Brown says he traveled to Iraq in 1998 in order to see the effects of sanctions. He says he made two speaking tours of college campuses to denounce sanctions. When he tried to return to Iraq with a Chicago group called "Voices in the Wilderness," Brown says he was told by Iraqi government officials he could not speak about Saddam's "horrendous human rights record, (his) involvement with weapons of mass destruction (or) the dictatorial nature of the regime. We were allowed to speak only of one thing: the deprivations suffered by ordinary Iraqis under the sanctions regime."
Brown says he realized this was pure Baath Party propaganda: "As I came to see this as a complicity and collaboration with one of the most abusive dictatorships in the world, I tried to get the rest of my group to acknowledge that our close relationship with the regime damaged our credibility. I failed to persuade them, so I quit." His "Confessions of an Anti-Sanctions Activist," published in the summer 2003 issue of Middle East Quarterly, is sober reading for people who believe the United States is the problem and that evil people will be nice to us if we are nice to them.
It is too bad that Tom Fox and his three colleagues did not have an epiphany similar to that of Charles Brown.
Peace "activism" may make its practitioners feel good, or validate their belief that they are doing the will of God, but evil cannot be accommodated. Evil must be defeated if peace on earth is to exist. That Fox and his colleagues could not, or would not see this, is most tragic of all.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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