Posted by Alexander from 220.127.116.11.cfl.rr.com (18.104.22.168) on Monday, May 12, 2003 at 4:34PM :
In Reply to: May 10 update from Voices posted by Sadie from ? (22.214.171.124) on Monday, May 12, 2003 at 2:22PM :
: Dear Friends,
: Experiences of Iraq Peace Team members during months leading up to
: Operation "Shock and Awe" and throughout the US bombing, invasion and
: occupation confirm for us the simple adage: "Where you stand determines
: what you see." Today we read several reports of ongoing chaos,
: exchanges of gunfire, and outbreaks of water-borne diseases, such as
: cholera, which the World Health Organization warns could become
: epidemic. As we continue to focus a spotlight on Iraq, we agree with Mil Rai,
: of Voices in the Wilderness UK, who insists that in order to prevent a "next"
: war we must effectively counter the propaganda surrounding this current war
: and occupation.
: We're indebted to Voices in the Wilderness members living in Iraq to help
: us gain insights into experiences of ordinary Iraqi people as they try to cope
: with the aftermath of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." In the desperately poor Al
: Thawra district, three generations in one family spoke with Caiohme Butterly,
: a Voices delegate currently in Iraq, about the uncertainty and apprehension
: they now face:
: "It is like waking up from an operation," said Dr. Karim. "The anaesthetic not
: quite worn off, one slowly trying to get a sense of things around oneself,
: trying to discern shapes, objects. There is pain, and fear, and apprehension
: dulled a little by the anaesthetic, but still there. It is pure, and complete
: confusion, we feel we are dreaming, waking up from one nightmare, the
: previous regime, perhaps to descend into another."
: A neighbor, a young engineering student, explains, "Perhaps we have less
: to fear than others. We have little to lose. The services the municipal
: authorities once provided to others, we never received, because of this we
: don't miss them in their absence. We are used to surviving with little
: resources. The only thing the government ever brought us was suffering. Our
: people are our only resource. We are an oil state, but look at the poverty we
: live in."
: His mother agrees, "Oil is our curse. It brought us nothing but tragedy under
: Saddam. It will bring us nothing under the Americans. They should not have
: subjected us to another war."
: "But let me dream," says Karim's father. "Maybe they have changed."
: Today the U.S. presents to the UN its resolution, calling for a lifting of
: sanctions and further the appropriation and authority of Iraqi oil sales to be
: dictated solely by the US and UK. To our dismay, and to further devastation
: for Iraqi people, their struggle to regain control of their resources and right
: live in peace is once again dictated by a power that does not represent
: them. The United States has insisted on the implementation of sanctions for
: 13 years, sanctions that have killed innocents, among them children, the
: sick, the elderly, and now have the nerve to criticize anyone that questions
: their intentions, as made evident by comments made by Ari Fleicher this
: week: "There is no reason for the people of Iraq to suffer sanctions any
: There has not been a single, justifiable reason for Iraqi people to suffer for
: over 13 years. Economic sanctions are inherently criminal, as they fail time
: and time again to achieve any goal beyond the punishment of people. We
: stand for the lifting of economic sanctions, as their continuation will only
: prolong the desperately needed reconstruction of civilian infrastructure and
: transport of much needed medical aid and supplies. We support their
: removal and the commitment to realizing their abolition, and the recognition
: of economic sanctions as both a failed and genocidal policy. We continue
: to oppose the umbrella of military violence, occupation, corporate control,
: and foreign developed leadership that Iraqis have been told is their
: Like Karim, we too dream that things can change. We dream that Iraqis will
: at last be able to live without the fear of a brutal dictator or a corrupt
: U.S.-installed regime, without incessant threats from foreign invaders and
: the perpetual violence that has been waged against them for far too long,
: and without the sanctions that have robbed them of their ability to maintain
: their health, society, and economy. We also dream of a U.S. where our
: money is not concentrated in the militarization of our society, where we feel
: represented in our own communities and governments, and where all
: people are granted education and medical care.
: There is much work to be done. Please continue to stay with us. We need
: each other now to continue the work more than ever.
: Kathy Kelly
: Bitta Mostofi
: Danny Muller
: Ceylon Mooney
: for Voices in the Wilderness
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