Cliff Kindy Iraq Blog

Current entries are related to Cliff Kindy's fourth Iraq trip, beginning in October 2007. The blog archives contains letters from Cliff's third Iraq trip in 2004-5.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

#7: Iraqi High

Received Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004

Iraqi High

Dear Friends, Family, and All Good People,

I am riding an emotional high today! We met our friend Hussain from Kerbala this past weekend. His travel went well both directions and we spent quality time discussing how to nurture the development of a Muslim Peacemaker Team. We will go as a small exploratory team to Kerbala next week to meet with various religious, professional, and educational groups who have expressed interest in this idea. Those days of experience will serve as the basis for making a decision whether to have a longer-term presence there for this work.

Today, one year ago, Saddam Hussein was apprehended. That was the focus of US efforts, but now thousands more Iraqis have been rounded up as enemies. It appears he was not the only objective. The living situation for most Iraqis is much worse than a year ago and I see no end to continuing detentions and continuing resistance.

Two years ago, about this time, the US, through the UN, had demanded a full accounting of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Any omission would be grounds for war. Iraq sent 11,800 pages documenting the removal and demolition of their weapons. We now know that the UN and US inspectors believed that all WMD in Iraq were gone by 1994. The US released 3,800 of the pages to the UN, but detoured the rest into some US black hole. Do you know what those 8,000 pages said? Why did the US keep them from the UN? There are some hints of answers to those questions in Oil, Power, and Empire, by Larry Everest, page 116.

Since I am asking questions, it seems that oil was one of the factors leading to the decision by the US to have a war. How much petroleum does the US use for the military bases that the US has in 120 countries around the world? Or, just here in Iraq, how much petroleum is required to fuel the jets, planes, humvees, helicopters, and other military transport vehicles that are constantly in the air and on the roads? Here are some research projects for you students out there.

This morning in worship Maxine led us further in the study of Daniel. Today we read chapter three about the huge statue that King Nebuchadnezzar built on the plain of Dura. Since I was here before the fall of the previous regime and now during the US occupation, it is clear, as Doug pointed out this morning, that statues are still being built and lots of people are still worshiping what is not God.

A conscientious objector under Saddam Hussein visited this week. He was very depressed. A friend of his had loaned him money, but now wants it all back, immediately. His friend's calling him names led to a fight in which he injured his friend, who was hospitalized. His friend may be afraid of him; he doesn't want him around. In fact, he has asked for his imprisonment. The CO spent very difficult time in jail, often tortured and deprived. He is to be jailed December 25 because he doesn't have the money. He asks, "Where is justice, law? When I am sleeping in the streets, where is justice? When they cut my ear for refusing to fight in war, where was justice? I don't have a job, a salary, or a house. Where is the law?" He ended with an Iraqi parable: Time is like a sword; if you don't cut it, it
will cut you.

After I wrote the above, the CO friend visited again. Someone paid his debt! He is ecstatic! Suddenly the world has a happy ending.

Yesterday and today as we were in worship, explosions rocked the city at the same time. Yesterday, there were 13 dead and 15 injured, victims of a suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint into the green Zone. I haven't heard about today, but it appears to be the identical location.

Last Thursday, Sheila and I returned from a meeting with a human rights office to see a humvee parked at the end of our street. Before I could check it out, five soldiers were at our door, demanding to be let in and shouting about a camera. Tom came down from the roof just then and I began to understand that he had snapped a photo of the soldiers playing with the children on the street. Tom has been in the Marines, so was anxious to show a gentle side of military life as a contrast to the focus on killing. Jeff, the charge officer of this First Airborne unit, forced Tom to delete the picture, but CPT will vouch for them playing with the children on our
street!

So, nurture the gentle that is in you and others. Dump that which is not. Jesus was clear - goodness is always more powerful than badness. Ride that Iraqi high!

Cliff Kindy

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Cliff: I hope we can all continue riding your Iraqi High. As I see the numbers of Iraqi's dying, as well as those sent to wage Bush's war, I must admit that it's difficult to maintain a high very long. And yet, I know that depression is an easy out, a way to avoid acting and taking responsibility. Know that there are still alot of us who are still engaged in waging peace, and hope and pray for you and your good works there.

My grandson is home for the holidays, but brings with him the sad news that he will be leaving for yet another "tour of duty" in Iraq.

Peace, dear friend. Peace soon.

Dave Lambert
www.fortwaynepeace.com

8:49 AM  

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