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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

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.