Fwd: CPT Reservist Killed in Highway Rollover in Iraq, Delegates Injured
> CPT Reservist Killed in Iraq, Delegates Injured, in=====
> Highway Rollover
> Basrah, Iraq - George Weber, 73, of Chesley ON, Canada,
> was killed instantly in a motor accident on Jan. 6, north
> of Basrah, Iraq, while travelling with a Christian
> Peacemaker Team (CPT) delegation.
> Charlie Jackson, 43, of San Antonio TX, USA, and Michele
> Naar-Obed, 46, of Duluth MN, USA, sustained moderate
> injuries in the crash. Two others had minor injuries.
> Six CPT delegates were travelling in a Chevrolet Suburban
> as part of a 3-vehicle caravan returning to Baghdad from
> Basrah. The left rear tire blew out causing the car to
> fish-tail. The driver tried to stabilize the vehicle but
> it hit the shoulder of the road, flipped over, and rolled
> to a stop upside-down beside the road. Weber sustained
> massive head injuries when he was thrown from the
> Iraqi passers-by and CPT delegates from the other two
> cars witnessed the crash and immediately came to help.
> The delegation then returned to Basrah where the victims
> were examined and treated at a local hospital. Jackson
> sustained a broken rib and back strain in the accident
> and remains in
> hospital. Naar-Obed sufffered a broken nose and neck
> strain but was released after treatment. Larry Kehler,
> 69, of Winnipeg MB, Canada, and Pat Basler, 64, of
> Webster WI, USA, were also examined for minor injuries
> and released.
> The vehicles were in excellent condition with skilled
> drivers, on a lightly travelled six-lane highway, under
> clear weather conditions. The tires on the vehicles were
> all replaced just prior to the delegation. The cause of
> the tire failure is still being investigated.
> Delegation members said that, while in Iraq, Weber had
> been most deeply touched by the children he saw suffering
> from radiation-related cancers and the lack of
> medications under the UN-administered economic sanctions.
> Delegation leader Cliff Kindy, 53, of North Manchester
> IN, said, "On this day, Christians celebrate Epiphany
> when strangers brought gifts from the East. Our
> delegation came from the West. George Weber brought the
> gift of his life."
> Weber was a retired history teacher and trained CPT
> Reservist. He served in 2001 and 2002 with the CPT team
> in Hebron, West Bank. There, he took a particular
> interest in accompanying Palestinian school children to
> classes under curfew in the occupied city. With his wife
> Lena, he had also spent three years teaching school in
> Nigeria in the 1960s.
> When Weber first applied to CPT in 1999, he wrote, "I
> think that most of the calamities that befall ordinary
> folk could be alleviated if it were not for the
> selfishness and greed that motivate the power structures
> which are in place throughout the world. But there are
> also many people of good will who wish to treat everyone
> fairly and with charity. I try to be among this group."
> CPT delegates issued a statement that attested to the
> driver's skilful handling of the vehicle in an attempt to
> avert the crash. The delegation thanked the Iraqi
> hospital workers, and local officials, who provided quick
> and compassionate assistance to the group after the
> accident. The delegation will stay in Basrah overnight
> and most plan to return to their home countries as
> scheduled on Jan. 9.
> The 17-person delegation has been in Iraq since Dec, 29
> visiting hospitals and other Iraqi civilian institutions
> to witness first-hand the devastating impact of 13 years
> of sanctions, the Gulf War, and the threat of another war
> on the Iraqi people.
> Delegation members include Anne Albright (McPherson KS),
> Pat Basler (Webster WI), Le Anne Clausen (Mason City IA),
> Bill and Genie Durland (Cokedale CO), Thomas Finger
> (Evanston IL), Peggy Gish (Athens OH), Sue Gray
> (Carbondale CO), Charlie Jackson (San Antonio TX), Larry
> Kehler (Winnipeg MB), Cliff Kindy (N. Manchester IN),
> Robert Leonetti (Trinidad CO), Jim Loney (Priceville ON),
> Mary Ellen McDonagh (Chicago IL), Anne Montgomery (New
> York NY), and Michele NaarObed (Duluth MN).
> Claire Evans
> Personnel and Delegation Coordinator
> Christian Peacemaker Teams
> PO Box 6508
> Chicago, IL 60680
> Tel: 773-277-0253; Fax: 773-277-0291
> Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative of the
> historic peace churches (Mennonites, Church of the
> Brethren, and Quakers) with support and membership from a
> range of Catholic and Protestant denominations.
"The taproot of violence in our society today is our intent to use nuclear weapons. Once we have agreed to that, all other evil is minor in comparison. Until we squarely face the questions of our consent to use nuclear weapons, any hope of large scale improvement of public morality is doomed to failure."
- Fr. Dick McSorley, S.J.
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