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[casi] report from human shield 20 march




[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Hello all,

so the war has begun. A sad moment in the history of mankind, except for those who have been 
advocating war, also on this list, and who I can not call "human beings".

Yesterday evening at 22.30h. I tried to call Baghdad, but a friendly female american voice told me: 
"Sorry. Calls to this country are not permitted." Our website has been blocked for hours. Then I 
knew the war would start. I didn't sleep. Bush & C really consider themselves God of this world, 
deciding on life and death.

Here's a first report from a human shield. It's in english, so I send it to this list. This 
eye-witness report has been sent to me by the 2 Belgian doctors who stay in Baghdad on their 
medical mission for Medical Aid for the Third World and SOS Iraq Belgium. They send daily diaries 
(only in french and dutch) that can be read on www.irak.be.

We had some difficulties on our site lately, due to the overwhelming number of visitors (up till 
5.000 per day the last 2 weeks). So today we transfer the site to a more powerful server. From 
tomorrow the site should be accessed normally and page-views should be faster. I draw your 
attention once again to the powerpoint presentations of the studies by Iraqi scientists about the 
effects of the use of DU, that will be used again in the coming weeks. These presentations can't be 
seen on any other website.

Humanity didn't start this war, but we can end it, all the people of good will together. We must 
double our efforts to stop this madness.

Yours in struggle for peace.

Dirk adriaensens.

www.irak.be



It was barely light when the first two cruise missiles sounded cross the Baghdad sky.

The thin sound like a small jet plane, then dull thud as they xploded, shortly after 5am local time.

Air raid sirens started to wail their alarm, too late for whatever and whomever the Tomahawks hit.

For the next two hours more missiles came in, met too late by anti-aircraft fire and heavy machine 
guns.

The flicker of intermittent tracer bullets was clear against the overcast sky.

With the song of morning prayers as a backdrop to the sound of war, I stood on the roof of the 
house I live in, close to a major oil refinery to the south of the Iraqi capital in an area called 
al-Doura, on the Tigris River.

With gunfire in the air, still distant, the neighbours waved and said hello, one of them sucking on 
a cigarette.

He wandered down the street in the cool morning, off to work or the nearby trenches, or to see his 
family.

Although war is now upon this city, it is not yet upon us.

The fighting and dying has happened somewhere  else, far enough away to feel safe but still close 
enough to feel.

I listened to the BBC world service on a shortwave radio, with a correspondent talking from 
Washington about the United States achieving 'tactical surprise' by launching attacks at dawn 
instead of 4am.

Standing in Baghdad, listening to the noise of war, it sounded like a stupid thing to say.

The city has expected this conflict for days and weeks, so an hour made little difference, just an 
hour extra in bed.

At 5.50am the thin engine sound of another missile or plane could be heard, followed closely by an 
orange arc of light, off to the east.

A few heartbeats later the shockwave hit the house, shaking the air and rattling the windows.

Half-an-hour later I listened to George Bush give his 'we are at war speech'.

As he talked Iraqi gunners continued to fire in the air.

But the expected devastating bombardment has yet to fall as I write this.

It is almost 8am and the lights, gas and telephone still work.

It has been silent for an hour and cars are starting to move outside.

It is now 7.54 and the air raid sirens are sounding close by, loud and high and frightening.

Perhaps the all-clear, but it seems unlikely.

Hearing the sirens, your heart beats faster and you half want to run.

But there is nowhere to run to.

The city can only wait for what is coming and it sounds like death.





Phil Sands, Baghdad, Thursday March 20.

HUMAN SHIELDS IRAQ
E-MAIL:  andalus206@warkaa.net



PHONE:  +964-1-816-4400 ext 4666
(it can take a long time to get through to us on the phone, be patient)



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