited his regime. I want to press them on their objectively pro-Saddam positions.

As for Rumsfeld's complicity in arming Saddam, I can only say that's all the more reason those who backed him should take it upon themselves to remove him. That his most generous supporters (Russia, France, Germany) all vehemently opposed his ouster on the grounds that an invasion would be irresponsible is nothing less than outrageous.

2.) North Korea is what happens when a "contained" Saddam is left to fester.

This isn't Command & Conquer: The Great Game. Petroleum serves economic purposes far beyond those of war. The only long-term solution here is to kick the oil habit and starve the oil sheiks into sensibility. Could Bush or Kerry or Nader do this or even want to? No. . .

Maybe my questions are somewhat confrontational; and I'm sorry if you're insulted. But a quick glance at accusations Jo Wilding makes in her weblog lead me to wonder if she can take it as well as she can dish it out.

Prisoner abuse is a symptom of a number of broad problems our society isn't ready to face. Those problems are shared by the Europeans and Arabs who've been carping about Abu Ghraib.

[ Parent ]

SUVs (none / 0) (#128)
by kpaul on Tue May 25, 2004 at 09:59:49 PM EST

i called the owner of one an osama lover once. probably wrong of me. but seriously, why must these city urban people drive around in MILITARY size vehicles that get 5 or 6 mpg?

and yeah, everyone else was supporting saddam so it was 'ok'... yeah, i buy it.

i do like your point about us taking him out because we put him into power and kept him there (ala usama when the 'russians' were the bad guys to beat...) i don't agree with it per se, but i see where you're coming from. it just seems like an excuse to me.

i just wish Bush and Co. would be more honest and up front about it. or let Powell speak more. i gained a lot of respect for that man last week. i mean,we all know saddam *had* WMD because we gave some to him didn't we? i imagine it went to syria or N. afrika.

bush should be on the world stage saying, 'ok, look, we've screwed up in the past ... a *lot* ... and now we want to work with everyone else to fix the picture.

america tries to take the moral high ground, but have you seen the morals in this country?

this is a rant. really bad day. i apologize. please try to reconstruct or deconstruct as you see fit...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Right ... (none / 0) (#130)
by kurioszyn on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:56:00 AM EST

I am not going to argue about America screwing up because the jury is still out on this one, especially considering various rarely reported facts like 3 million Iraqi kids being immunized against various disease or 3000 completely remodeled schools etc ...

But I will submit to you the idea that attempting to do something is a whole lot better than doing nothing.
And that is what so called world (UN) been doing for the last 10 years as far as Iraq is concerned.

One big pompous nothing ...

[ Parent ]

My Answers (none / 1) (#103)
by bjlhct on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:35:08 AM EST

  1. - Yes, but Saddam did better than the US is doing. He did not "gas the Kurds." He modernized Iraq, provided free health care, made universities and factories, and provided electricity. He forced conservative Muslims to accept social progress too. The US effectively killed FAR more than Saddam.
  2. - No, but neither would I want to be one now.
  3. - No, but neither do I recognize the legal systems of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
Go back to Newsmax.


*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
tell it to the Kurds of Halabja (none / 0) (#111)
by Lode Runner on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:00:42 PM EST

You forgot to mention that Saddam cared deeply about global warming, which is why he built that one nuclear power plant.

[ Parent ]
I would. (none / 0) (#114)
by bjlhct on Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:23:51 PM EST

But I can't, now, and neither can you.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
why not? (none / 0) (#120)
by Lode Runner on Mon May 24, 2004 at 09:23:02 PM EST

you realize that there were survivors, right?

[ Parent ]
The war's already happened. (none / 0) (#125)
by bjlhct on Mon May 24, 2004 at 11:51:45 PM EST

So it accomplishes nothing. That's my point.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
what a stupid thing to write (none / 0) (#131)
by Lode Runner on Thu May 27, 2004 at 07:14:25 PM EST

And you don't have a point.

[ Parent ]
Alright then. (none / 0) (#132)
by bjlhct on Thu May 27, 2004 at 08:00:42 PM EST

I'll be back when you graduate from third grade.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
A darwin award in the works. (2.33 / 6) (#72)
by V on Sat May 22, 2004 at 05:19:33 AM EST

NT
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
Finally... (none / 0) (#73)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat May 22, 2004 at 07:32:26 AM EST

... an article on K5 that talks about Iraq and generates some interesting debate.

Good stuff!

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה

Reenactment of Achmed the Angry Iraqi Clown (2.52 / 21) (#77)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Sat May 22, 2004 at 02:54:06 PM EST

          Hey, hey kids! Why did the Iraqi chicken cross the street?
          To detonate itself under the wheels of the Infidel occupiers! 
             /
__/\/\/\__  /
\   ___  / /
 \ |@ @   
 / |  O
 \ |<==> 
 /_\___/


Is that lisa simpson? (none / 1) (#89)
by noogie on Sun May 23, 2004 at 07:50:28 AM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
[ Parent ]
It's a clown... (none / 3) (#92)
by Zerotime on Sun May 23, 2004 at 11:00:51 AM EST

...being burnt alive by Iraqi militants. They use humor to try and distance themselves from the pain.

---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
-1 Iraq [nt] (1.25 / 8) (#78)
by Jed Smith on Sat May 22, 2004 at 04:24:16 PM EST


_____
K5 is dead. Steve Ballmer made the most insightful comment on a story. -- jw32767
+1, clowns (none / 2) (#79)
by kpaul on Sat May 22, 2004 at 04:48:00 PM EST

== 0, abstain?

oh well. thanks for voting and letting us know why.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

-1 (1.00 / 11) (#87)
by Hide The Hamster on Sat May 22, 2004 at 11:54:08 PM EST

IT'S A MOTHERFUCKING KPAUL A.K.A. "KING BLOGGER" ARTICLE


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Summary (1.00 / 6) (#98)
by n8f8 on Sun May 23, 2004 at 09:48:55 PM EST

I hate the UK. I hate the USA. Everything they do is evil. I undermine all efforts to make things better in Iraq. I somehow only ever hear other people who believe the same.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Thank you so much. (none / 1) (#105)
by bjlhct on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:39:14 AM EST

Thank you for your constructive comment. You have now informed all of us, with a stunning piece of investigative journalism, of how the interviewee just hates America and freedom. You have successfully convinced me that it's that, instead of just hatred of brainless, spineless trolls like you.


*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
that's rich, (none / 1) (#112)
by Lode Runner on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:05:27 PM EST

coming from you.

[ Parent ]
People get the government they deserve. (none / 0) (#115)
by bjlhct on Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:51:27 PM EST

And people like you are the reason I say that.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (none / 0) (#116)
by kpaul on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:11:00 PM EST

2 Corinthians 3:17


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

hey there (none / 0) (#121)
by Lode Runner on Mon May 24, 2004 at 09:30:26 PM EST

Have you gotten around to sending my questions along to Jo Wilding? No rush. . . just wondering.

[ Parent ]
have you read anything i've written to you (none / 0) (#124)
by kpaul on Mon May 24, 2004 at 11:31:16 PM EST

in comments?

just wondering.

;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Honestly (none / 1) (#133)
by epepke on Fri May 28, 2004 at 04:45:35 AM EST

I'd have a much more positive reaction to this article if there were more (or in fact any) expression of the joy of putting a smile on the face of a suffering Iraqi child. That would be good.

As it is, it comes across as a cynical manipulation. I've been a do-gooder at various times, and there is a certain ebulience and evanescence to it that is entirely lacking here.

I do not assert that she lacks these qualities, as I do not know, but they are absent from your presentation. In your next set of questions, I would suggest that you try to elicit some of this.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Read her blog (none / 1) (#136)
by shomon2 on Fri Jun 04, 2004 at 05:59:29 AM EST

It's linked in in the main article. - wildfirejo it's called. Go to the bits when she was touring with the circus, look at the photos section. Read the last posts she wrote before leaving Iraq, as she said goodbye to her friends and met again with some of the people she'd helped. Read about when she got kidnapped and was the whole time worrying about her friend who was kept in a different room, or worrying about the teenage mujahedeen kidnapper who cheerfully made her a cup of tea. Jo is very human and very well known here in Bristol(where I live) - can't wait to see her speak and have a chat now that she's done what she's done. I really don't think she's lacking in humanity. She's touring the states now, so if that's where you are, you might have a chance of meeting her too.

Yes, you're right, next time they could ask her more about the various people she met or about the way she felt. Personally I think her accounts of life in Iraq are made all the more effective through the way she talks about her own life and friends she made there rather than the more impersonal stuff which she inevitably has to say when asked generic questions. And I'm sure she'd be happy to help you out if you wanted to get in touch with or help some of the many people she met there. I remember reading about a girl in university who wanted jo to send books and research papers so that she could write a thesis.

There's all sorts of help that can be given to individual people or organisations there - and a read of her blog will show you this too.

Ale

[ Parent ]

Circus2Iraq: An English Activist in Iraq | 136 comments (89 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
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