Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

what's really happening in iraq - report back

The end of December/beginning of January, CodePink was able to send a delegation to Iraq. This was a very special delegation because most of the people going had lost their sons in Iraq. CodePink was able to raise and deliver over $650,000 worth of medical supplies, food, blankets – all items desperately needed by the survivors of Fallujah. I took some notes from the speakers, including Medea, who not only took this historic & courageous & highly compassionate trip, but they also met with equally courageous Iraqi survivors who told first hand their stories – most of which are too hard to recount tonite – maybe later. Here are some of the facts that the delegation reported.

Iraq Report Back: notes from Families for Peace Delegation Jan 2005
Prior to bush 1 bombing:
* Iraq had one of the highest standards of living in mid-east
*Obesity was the number 1 health problem facing youth
* Over 60% of women worked outside the home – the government was secular
* 97% of city residents, 71% of rural, had FREE primary healthcare, including hospitalization

Since the bombing beginning March 19:
* there is 70% unemployment among Iraqi men; hardly any women are working outside the home
* there is only 2-6 hours of electricity daily
* an iraqi’s chance of dying violently has increased 58%
* water delivery, some of which is hundreds of years old, is destroyed or totally contaminated
* women are afraid to leave their homes
* minimal if any health services are available only to those who can afford to pay

Over 30 years, Hussein murdered 300,000 people; in 1 1/2 years, the u.s. has murdered 100,000
There are 3 to 10 times more wounded than dead – dreadfully wounded.(all pre-Fallujah & Mosul)
The u.s. is using illegal weapons of mass destruction, under the Nuremberg & Geneva convention: fleshettes which are bullets that explode inside the body; and ‘cluster bombs’ that indiscriminately shower hundreds of bombs over 200-400 meters on impact. 20% explode when they fall; the rest are picked up by children, stepped on, run over eventually.
The u.s. is using phosphorus, napalm & other chemical weapons creating huge mushroom clouds, unbreathable air. The u.s. is using weapons that release depleted uranium, radiation that has a 4.1 billion year half-life, contaminating everything.
Fallujah, formerly a city of over 300,000 has been 3/4’s destroyed – only rubble left.
Iraqi’s now have to carry id’s and have retina scans - yes, the democratic retina scan - to travel in & out of the city
Iraqi’s cannot sleep at nite: soldiers indiscriminately raid their homes in the middle of the nite, hospitals, & ambulances arresting (at best) men & boys & some women, taking over 3 months, if not a year, to find out where they are, if they find out.
The severest impact of the occupation is on families, especially children: hep E (yet another virolent strain of hepatitis), typhoid outbreaks, malnutrition, no immunization, bad water – unicef fears 200 children die daily of malnutrition, lack of clean water, food, injuries; the rise in infant mortality has surpassed any other country.