Bloomington Peace Action Coalition and the Friends
Committee on National
Legislation are pleased to present a speaking
engagement with Senior Fellow
for Iraq Policy, Rick McDowell.
June 24, 2005
St. Paul Catholic Center
Higgins Hall (in the
lower level of the Center)
1413 E. 17th Street (between Fee Lane and Jordan
* * *
"Eyewitness to the U.S.
Occupation of Iraq: Rick McDowell"
by Timothy Baer
much of the past two years, Rick McDowell has lived in Iraq under the
military occupation of the United States armed forces. He has witnessed days
of profound sorrow, hope, and anger. He has seen inspiring grassroots
efforts to rebuild an Iraq struggling to come to terms with its past and the
present reality of occupation.
Sharing his insights and amplifying
the voices of Iraqi friends and
colleagues, on Friday evening, June 24, Rick
McDowell will speak in
Bloomington about the human cost of war and the need
to end the U.S.
military occupation of Iraq.
McDowell is a Senior
Fellow for Iraq Policy at the Friends Committee on
National Legislation. He
and his wife, Iraq Policy Senior Fellow, Mary
Trotochaud, completed a
two-year term as the American Friends Service
Committee (AFSC) Iraq Country
Representatives in March 2005.
They are currently focused on lobbying
Congress to change U.S. policy toward
Iraq and the Middle East. Rick and
Mary are now traveling around the United
States talking to communities about
their experiences in the Middle East and
their work toward peace for the
people of Iraq.
In the six months prior to March 2003, Rick and Mary
traveled extensively in
and around Iraq. In March 2003, the couple moved to
Amman, Jordan, to work
with the AFSC prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
They then moved to a
residential neighborhood in the center of Baghdad,
outside the Green Zone,
in late April 2003.
Their work in Iraq was
primarily in support of emerging Iraqi civil society
including a number of women's organizations. Rick and Mary
administered relief and development projects: water and
education projects, health care initiatives, women's
shelters, and programs
for handicapped individuals.
The Iraq Country Representatives were based
in Baghdad until the fall of
2004. They were then forced to move to Amman,
Jordan, because of the
deteriorating security situation.
two-year period (March 2003-March 2005), Rick and Mary returned
United States several times for speaking tours to raise awareness
situation in Iraq. They have briefed Congressional staff, and
many national and international organizations involved in
McDowell has been involved in Middle East-related issues since
including extensive time spent in the region. He has also worked with
in the Wilderness since its inception in 1996.
1996 and December 2002, he led or accompanied 15 delegations
including a U.S. Quaker/AFSC delegation, a Fellowship of
delegation of Nobel Peace Laureates, and numerous 'Voices'
* * *
Rick McDowell's Bloomington presentation is
co-sponsored by Spirit of
Service, the Peace and Justice Committee of St.
Paul Catholic Center;
Bloomington Friends Meeting (Religious Society of
Congregations for Peace.
McDowell will also speak in
Indianapolis on Saturday, June 26 and in
Richmond, Indiana on Sunday, June
* * *
Timothy Baer is an organizer with Bloomington Peace
Action Coalition. He can
be reached at BPACpeace@...