A contiuación, el más reciente mensaje de Cliff Kindy, del Equipo Cristiano en Acción por la Paz... desde Baghdad...
Recent message from Cliff Kindy, Christian Peace Makers Team in Baghdad...
Received Dec. 27.
Dear Friends, Family, and All Good People,
It is a rainy Christmas Day in Baghdad. Rain is a special gift in this arid
land, so I will rejoice with the Iraqis for this Christmas present from God.
Our team arrived back in Baghdad from Kerbala just before noon today. We
had been there since Tuesday.
There have been some very heavy weeks since I last wrote. Two explosions in
Kerbala and another in Najaf killed over 60 people. An attack at a US
military base in Mosul killed over twenty soldiers. Attacks in Baghdad
continued the assault against election workers and those working with the US
This week, near Kerbala, at a refugee camp we talked with a young man who
had been back to visit Fallujah in the last four days. His report was that
the resistance still held the city. A woman said the bombs fell like rain.
I was skeptical.
Then I saw the NCCI (NGO coordinating committee for Iraq) report yesterday.
"2000 people will be returning to Falluja on Dec 22." Then in the next
paragraph: "A high ranking ING (Iraq Nat'l Guard), Ismail Fayyad, told the
Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent: 'We made a big mistake when we told them
[Falluja refugees] that they could return to Falluja. I think now that the
battle has begun all over again in Falluja or that history has taken us back
to the first day of the battle once again. They [the resistance] are like
water, as soon as you grab hold
of them, they slip from your hands'"
Is this accurate? We hear reports of heavy bombing raids over Falluja in
the press and hear the bombers in the skies over Baghdad. Early reports in
November said only mopping up operations were left, but still, in late
December, there are reports of house-to-house raids and searches, and
reports of soldiers killed, and ING not being able to carry security roles.
This is well over a month after the assault started with massive technical
and personnel superiority and it drags on. Something is wrong with the
With the capture of Saddam Hussein, the turnover of power, the assault on
Fallujah, and now, the upcoming election, the US administration promised
that the situation would change. Yes, it was so. At each point the
situation for Iraqis and the US occupation has changed - the situation has
This week made it clearer. For these last five days in Kerbala, there were
no fighter jets and helicopters in the air, the daily mortars and suicide
explosions ended, gunshots did not echo through the air, and I only saw two
US convoys on Kerbala streets. It doesn't have to be madness and violence.
The question that I face daily is: How do the people of Iraq take the
initiative away from the two sides that keep increasing the violence? How
can the violence of both the US occupation and the forces of resistance be
CPT went to Kerbala to explore ways to nurture a Muslim Peacemaker Team. A
human rights office there has worked with us regularly, and we with them -
praying at the mass graves, vigiling against the US detention and
mistreatment of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and joining the human rights
folks in the mass nonviolent march, called by Ayatollah Sistani, that
stopped the violence of the US military and Sader's militia against the city
This visit we talked about CPT at a university. Students are intrigued and
wanted to learn more. A local community action club heard about our
university visit and came to explore options. We also visited the Fallujan
(Sunni population) refugee camp an hour from Kerbala. A poor Shi'a village,
Ein Tamer, offered hospitality to the refugees. Our human rights contacts
were among the ones who bridged the religious walls.
How can a Muslim Peacemaker Team expand the nonviolence work that is already
happening? Which parties will be active in peacemaking efforts? How will
it become more intentional and organized? Is training necessary? If so,
what will it look like? What actions will build confidence for MPT? How
can CPT learn from this process? Can CPT experience in conflict zones help
MPT? Can we work together across religious boundaries in such a way that
our interchange can be a model for other places in our world? How does our
spiritual undergirding carry us in this path?
Toward this spiritual Christmas action,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]