Rania Masri is the coordinator of the Iraq Action Coalition, a member of the Iraq Speakers Bureau, a national board member of Peace Action, and a member of the United for Peace and Justice steering committee. She served as the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association’s representative to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, and she has been a board member of the ACLU-NC chapter since 2002. Masri also serves as director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Center at the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, North Carolina.
Masri was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States as a young girl in 1986. She is an environmental scientist with a Masters degree from Duke University and a PhD from North Carolina State University. Now she is one of the darlings of the anti-American left, a regular contributor to leftist media like Indymedia, the International Socialist Review, the Progressive Media Project, Swans.com, and “Democracy Now!” – Amy Goodman’s virulent, hate-filled “news” program on Pacifica Radio.
Masri believes that the 2003 war in Iraq was nothing more than an imperialistic, corporate greed-driven attempt to take control of Iraq’s oil reserves. “A handful of Bush-connected corporations,” said Masri, “are poised to make billions in profits while U.S. troops are killed almost daily, and Iraq plunges deeper into a colonial nightmare… Halliburton, Bechtel, MCI and other war profiteers are part of a larger invasion by outside corporate interests hoping to control the wealth and resources of Iraq - wealth and resources that belong to the Iraqi people."
In June 2003, she wrote in ElectronicIraq.net, “In this ‘post-war’ Iraq, U.S. soldiers continue to be killed. As of June 25, more than 55 U.S. soldiers have died since George W. Bush declared major military operations were over on May 1. The press presents the deaths of the soldiers in a ‘we-don’t-know-why-they-were-killed’ tone, as if it is perfectly natural for foreign armed men (and women) to patrol and occupy another land and another people. And shoot at them. And kill them during protests. And destroy their homes. And arrest their men. And harass them at checkpoints… More and more, the U.S. occupying forces in Iraq are behaving like the Israeli occupying forces in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.”
“Much of this isn’t new,” Masri added. “The vast majority of justice activists in [America] recognize that the U.S. government is not interested in any democracy in Iraq. Nor could one reasonably argue that this government – either the administration that disenfranchised African American voters (and not just in Florida) or the Democratic Party that silently allowed this theft – could even set up a democracy.”
On February 2, 2004, Masri wrote in Swans.com, “In the Orwellian doublespeak of the neo-conservatives, ‘liberation’ means conquest, and ‘freedom’ means imposing a neo-colonial economic arrangement that is militarily enforced. ‘Freedom for Iraq’ means freedom for the colonizer to dominate, to exploit, to control. We need to continue organizing and building an international movement in solidarity with the people of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere, which can rupture this doublespeak, and begin to push back the empire and pursue real ‘freedom,’ consisting of self determination for Iraqis and others living under Western military occupation and corporate coercion.”