The issue of censorship is central to the debate on war. You can only discuss the REAL issues when you have a REAL discussion and a REAL movement which does not censor its members. The fact that a comment is "open to misinterpretation" is no justification for its removal.
My "Gypsania" post was intended to show the absurdity of the Israeli government's justification for its illegal occupation of Palestine by applying the same argument to a different ethnic group. If you found this offensive, that's too bad.
My comments weren't meant to be a personal attack. I just don't believe that it is right or appropriate to censor IAWM members on the IAWM message board. This is just my opinion. The only thing the anti war movement has going for it, as far as I can see, is free and open debate. If we haven't got that, we haven't got anything. I accept that there are individuals who might try to take advantage of a no censorship policy to promote racist views etc., but I am also convinced that they would be wasting their time, and that their views would be seen for what they are. It would give us an opportunity to challenge their views and expose their motives, and they know it.
I also think, by the way, that it was a bad decision not to allow pro war posts. Again, this would have provided an opportunity to challenge and refute the pro war argument. As it is, we are restricted to preaching to the converted.
I am not suggesting that the message board should not be moderated, or that posts from spammers, trolls etc., should not be deleted. But if a person makes a post expressing a genuine opinion, I feel very strongly that this should not be censored or deleted, even if it might be offensive to some people. So what if somebody is offended by another person's views. In an open debate they are free to respond and express their indignation, or contradict what they believe to be false statements. The occasional post that causes offence is a small price to pay, in my opinion, for the advantages that derive from being able to discuss and debate the invasion of Iraq (and other imperialist adventures) in a free and open forum. The more these issues are debated, the better; and there is nothing more conducive to lively debate than provocative and controversial ideas. We should be trying to encourage debate, not stifle it. In a truly open debate on the pros and cons of war, the anti war movement would win hands down every time. But people have to be allowed and encouraged to think for themselves, and make up their own mind - not only on the easy and obvious issues, but also on issues that are more tricky, "sensitive" and controversial. You can't on the one hand wish for a situation in which people are politically aware and informed, and at the same time prevent them from exploring these issues by censoring viewpoints that some people might find "disturbing". People should be disturbed by these issues.
In short, the message board of an anti war movement is not the place to be concerned about individual sensitivities, or the sensitivities of certain groups of people. The important thing is to attack, expose and undermine the authority and credibility of those political leaders - Bush, Blair, Sharon and the rest - who are the engineers of war. I for one do not give a toss if my views are offensive to the likes of Eyal, who comes here to defend and justify the murderous and ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli government. How does this compare with the offences being committed on a daily basis by the government Eyal supports?
We need to go on the offensive. After all, we're supposed to be fighting a war.
Created By: Zak Martin