Thursday, April 19, 2007

19-April, 2007

We spent our first full day in Amman, visiting with Iraqi families who are now refugees in Jordan and visiting a small school project that has been set up to teach art for elementary. The situation for many of the Iraqi families, mostly middle-class, that we met today is dire. Although each had different perspectives on Iraq and the difficulties they have faced, some appear next to hopeless.

The hopelessness doesn't come so much from a lack of improvement in Iraq, itself. Rather it comes from a realization that they can't return to their own country, but aren't allowed anywhere else in the world....and they will end up scraping by illegally in Jordan. It's like a scene from Kafka's "In der Strafkolonie" (In the Penal Colony).

In beautiful Jordan, for many the flowers have lost their color and the springtime sky doesn't exit....they're heads are so bowed.

IN IRAQ - Yesterday (18-April) at least 312 people were killed and 302 wounded as several bombs struck Baghdad. one truck bomb killed 140 people and wounded 150 more in the mostly Shi’ite Sadriya neighborhood. A second bomb killed 41 and wounded 76 in Sadr City. In Karrada, the third bomb killed 11 and wounded 13 more. Two were killed and eight wounded in a checkpoint bombing in Saidiya. And, a bomb in a mini-bus in Risafi killed four and wounded six people. One American soldier died on Tuesday of non-battle releated injuries.

Today (19-April) 3 GIs, 2 Britons, and 46 Iraqis were killed and another 62 injured. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Iraq's Green Zone, declaring ""I'm sympathetic with some of the challenges that they (Iraqis) face." "But," he said, "the clock is ticking." Gates wants the oil law passed (since when was that a DoD issue?)

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