The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Baghdad diary March 28th by Jo WIlding
tel 009641 7192303 or 7194290 room 506
Phone lines are all down as of today  - comms towers
were bombed last

March 28th

Why? Why did the human species ever bother with the
creation of language only to dream up and carry
through ideas so monstrous as to wither all the words
we ever thought of, to strip them of meaning in the
face of that intent.

And why is it considered a legitimate way to live, for
a person to get up in the morning, kiss his or her
kids goodbye and go and spend the working day
experimenting and discussing and planning and building
novel and ever-more efficient ways of severing soft,
beautiful, living human bodies?

And why is there no way of physically preventing
someone from getting in a plane and flying over
schools and homes and firing rockets which burst
through the wall and into a million fragments in the
middle of the night, splintering a family's sleep and
driving vicious metal squares into their flesh and
vital organs?

Last night's bombs were so immense I could see the
flashes from inside a room with the curtains drawn and
my eyes closed. The building swayed like a treehouse
in the wind, rocking long after the sound had died
away and the soothing voice of the prayer call was
singing out, as if from a machine activated by the
sudden shaking of the minaret.

The communications towers were hit last night and
today there are no phones. The internet is but a
fantasy and even the carrier pigeons have dirtied the
pavement and deserted. I don't know how Zaid is, or
Asmaa and Israa and Mimi and Omar, or Majid and Raid
or Ibrahim, probably less than a mile away, although
it may as well be a million, or Umal or Waleed or
Samir or Hamsa or any of them. Kamil's house is
trashed - it's on El Shaab street, near the ruined
market. Mr Zaid, the minder, is understandably a
little tense today after his house was hit last night.

As foreigners we're not even allowed to cross the road
without a minder now. Six peace activists were kicked
out this morning. A good friend was expelled yesterday
to Syria as a "security risk". He must've passed the
wreckage of the bus convoy. I'm still waiting to hear
he's arrived safely, but he won't be able to phone me
because the phones are down. Another good friend has
just been told, half an hour ago, "Leaving tomorrow."

Right now Friday prayers and a rally are going on
outside the mosque, people crowding into the circle
opposite, among the fountains. A thick crust of sand
has mummified the streets and buildings with a
monotone yellowish-grey, clogging the drains so that
the blood of two sheep, butchered on the pavement an
hour or two ago, provides an almost welcome splash of

Shane and I blew bubbles over the edge of the second
floor inside balcony, down into the dining room on the
first floor and the reception area below, and watched
in glee as grown men jumped and laughed trying to
catch or pop the bubbles and, all the while, the bass
thudding of the bombs carried on around us.
Playfulness in the face of war feels like profound

There's no way of telling the US/UK governments' bomb
fires from the Iraqi government's oil trench fires: as
ever both sides at once are choking the Iraqi people,
poisoning and darkening the air they breathe. People
are running desperately low on money because they're
not able to go to work. Between the two sides they've
now locked the Iraqis out of all communication with
the outside world, as between them they have shafted
the Iraqis for the last couple of decades and a bit.

And why and why and why, like a sigh, like a mantra,
beside every hospital bed, every bombed and burnt out
house: why did they do this to us? Why did they kill
my child? Why are we a target? Why can't my mum come
back? Why destroy my shop and my living? Why can't
anyone stop them?

And how? How did it ever come to this? How did we
surrender our power so completely that an entire world
of people screaming "No" is not enough to stop a few
from bringing about all of this? How did we forget
that they were supposed to carry out our will? How did
we lose sight of our responsibilities to each other,
and continue to pay taxes and commit our labour to the
people who harness it all towards death and their own

And when are we going to put an end to it? They have
to go. These politicians have to go. This whole system
has to go. If we can think of ways to kill, in their
homes, people we can't even see, render non-existent
whole buildings by remote control, we must be able to
imagine and bring into being a better way to run our
world, to conduct ourselves without these corporate
controlled governments, without any governments.
They've failed us, whatever their ideology: now it's
time for the people.

sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism"

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]