Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Some random thoughts for the day.

1. Good to see that Simone P. and T. are in Italy safely and that the experience as hostage hasn't diminished their desire to create peace. I understand and look forward to seeing them once again when I'm in Baghdad. At the same time it is worrisome that they were accused of being spies for the US because their names were reportedly found on some list. Fortunately, Muslim truth-tellers were able to vouch for them. Troops and others working in Iraq should be more careful with creating lists of names - for any purpose - and should be more careful even in the states since there are many eyes and ears . There are others who could suffer the same fate.

2. One of our friends from Baghdad, an artist and businesswoman, is in Amman and trying to get to the US with her children. Because she didn't fully understand the visa process she didn't make a good impression with the Embassy at first. Several of us are working to get her visa approved so that they can visit for 4-5 months. They've heard so much about the beauty and hospitality of Texas, I guess they decided to visit and find out for theirselves.

3. We have a team in Texas working on the "Women's Business Center of Baghdad" project (http://www.acceleros.com/WBCB). We plan to hold events in Texas soon to support this project...despite the deteriorating situation there. Too bad the 1CD efforts at economic development encountered such unexpected constraints and the division doesn't have the human resources to devote to this at present.

4. Peace activists throughout Texas plan a major march and rally on Oct. 2. It's one month before Election Day and the 135th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. See ya'. (http://www.texansforpeace.org/TEXRALLY)

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004


1. Over 1,000 US soldiers killed, and no end in sight. See http://www.texansforpeace.org/endthewar for daily updates and details of the war in Iraq.

2. It appears that almost everyone in D.C. (of both parties) don't understand what they have gotten into in Iraq, therefore will be unlikely to come up with viable solutions and only become more mired.

3. Alan Pogue is on his way back from Basra after getting Asraa and her father out to bring them to Houston for a prosthesis. He reports that the medical conditions in the South of Iraq have deteriorated even further:
"I spoke with an Iraqi doctor who told me the Iraqi Health Ministry put out a

directive that no doctor may give out exact numbers or statistics on health
conditions or war related deaths. So I can't use the name but it was said ( no
pronouns either) that there is a cholera epidemic in the south. There are over
21,000 families living in bombed out houses in the south alone. Drinking water
is still in short supply. Basic medicines are in short supply, such as
anticoagulants that would save women giving birth from hemorrhaging to death.
There are few fetal heart monitors, not enough blood warmers for transfusions,
ventilators for those in cardiac arrest or other conditions in which breathing
stops. There is supposed to be money for these things but it either is not
there , not being spent or being misspent, according to the doctor. Iraq has a
66 per thousand infant mortality rate. Many babies die in the first month after

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