Fw: [Baghdad Journal]: Why I Am Going to Iraq, March 1, 2003

> BAGHDAD JOURNAL: Why I Am Going to Iraq, March 1, 2003
> by Wade Hudson
> On March 5, I head for Baghdad to join the Iraq Peace Team (IPT), a
> of Voices in the Wilderness. About twenty IPT members, including myself,
> will stay in Iraq indefinitely, even if President Bush invades Iraq.
> We will not deploy ourselves as human shields at highly likely targets, as
> some peace activists are doing. We will live independently in Baghdad and
> provide support and assistance to the Iraqi people as best we can. We will
> witness, listen, observe, and report back on what we learn. We will
> participate in vigils and other demonstrations to protest the war.
> With my tax dollars, my government is preparing to inflict untold death
> suffering on Iraqi civilians - even though most of the world opposes this
> war. This rush to war, based on bribery and threats designed to overcome
> will of the people, is a challenge to democracy worldwide. So I am
> to say "not in my name," as strongly as I can.
> I am compelled to help stop this war and make amends for the damage that
> being done with my money. By joining the Iraq Peace Team, I can do both at
> the same time. I can protest the war while simultaneously assisting those
> who will suffer as a result. And I can communicate in person that the
> American people are not their enemy.
> I would prefer that the progressive movement were more proactive, and less
> reactive. I would prefer to build a large, democratic, fully inclusive
> grassroots membership organization to advance a longer-term, comprehensive
> program for justice, democracy, and peace. I would prefer that we operate
> more out of love and joy, and less from fear and anger.
> But the people of the world cannot afford to sit back and wait to see if
> Bush pulls the trigger. The Bush Administration's foreign policy is a
> wreck waiting to happen. We must reverse the Bush Doctrine before it is
> late.
> The case for war is founded on lies, distortions, and wishful thinking.
> lie is the claim that there is a close connection between Iraq and Al
> Most Americans who support war on Iraq believe this unfounded claim, which
> the mainstream media has not seriously examined.
> A major distortion is the allegation that Iraq possesses weapons of mass
> destruction, which has not been proven, according to Hans Blix. The United
> States certainly has not presented the "smoking gun."
> The wishful thinking assumes that virtually all Iraqis will welcome the
> Army as liberators, enabling the occupying force to leave within a year.
> unlike Germany and Japan, which the West occupied following World War Two,
> Iraq has no cohesive traditions and is torn with bitter, centuries-old
> divisions. And there is no commitment to a Marshall Plan for Iraq
> a war.
> So the official rationale for war is far from convincing. Whatever the
> reasons for this drive toward war, it is imperative that the people of the
> world stop it. I believe that IPT offers one way to help.
> IPT belongs to a growing peacemaking community. In recent years,
> peacemakers, such as Nonviolent Peaceforce and Christian Peacemaker Teams,
> have begun to place themselves in the midst of violent conflicts, trying
> help protect human rights and the lives of civilian communities, prevent
> violence, and promote the peaceful resolution of conflict.
> If enough people with the proper approach get involved, these efforts bear
> great promise. By going to Iraq, I hope to help build this movement.
> Eventually we could have a well-trained peace force that is large enough
> help stop wars.
> -Wade Hudson is a community organizer, activist, and writer living in the
> San Francisco Bay Area. People can subscribe to his Baghdad Journal at
> http://lists.inlet.org/mailman/listinfo/baghdadjournal
> Links:
> Iraq Peace Team, www.iraqpeaceteam.org
> Nonviolent Peaceforce, http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/
> Christian Peacemaker Teams, www.prairienet.org/cpt/
> To subscribe or unsubscribe to Baghdad Journal, go to:
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