Monday, November 17, 2003

NEWS 1. Early Morning in Iraq

Message: 1
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 08:28:04 -0600
From: Cliff Kindy via "CPT (Gene Stoltzfus)"
Subject: Early Morning in Iraq

Subject: Sunny, Early Morning in Iraq
Notes from Cliff Kindy, CPT Team member in Baghdad
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 02:00:08 -0600 (CST)

Dear Friends,

Last night from the rooftop we could hear a steady roll of mortar rounds
in the distance with what sounded like anti-aircraft fire and other heavy
explosions. Helicopter traffic and even fighter jets during the evenings
have become regular parts of recent days. But this morning dawns fresh
with a clean slate.

Yesterday we visited the sheik at his mosque in Adumiyah district. He
reported that a day earlier the Coalition military patrols had rolled
through the streets and announced, "This is the last warning for
inhabitants of this area. We will use the tanks to bomb Adumiyah."
This is a Sunni Muslim area where people had felt the heavy hand of the
Sadaam Hussein regime. There is a US military base directly across the
river in one of Hussein's old palaces and there have been times when the
base shoots randomly across the river into the central civilian area of
the district. Many of the main buildings have received damage, including a
minaret of the mosque. Much repair and rebuilding is being done even in
the midst of this back and forth turmoil. As in most parts of Iraq, there
is also an armed resistance to the occupation.

Tomorrow, 14 November, there are ten scheduled press conferences across
the US. At each event there will be peacemakers who openly proclaim their
visits to Iraq during the sanctions and the buildup to war and who did
this as a way to turn the violence away from war. The US government has
threatened a one million dollar fine and/or twelve years in prison for
taking unapproved humanitarian goods into Iraq or even for traveling
there. This witness now is in solidarity with individuals who have been
charged with violation of the sanctions, perhaps because they have no
support group. Those of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams and Voices in the
Wilderness have been more difficult to separate out for prosecution. I
invite you to add your support to this attempt to make normal and expected
the acts of building friendship in the midst of hostility.

Two nights ago as most of us were preparing for bed, pistol shots rang out
on our street. It soon escalated with rifle shots and automatic weapons
fire. We moved back from the windows as shots started popping right
outside the window. As I pulled the curtain back to peek out I could see a
guard unsnapping his holster and hunching his Klashnikov into position.
Helicopters were in the air. Within an hour the firefight faded. The next
morning we learned that the Iraq soccer team had won their match game!
What a time to be here in Iraq!

Cliff Kindy

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?