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]
Dear Elga, Thanks for sharing those articles. Simply thought this latest one may fit in your collection. Best Andreas ------------------- Obit from SF Chronicle on Patriarch's passing Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid, spiritual leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholics, has died after a long illness. He was 81. The Vatican's missionary news service Fides said he died Monday in Beirut, Lebanon, where he had been hospitalized for several months. The cause of death was not given. Bidawid was an outspoken opponent of the economic embargo on Iraq, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Some accused him of being an apologist for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but he responded that he was only defending his country. During a 1991 visit to the Vatican he accused the Gulf War allies of genocide against the Iraqi people. "These nations should feel pretty guilty. It was a vendetta, a shame for humanity," he said. Pope John Paul II sent a condolence message Tuesday, citing Bidawid's long service for the Chaldean Catholic Church. Chaldean Catholics are the largest Christian community in Iraq, but the numbers have been steadily shrinking, mainly because of economic hardships. Fides said they number between 500,000 and 700,000. Bidawid was born in Mosul, Iraq, and entered a seminary there at the age of 11. Three years later he was sent to Rome to study theology and philosophy. He was ordained in 1944 and elevated to bishop in 1957 at the age of 35 -- at the time the youngest in the world, according to a Fides biography. A synod of the Chaldean Church elected him patriarch in 1989, following the death of Mar Pulus II Chekho. ----- Original Message ----- From: "H Sutter" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Sent: Dienstag, 8. Juli 2003 14:41 Subject: [casi] Iraq: a little antidote to US propaganda Dear List, I came across a website recently with the title: "don't let your mind become an occupied territory". It was about Iraq. Some US Media and the public insist that they have been "misled into this war". And now that the damage is done, some people still say they are unable to see the situation clearly, given the "barrage of propaganda in the US". To rid themselves of guilt feelings perhaps, quite a few Americans have suggested that Iraqis read the Declaration of Independence in order to cope with the brutalities of occupation. Others have recommended the works of Thomas Paine. As admirable as these suggestions are, they may offer cold comfort to occupied, harrassed, starving, unemployed, electricity-deprived, and homeless Iraqis. As a little antidote to occupier-propaganda, here are some reminder of things past - mainly from the perspective of the Christian church in Iraq. It may help the beleaguered US citizens not to be further "misled". --- [from the Episcopal News Service, January 29, 2003] In January 2003, Gabriel Kassab, the Chaldean-Catholic Archbishop of Basrah was in Geneva to urge for an end to the sanctions on Iraq and for the prevention of a new war. At a news conference at the offices of the World Council of Churches, reporters asked if Christians in Iraq were afraid of being targeted by Muslims if war breaks out (the official USUK line). "All of us are afraid, Msgr Kassab said. "Christians are Iraqis just like Shi'ite Muslims, like Sunni Muslims. We are afraid because we are Iraqi, and Iraq is targeted by this war. Christians are part of the Iraqi population." Msgr Kassab explained that the communities lived in harmony. There were no tensions between Christians and Muslims. A month ago, he pointed out, local Muslim religious leaders attended the inauguration of the Catholic cathedral. You may remember that _compliance_ was one of Washington's favourite line in justifying bombings and the sanctions: Iraq alleged didn't comply with the numerous resolutions or the inspections. Or the compliance was deemed unsatisfactory, as in 1998. And media/public, seemingly bereft of independent thought, willingly swallowed that line - along with the WMD-line. Now, in January 2003, reporters in Geneva asked Msgr Kassab if the churches in Iraq were encouraging the Iraqi government's compliance with UN resolutions on arms inspections to avoid war. The Archbishop said: "Anything that is conducive to peace and serves the common good of society, we as a church are in favor of. But the government of Iraq itself has made it clear that it is willing to cooperate with UN resolutions." Msgr Kassab also told reporters that the Gulf war "went on from 1991 to this day. Every day American and British aircraft fly over our heads and they often bomb us and kill our people. This is true more particularly during the past two months." --- [The Tablet, April 5, 2003] (The "Tablet" is a Catholic weekly. And the Vatican, you may remember, roundly condemned this war - pointing out that a pre-emptive strike was both unethical and illegal.) "Baghdads bishops plead for atrocious bombing to stop", reads a headline in the Tablet, April 5. Catholic and Orthodox bishops issued this plea in the second week of the USUK invasion, as the situation in Baghdad was worsening every day because of the bombing. "United with our Muslim brothers, we ask everyone to issue an urgent appeal for a ceasefire", Shlemon Warduni, a Chaldean Catholic bishop said. The bombing does not stop; it is increasingly atrocious and terrifying, he told Radio Vatican. Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman told the Rome-based Misna missionary agency that the missile strike on a Baghdad market earlier in the week had caused widespread dismay. No way, said Colin Powell. He told an Arab TV station that a ceasefire would only encourage President Hussein into thinking he could avoid being toppled. (Wasn't that supposed to be about 'disarming' - ie, WMDs?) No way, said Rumsfeld also. He was told that some countries might ask the UN to halt the slaughter. No matter what they might propose, there isn't going to be a ceasefire, he said. Motto: "stuff happens". --- ["Return to Basra", end of April - in "Ossietzky"] An Austrian oncologist, Dr. Hobiger, returns to Basra after the war is over. She finds the sight of all the new ruins very upsetting: Basra, already devastated by previous bombings, looks worse still. There is graffiti on the walls of houses asking Americans and the British to "leave our country". At the Mother-and-Child Hospital Ibn Ghazwan, her Iraqi colleagues tell her how they tried to protect the hospital after the war broke out. Some of the doctors stayed day and night after the looting began when the British took Basra. They then went to the British headquarters at the Hotel Shatt-el-Arab and asked for protection for the hospital - for the sake of one hundred critically ill children. The Iraqi doctors got the same answer from the British occupiers as the Baghdadis got from the Americans: "We are here to fight, not to protect. This is not our task." The stock rooms for food and medical supplies were looted at the beginning. Now there is a shortage of drugs. Only critical cases can be admitted, others are treated as outpatients. Ninety percent of all child-patients are suffering from diarrhoea. There are cases of cholera and typhoid in Basra, notes Dr. Hobiger. And the water supply is dismal. In desperation, people bore into water pipes to get water. Others, desperate for a few Dinars, take copper pipes to sell. But the British refuse to protect the 15 pumping stations. Helpers from the IRC are mending the pipes daily. One IRC man said this was a breach of the Geneva Convention: "The British are responsible for the situation." Temperatures are rising and hundreds, possibly thousands, of infants will die dies summer of from diarrhoea and dehydration. These children will be victims of war, but their names won't get into the statistics. Dr. Hobiger also met with Archbishop Gabriel Kassab. He told her a story she found almost incredible, she writes, but other people in Basra confirmed it: On one occasion, the British threw food packages into the crowd from a lorry. This went on while journalists were filming. As soon as the filming was finished, the food distribution stopped, and the lorry was closed up again. Archbishop Kassab himself tried to share food with the poor. But at this point (April) he had nothing left, and for the poor there was only starvation. --- [Western Catholic Reporter, July 8, 2003] "There is no security in Iraq", Baghdad Chaldean Catholic Bishop Shlemon Warduni told Vatican Radio. "The people of Iraq are living in great difficulty," he said. "In the absence of an effective government we are falling into chaos." Bishop Warduni asked international leaders for cooperation in the effort "to make Iraq free and democratic, without any occupation." And "for the sake of the young people and children, we want a bit of freedom." And he stressed that the country cannot regain a sense of normalcy until there is "a provisional government - or at least a system of law." ### Elga Sutter _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk