A. Roy – Back the Iraqi “resistance”

(via Madhoo) Arundhati Roy, faithfully carried by Al Jazeera -

Award-winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy, who will be presented this week with an Australian peace prize, has defended her views that people should join what she calls the Iraqi resistance. …In a television programme screened by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) last month, she called on people to “become the Iraqi resistance”. …She said activists and resistance movements “need to understand that Iraq is engaging in the frontlines of empire and we have to throw our weight behind the Iraqi resistance”.

Of course, Roy’s support is merely emotional, she certainly didn’t mean to incite violence -

[I]wasn’t urging them to join the army, but to become the resistance, to become part of what ought to be non-violent resistance against a very violent occupation,” she said, adding that the term resistance needed to be redefined. “We can’t assume that resistance means terrorism because that would be playing right into the hands of the occupation,” she said.


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14 thoughts on “A. Roy – Back the Iraqi “resistance”

  1. If the Palestinians had embraced Gandhi style non violence they would have had their state by now.

    I wish that Arundhati roy, instead of inciting Iraqi’s, would campaign for justice for the victims of religious genocide in India. But I guess that is not glamourous enough for her, less thrilling than being a cheerleader for the “global resistance against Empire” and supping with Chomsky and her fellow “resistors”

  2. A letter from a Marine in Fallujah outlines some of the tactics Roy’s “resistance” are employing -

    These so-called “insurgents” are the worst kind of freakin’ cowards I have ever seen. I thought the Somalis were bad, but at least they had some drug-induced courage. The battalion adjacent to us had a hit on a damn school bus in the AO the other day, targeting elementary school kids of junior new Iraqi govt officials. Their Ops Officer told me the Marines were having to pick up kids arms and legs from off the tops of buildings. Bet you’re not seeing this crap on CNN?

    But, she won’t get as many Western newspaper headlines & peace awards complaining about this stuff.

  3. reistor?

    Maybe she doesn’t have the capacitor to handle it :)

    Vinod, I agree CNN, FOX, CNBC, etc. should be allowed to show those images, but it’s not entirely their fault.

    Rumsfeld bans camera phones

    Plus Allawi recently banned Al Jazeera from operation also.

    Remember it’s the current administration that has prevented the release of pictures taken in Iraq, especially of dead and wounded soldiers. The woman who lost her job over the pictures.

    I say show everything our people and Iraqs. Bad and good.

  4. Punjabi Boy:

    You’ll be happy to know that Arundhati Roy has said a lot about the religious “genocide” in india (Gujurat for eg.). She’s written a lot about a lot of unglamorous things happening in india (the dreary details about the effectiveness of large dams comes to mind). I don’t have the time to find links now but perhaps i’ll post them later.

  5. Enron and Roy

    The story of Enron’s involvement in India is one of double-dealing, corruption, violence and violation of human rights. It began in 1993 when the company signed a deal to provide much-needed electricity in a state that was desperate for power to fuel its new high-tech industries and to propel the country on its new free-market economy.
    Even though the World Bank said that the project was too expensive and that other forms of power would be cheaper, Enron bulldoze d ahead. There were no competitive tenders, politicians were bought off with bribes estimated to run to $20 million and local police and thugs were hired to terrorize the opposition into silence. By 1997 Enron had been listed by the New York-based Human Rights Watch organization as guilty of being ‘complicit in human rights violations’ in the state of Maharashtra.
    The scandal attracted the attention of Roy, who was already campaigning against the construction of dams on the Narmada river — moves that would have displaced 400,000 people. When Roy agreed to head the protest movements, she was accused of inciting violence and tried at the Supreme Court — an action that she countered by writing her own affidavit and publishing it in a mass-circulation magazine.

    But remember, because she’s an agitator and criticizes the US she’s a moral zero

  6. The Enron scandal in India was the fault of Enron as well as the Politicians of the Maharashtra.

    Iraq doesn’t need emotional coddling from Roy, they have plenty of that from the Arab world. What Iraq needs is constructive, practical, and real ideas to ensure the people of Iraq and their future is secure in a safe environment.

    Urging resistance to empire in a peaceful manner would mount to demonstrations, strikes, non-cooperation etc. Funny thing is, with the US occupation all of this is now possible. With Saddamn, there was no resistance.

    Also, the coalition has allowed such means of activism. What they have been fighting are insurgents who booby trap bodies, kidnap, kill social servants like Margaret Hassan, and conduct a thug/fascist style of governance in their areas of control.

    Resistance to Empire my foot. Her activism in India made more sense. This whole anti-globalization deal she has taken up really seems unproductive. Though she is very popular among academic elites. I’m sure Michael Moore would be happy to make a documentary on this with her.

  7. kurian

    Thanks. Please do provide the links if you get the time. But please note, there is no need to place quotation marks around the word genocide when referencing the religious pogroms in India. The various genocides cannot be contested.

  8. Punjabi boy, A lot of people who are either Indian or of Indian origin do not believe that either Gujarat a state sponsored and sanctioned genocide or the Sikh pogrom in Delhi merit any discussion.

  9. Punjabi boy,

    Run a google search on Arundhati and Narmada Dam, and you’ll pull up a lot about her work protesting on behalf of dispossessed Indians. Read Power Politics and you’ll see her criticize the Indian government’s approval of corporatization of things like agriculture, water supply, and electricity. Even her fictional God of Small Things is an indictment of the caste system. She does fight for Indians (sometimes, in my opinion, misguidedly), and her struggles for people of other nations doesn’t make this any less valid.

    Genocide, I agree with Al Mujahid, is a strong word. While there is a definite prejudice against Sikh and Muslim minorities, I don’t believe it’s systematic enough to be considered genocide.

    And, I believe this has been brought up before, but Gandhian nonviolence would not work the same for Palestine as it did for South Africa, the US, and India. Not that violence is the answer, because I have ZERO ideas about the Israeli/Palestine situation, one or two state, but I’m just not sure that had they chosen the nonviolent route it would have worked either.

  10. Punjabi Boy:

    The only reason i put quotation marks around the word was that i wasn’t sure of it’s exact definition. But now that i’ve googled define:genocide i see that the loosest definition of the word — ” The systematic killing of people because of their race or ethnicity” [from hrusa.org] — does apply to both Gujurat and the killings of Sikhs in 1984. On the other hand there are other stronger definitions listed — ” Extermination of an entire people” [from mcgraw-hill.com] — that wouldn’t apply. So apparently there is still no consensus on what the word means.

    But i share your (and Al Mujahid’s?) outrage at these events.

    sincerely, kurian

  11. Arundhati Roy is a magnificant writer and lecturer and a wonderful warrior. It is unfortunate in my country, the US, that she is offered in the context of the “left” and thus marginalized. In the sense that Hanan Ashwari is a Palestinian citizen, Arundhati is a world citizen and I ask that her handlers in the US set her free.

  12. Influential Zionist Jews almost made it impossible for the Sydney city administration to allow Hanan Ashwari to give a speech in Sydney in the main city hall.

  13. Spectator

    You are wrong about the use of the word genocide. It is absolutley appropriate to describe the state sponsored massacres that have taken place in India in the last thirty years.

    I love India. I love Hindus. But I dont like the silence surrounding the state culpability over violence against minorities. I want to change that so Indians can live happily ever after.


    Thanks for the reply

    Al Mujahid

    Doesnt your name mean “Holy Warrior”?

    Are you a holy warrior?

    I find invocation of Jihad frightening.