Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday - Amman

We spent the day today visiting with the United Nation's Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the International Commmittee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Iraq Division here in Amman, Jordan. Tomorrow morning we leave for Baghdad.

The news from the UNHRC and the ICRC makes the situation in Iraq appear even worse than I thought and certainly much worse than on my last visit. The ICRC scaled back its efforts in Iraq even more since January and is now only providing for "emergencies" in Baghdad amd now operates almost esclusively from Jordan. All other programs have been suspended. The UNHRC rarely allows employees outside of the Green Zone. While the ICRC is still monitoring the US prisons, neither organizaton is able to monitor what is going on in the prisons runs by the new Iraqi military or the Interior Ministry.....areas where the US is heavily involved.

Yesterday we met with the Jesuit Bros. society in Amman run by Jesuits who used to teach at Baghdad College. Before they were taken over by the Iraqi government in the 1970's, Baghdad College and the Jesuit-run high schools trained some of the elite of Iraq - Christians, Muslims, and Jews - several alumni today who are big in the government. The Jesuits hope to be able to return to Iraq at some point and take back over management of these institutions.

While with the Jesuits, we interviewed two Iraqi ex-patriots now living in Amman. They both talked about how much Iraq has become so terrible that almost no one can stand to live there. Those with enough money or skills try to flee. They like living in Amman but wish things were better in Iraq so that they could return.

The details of the above are in my journal and I will share more upon my return on in later blogs, if I have the chance. While the bandwidth here in Amman is o.k. I expect that it will be very limited in Iraq.

Comments: Post a Comment

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