Michele Naar-Obed back from Baghdad
- Dear Friends,
For those I have'nt spoken to personally, I've made it back home to Duluth safely. Charlie Jackson and I flew back to Chicago together. Our flight from Amman was 2 1/2 hours late in taking off so we both missed our connecting flights. While we were in the airport in Amman, we noticed these 2 guys who looked somewhat familiar waiting for the flight out as well. Charlie thought they were CIA, I thought they were journalists. One of them sat next to me on the flight and after a bit, I decided to try to strike up a conversation. Well, it turned out that one of the 2 was Denis Halliday, the other his companion Norman. I was quite embarrased that I had'nt been able to identify Denis but we ended up having a long,long conversation on everything from politics to our children. He is quite a remarkable man.
Charlie and I were met by 3 CPT folks in Chicago. It was great to see their smiling faces although I only had a moment to say hello as I was rebooked on the next flight out to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Charlie, I'm sorry I had to run off while you were checking out your connection. I made it to the terminal just as they were boarding.
Jim, your reflections on your trip back and George's funeral were absolutely amazing and profound. I read it at one of our morning reflections. It was such an honor to meet you and get to know you. I'm sure George is proud of you.
Since I've been home, I was interviewed by the local paper and 1 local TV station. The TV interviewer bordered on obnoxious. He kept hounding me to say that Saddam was an evil monster and there was nothing short of war that would save the rest of the world from him. He kept making up these stupid hypothetical situations and then wanted to know how to deal with it if war was not an option. I had about 2 hours sleep in 48 hours, I had a bad cold and major jet lag but I held my ground. The interview was over 1 hour long and I think about 1 minute of footage was shown. I have'nt seen it yet as we don't have a TV. A friend taped it for me.
So far, I have 2 speaking engagements set up in 2 local churches. I would also like to put together a couple more stories and maybe get one of them published in the NCR.
I am very grateful to be with my family, community, and friends, but I have found it very hard to be back in the US. The war fervor is horrendous. The press is so slanted, and the average person on the street is full of fear over the alleged weapons that are supposedly being shuffled throughout the desert under the noses of the inspectors and the eyes of the satalites. However, there has yet to be a presentation of evidence, although, supposedly that is coming next week. Most of the time, I feel useless here and find myself wishing I was back in Iraq where at least I could provide folks with sense of friendship and solidarity. I don't know how I will live with myself if this government wages war.
Well, on a brighter note, as Charlie Jackson would say "another day and the war hasn't started." I guess we can all be grateful for that.
For the folks that were part of the delegation; it was a real privilege to be with you. Each one of you brought such great spirit and meaning to our time in Iraq. I hope we will keep in touch with each other.
Sue, I got all the things you asked me to get and even got the postcard to Zaid. As soon as your shirt dries, I will pack up a box and send it off to you. Thanks for all your support and encouragement during those long hours in the hospital.
I am immensely grateful to all those who have supported and financed this trip and for the many prayers that were offered up for us and the people of Iraq. Thank you for sending me in your name.
Many blessings on your journeys! In peace, Michele Naar-Obed
"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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