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"We have now entered the thrid day of bombing. Each day the bombing becomes more intense. Last night a missile just missed us. Now is the time for us to do all that we can to stop the war before more lives are lost. Nothing less than civil disobedience in Australia, America and Britain will stop the war now. May you be guided by truth, strengthened by love and grow in courage to bring peace to this troubled world." Rosemarie Gillespie (Waratah)

From: The Australian Five Human Shields (Truth Justice Peace Human Shields)

E-MAIL: andalus206@warkaa.net
PHONE:  +964-1-816-4400 ext 4666
(it can take a long time to get through to us on the phone, be patient) 
 

Dear Friends:
 

We have now entered the thrid day of bombing.  Each day the bombing becomes more intense.  Last night a missile just missed us. Now is the time for us to do all that we can to stop the war before more lives are lost. Nothing less than civil disobedience in Australia, America and Britain will stop the war now.  May you be guided by truth, strengthened by love and grow in courage to bring peace to this troubled world.
 
 

BAGHDAD BOMBARDED DAY AND NIGHT
 

Baghdad, 23 March, 2003 (Australian time) 5pm 22 March Baghdad time

 

BAGHDAD IS NOW UNDER INTENSE AND ALMOST CONSTANT BOMBARDMENT.

 

Rosemarie Gillespie, Austalian Human Shield

 

"As I was typing the heading for this release I heard another loud explosion as another missile went off.  I am in central Baghdad at the moment.  The bombardment has been continuing for most of the afternoon.  About an hour ago a missile hit a site and set fire to it.  Black smoke has been billowing from that area ever since.

 

"I have been reliably informed that the Iraqi defence forces have shot down a  United States Air Force jet fighter.  Two pilots weere captured.

 

"The Press Centre near the Office of the Ministry of Information was evacuated earlier this afternoon after word went out that the Office might also be a target.  I and another Australian, Dr Patricia Moynihan, had an appointment to do an interview with Canadian Television by satellite at 2pm.  As we were in the process of hiring a taxi we heard the sound of missiles exploding.  When we arrived at the Press Centre, the international media were all out the front of the building or on the roof.  I raced up the steps looking for our Reuters contact.  When I found him he said that all interviews had been cancelled and to try tomorrow or the nest day!

 

"Last night the United States bombarded Iraq with 1000 missiles. Three hundred and twenty of them hit Baghdad. One of them landed near the April 7 Water Treatment Plant where I am living. The missile struck at about 10pm. There was a deafening explosion, shaking the building where we sleep. One of the other human shields, Donna Mulhearn, also from Australia, was nearly blown off her feet from the impact of the blast.
 

"The missile explosion set off a major fire, which sent a great cloud of smoke spreading across the sky above us, in much the same way billowing clouds of smoke spread across the sky during the recent Canberra bushfires. The fire spread. It took hours before the fire was brought under control. We could still smell the acrid smell of something burning as the night turned into dawn.
 

"The missile had landed little more than a kilometer away from where we were standing. Just a small difference in the trajectory would have had the missile heading straight for us. There are thirteen Human Shields living at the site, three Australians, one American, two from Britain, three from Japan, one Norwegian, one Belgian, one Italian, and one Dane. If the US tries again, misses again and hits us instead, we will be just become an unrecognizable mass of bits of concrete, human flesh and broken furniture. Not only would the missile kill all of us, it would also destroy the water treatment plant, which processes water for three million people. To hit the site would also destroy the special unit run by the International Committee of the Red Cross which processes water for use in the hospitals of Baghdad.
 

"The United States, by firing the missile that landed so close to us last night, close to a Red Cross installation, has committed an act of criminal recklessness. These missiles are themselves clearly weapons of mass destruction, part of a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction ready to be hurled at Iraq and its people.  There are already civilian casualties and the number is increasing."

 

Rosemarie Gillespie (Waratah)

   

HUMAN SHIELDS IRAQ

E-MAIL: andalus206@warkaa.net

PHONE:  +964-1-816-4400 ext 4666
(it can take a long time to get through to us on the phone, be patient)


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Website: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/war.htm  Email: wildwood@pcug.org.au