Iraq: Devastating War Effects on Children

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Posted by andreas from ( on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 8:43AM :

Iraq: Devastating War Effects on Children

(Originally from From Radio Pacifica ?)

You may listen to the Audio file by clicking on the accompanying symbol.

To be found on the page by typing "20:53" into you search tool.

Transcribed excerpt of an complete topic section:


19:07 music break

-20:53 Dennis: continuing discussion on the horrendous effects of war on children.. now w Sister Simone Campbell an attorney and Catholic nun with Jericho, a social service agency.. Sister: I'm just back from Iraq.. went with Voices in the Wilderness.. I was stunned at the warm reception we received from every Iraqi person we met.. I had feared they would be angry at Americans.. amazing.. we also met with UN representatives, they spoke of the devastation caused by sanctions.. family income dropped from $500 a month in 1990 to $4 a month now.. low birth weight of babies, high rate of anemia in mothers.. Iraqi officials spoke of their urgent desire to talk to the US government.. the US has not spoken to Irag in 13 years.. 8,000 pages pulled out of the Iraqi report by the US.. Dennis: how will people know whether to believe the US when they talk about 'material breech'.. what about the children?.. Sister: I'm going to cry.. children we met can't sleep at night.. a 400% increase in childhood cancer.. but a lot of joy in children too though, we brought little toys.. we taught them "I'm a little teapot".. and they go to bed hungry.. a doll made out of string and rubberbands.. another doll made out of a plastic bag.. their haunting eyes will be in my soul forever.. her heart so large and joyous.. the US has been bombing and starving them.. Dennis: US Congress opens with a prayer, and then vote 10 million more dollars for killing.. the UN says a half million children already dead.. Sister: god is the god of the poor and marginalized.. this coming war will be the death of our country.. the death of our moral fiber.. unless we stand up and say no.. this war is not inevitable.. we believe in self-determination, believe in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.. but the US believes it is the exception to its own rules.. Jesus was born on the margins of society and has never been accepted by the powerful.. about a prayer circle we had with the people of Irag.. Dennis: about the Church of the Nativity, bombed by Israel.. is the Iraqi religious community preparing for this next attack.. Sister: a great sin we are determined to commit.. Basra, once a bustling port, now 60% unemployed.. about a priest there.. has created a pharmacy.. an amazing work.. has maintained great Christian to Muslim cooperation.. only 1.2 million Christians out of 27 million population.. some few Muslims fearful of the Christians, but the vast majority.. we went to a mosque providing free food to Muslims and Christians, no matter.. amazing to see.. in this culture of relationship you can see children flourish.. we have a lot to learn from the Arab culture.. Dennis: about Indonesia, attempting to play Muslims off against Christians.. Saddam ever do that?.. Sister: clear he is a human rights violator.. Dennis: absolutely.. Sister: but we heard from the UN that there is evidence that some of the gas Saddam is accused of using was Iranian gas.. Dennis: many reports otherwise.. Sister: perhaps.. but in regards to using religion for control.. some new laws, a big change, to give Muslims preferential treatment.. mosques can be build anywhere in the country, and Imams have the power to annex land and buildings around them.. in Basra, a mosque built next to a Chaldean (Christian) cathedral, and concern that if tensions increase, the Muslims could try to annex it.. Dennis: about the US corporations that armed Iraq and supplied it with its weapons seed stock.. the media saying we have to get rid of Saddam because of these weapons.. Sister: both the US and Iraqi people share fear, and should realize violence just makes fear greater.. Iraq has militarists and internationalists in their government just like we do.. we really don't need to kill anybody off.. I wrote poetry while in Iraq.. Dennis: please share something.. Sister: (reads) Jesus Wept: behold before me.. I just want it over.. we are dying slowly.. I just want it over.. the day my father cried for his daughter's death.. one lone tear escaped control.. adrift in grief.. be assured that fathers weep for children lost.. while the world spins on.. stop this march to graves and grieving.. leave the tears unshed.. Amen.. Sister: it is critical that we feel at this time.. the only way we will have no war is move out of our fear and isolation.. and act not out of anger..
(also see: Israeli media condemns Sharon Over Lies about Iraq )


-- andreas
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