13 de marzo de 2006

Carta de un pacifista cristiano desde Irak

Nota: Esta carta fue enviada por un miembro de Chirstian Peacemakers Team, organización ecuménica que lucha contra el militarismo y la Paz. Cabe destacar que ellos estuvieron presentes en la lucha del pueblo de Puerto Rico y Vieques por sacar a la Marina de Guerra de la Isla Nena, sufriendo cárcel y maltrato.

Dear family and friends,

I am now in Amman after having a wonderful week in Baghdad with Peggy and the CPT team there. My flight home has been delayed for two days, so I hope to get home the night of March 12.

Peggy and the team are doing well. There is a lot of stress around the four CPTers still held by the kidnappers, but everyone is holding up well and continuing the work of supporting the families of detainees, documenting continuing abuses,and cooperation with the Muslim Peacemaker Teams and other human rights groups. My being there makes it easier for me to understand what Peggy is doing and to accept our periods of separation.

I went into the Green Zone, where the US and other embassies are, the UN, and many other groups. I was overwhelmed with the security percautions there. We were dropped off by a taxi and then walked into the Green Zone a long way between two high concrete walls on
both sides of us, and security people with lots of guns along the way. Heliocopters fly overhead. We were driven to our destination in the Green Zone in armoured vehicles. Yet I did not feel safe there, and I was impressed with the fear that is present there. I was glad to get out of there. In contrast, our team lives out in the "Red Zone" among the people with no armed protection and we feel more safe. Our security is based on our relationships with the Iraqi people and in our faith in God. The contrast between those two worlds is striking.

The situation has definitely deteriated in the past two years since I was there. The only part of the economy that is booming is the construction of prisons,military bases, and building walls higher and longer. I do not know who manufactures and sells razor wire, but I am sure they support the occupation. I have never in my life seen so much razor wire. We have electricity between three and six hours in a 24 hour period. The violence is escalating. I heard many bombs and lots of rapid small arms fire.

I do not know who is behind the violence, but I think the correct question to ask is, "Who benefits from all this violence?" A large percentage of Iraqis believe it is the Americans who are behind the violence. The picture of death squads (311 teachers killed in the past 4 months), destabilization, and militarization looks strikingly similar to what the US did in Vietnam and in Central America. Is it a coincidence that former US ambassador to Iraq, Negroponte, was part
of the Pheonix prograam in Vietnam, a program to assisinate 40,000 Vietnameese, or that he was the ambassador to Honduras during the development of death spuads in Central America?

The most important story from Iraq, however, is not violence, but the incredible cooperation between Shia and Sunni groups, people from different groups protecting each other's places of worship, mass demonstrations of Shia and Sunnis together calling for peace and the end to the occupation. There is a real vision of peace, cooperation and democracy in Iraq, but there are powerful forces frustrating those desires. I wish the US were on the side of peace and democracy.

Now I go home to work on writing and doing lots of speaking. Inshallah, Pegy will be coming home in a little over three weeks. I thank you all again for your love, prayers, and support.

Love, Art Gish