Saturday, March 15, 2008

Civilian Testimony: The Cost of War in Iraq

Fernando Braga (Chair)
Announced a video archive for citizen testimony at Alive in Baghdad

The videos showing now at the conference of Iraqi civilians testimony are streaming
on the IVAW website

Dahr Jamail
Un-embedded journalist in the Middle East
Dahr describes the raid on a school looking for students age 12 to 17 who had protested for Saddam Hussein. The children were terrified by this raid. Children through rocks at departing Bradley and a soldier in the Bradley fired over their heads with an M16. The studnets recognized who the terrorists were in this instance.

Jamail described Medical report on a Bath party member who was dropped off at a local hospital in a coma. The report claimed he suffered form the hear but did not mention broken thumb, whip marks on his body, trauma to his head and electrical burns on his feet and genitals.

April siege of Falluja - Jamal saw bullet holes in Ambulance windows reportedly from American snipers. He witnessed many examples of gun shot wounds being brought in. By hte end of this seige doctors reported 736 deaths, about 60% were civilians. A soccer field had to be used as a grave yard. Cluster bombs and white phosphorus were used at this time (against the Geneva Conventions)

Rahid (Raed) Jarrar (see his blog)- A native of Baghdad
Smart bombs obviously killed civilians - between 100,000 and 1 million (?)
Rahid participated in a door to door casualty survey that brought home to him all the uncounted suffering but Americans still see Iraqi deaths as numbers. He also saw evidence of illegal cluster bombs and depleted uranium in residential neighborhoods. He went with journalists with Geiger counters and disabled American tanks with Iraqi children playing in them were highly radioactive.
Imagine if 1 of every 5 people you know were killed, injured or displaced.
How can staying in Iraq be good for the Iraqi people
We must withdraw and cease intervention - as demanded by the majority of Iraqis
When you step on someones foot on the bus, first you remove your foot and then you apologize!"
"Leave Iraq alone to the Iraqis!"

Salam Talib -Iraqi engineer interpreter and journalist (because they was nothing else to do)
Begins in Arabic - explains that this might be the problem.
His own experience taught him that any contact with US soldiers is really deadly.
He has had almost 40 friends die from these types of incidents

The Arabic we need to know is "Salam" which means peace. And we should never never go somewhere else and steal their peace

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