Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, November 27, 2003

From my reading, I have found three basic views (there are probably be more) about the current situation in Iraq...

View #1: (Expressed at the demonstrations in London) No War! Bring the Troops Home! End the Occupation!

View #2: (I have seen this expressed on one Iraqi web log but also by people who have supported the war when they comment on the anti-war/peace demonstrations) Where were your demonstrations against the atrocities of Saddam?

View #3: (This is expressed by some folks who may or may not have supported the US-led invasion of Iraq. These comments have occurred when Iraqis have complained about the occupation) Americans are dying for your freedom. You have no right to complain since you did not put your life on the line to get rid of Saddam, we did.

In thinking about these three views (and again there are probably others) I have formulated three responses ...

Response #1: Regardless of how, the war happened, the troops are there and the occupation is a fact. We have made a mess and we need to take responsibility for that. Broad condemnations wont help. Suggest/Demand alternatives to war and occupation that do not ignore the fact that we need to clean up after ourselves.

Response #2: (I am most interested in this issue because it gets to the heart of why people get involved with issues that do not directly affect them ... I once met a American peace worker who told me that she joined protests at the UN after the Kurds were gassed at Halabja ... she didn't see anyone join in from the pro-war crowd back then) I was working, living, doing my best to handle the problems I have in my own community/country? I did not even know about the atrocities committed by Saddam! American Media could have cared less to inform me.

(There is another version of this response that you have to look at though) Americans were not affected by those atrocities, but they are by the war. And by the way, where were you after those same atrocities? Were you out in the streets? Our protests are as much about the fact that we feel our leaders lied to us as they are about our opposition to the war. It is about the fact that our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters are now the ones affected.

Response #3: I do not recall that Iraqis really asked us to come and bomb, invade and occupy their country. We chose this path. We can not blame Iraqis if they do not support it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Just A Note To Begin
I've been reading a number of weblogs about Iraq (Riverbend, Healing Iraq, Where is Raed?) recently and decided to start one of my own as a convenient way of spreading information about my trips to Iraq and to Israel/Palestine planned for Winter 2004. I'll be traveling to volunteer with peace groups working in those countries. I was able to travel to Iraq with a peace team from January to February 2003. It was an amazing experience and now I'll have a chance to return almost exactly a year later when so much has changed. I welcome your thoughts and comments as I progress on my journey back to the Middle East.