UNCENSORED UPDATE FROM
HUMAN SHIELD IN IRAQ (Waratah):
BAGHDAD KURDISTAN ORWELL
by Max Watts
12:39pm Fri Mar 21 '03 (Modified on 5:30pm Fri Mar 21 '03)
Source - Active Sydney: http://www.active.org.au/sydney
This news item: http://www.active.org.au/sydney/news/front.php3?article_id=2292&group=webcast
Friday, 21 March 2003, 4:50 am.
Max: I have just got off the phone to Baghdad. To [Waratah] Rosemarie Gillespie. At the 7th April Water Treatment Plant on the Tigris river. [..]
BAGHDAD KURDISTAN ORWELL
Friday, 21 March 2003
4:50 am. Max: I have just got off the phone to Baghdad. To [Waratah] Rosemarie Gillespie. At the 7th April Water Treatment Plant on the Tigris river.
Earlier attempts to talk to Rosemarie ended in sometimes funny, sometimes irritating, always fatiguing, failures, but I did get to talk to a Maroccan Peace Shield in Baghdad, an Australian in Kurdistan near Sulaymaniah (spelling? phonetic), Canadians (including an extremely annoying automatic answering machine) in Toronto, my old mate Rita exUS Army Perrin in Lebret (that's in Saskatchewan), very neutralist Austrians, and any number of Ozzies mostly in Sydney and Melbourne. And others. [..]
ROSEMARIE/MAX: (this also from earlier, not yet quoted, conversation)
The Bushes and Co obviously no longer listen to petitions or votes. Anything they say, or said yesterday, is either no longer operative or may be true.
(Max: I distinctly remember them (Adlai Powell) asking the 15 members of the UN Security Council to "show their cards, vote" - whatever happened to that?)
ROSEMARIE: The situtation has reached a point where only Direct Industrial Action, Civil Disobedience, can make a difference.
(Max, others: This point seems very troublesome for the NSW Labor Party, which - while now loudly on the anti-war band-wagon, does not like painted operas or paint on Premier's Cars. Above all, not before Saturday's NSW State elections, where many will vote "No War" Parties. ["No War at all", not just now, that the UN has been destroyed. The Copy&Paster])
ROSERMARIE (a barrister in her spare time): The invasion of Iraq is clearly against International Law. Obviously the Security Council was against it, would not for the American/Brit resolution, however much armstwisting the US tried.
ROSEMARIE, others: Australian soldiers who refuse to participate redeem the good name of our country, in great danger.
Max: American soldiers, RITA's, Resisters inside the Army, who in the later stages of Vietnam killed more of their own officers than the Vietnamese, sailors who stopped many of the Aircraft Carriers bombing Vietnam from Yankee station, did much to end that war!
ROSERMARIE: The US is lighting a powder keg in the Middle East. All around the people are furious at the double standard, against Iraq: bombs, to Israel: Billions of Dollars. And Bombs too, of course, to drop on Palestinians.
ROSERMARIE: The Iraqis will be no pushover. They will not welcome the Americans, they will fight …
Max: What's happening at your end?
ROSERMARIE: At 5:30 this (Thursday) morning we were woken by the bombs … Could hear them, but not see. (More below).
Everybody is still here, sticking to it. We're ten now ...
(see below: "When I got here we were six, then seven. Now - Thursday evening - (Baghdad time, 4am Sydney) we are 13, no: 14. It's a very popular place … But in one room. It's getting crowded. I might move to another place… M: who came? R: More Japanese, 3 here now. Some of the 25 South Africans who have just arrived (In Baghdad).
Max: Ruhmsfeld, a Bushy, on the BBC, just on about war not against Iraq (Eric Blair, where are you?) just against the evil Saddam, his sons, his regime… Iraqis should and will surrender …. Or revolt for America … Which is looking after the whole world, even if world hasn't quite got it yet..
ROSERMARIE: Total Bullshit. There's a huge influx of volunteers into the regular army (and militia). Getting Uniforms and arms. There's an enormous upswing of support for the President, because of the invasion. When Hitler was threatening England, people, even people who knew Churchill as a right-wing Imperialist, supported him. And more, after the (Blitz) bombing.
Max: Bombing, this morning…
ROSERMARIE: 40 Missiles hit South Baghdad this morning, the people at the South Baghdad power station saw them fly overhead… I heard about one civilian killed, could be more. Missiles also were fired into Basra. I don't have any details about that.
(Max: another source in Baghdad said there were a total of 51 missiles, maybe 11 in Basra ?)
ROSERMARIE: Things are quiet, very slow, in town today. Many shops are shut. The markets are deserted. During the past three days there was lots of activity. People were preparing for the onslaught. They are experienced, they've been thru it once before (1991 Gulf War). They're pretty calm, determined. Today many remain at home. Except … everywhere, new soldiers, volunteers, preparing for a ground assault.
Max: Bush, Ruhmsfeld, say they'll surrender…
ROSERMARIE: Like in Bougainville! Remember, the PNG and Oz media had the war won, Arawa had been captured… I was walking around in Arawa, hadn't noticed!
(Max: Later the Oz/PNG Army captured Panguna mine, again, defintely, declared the war won (15 August 1994). Two weeks later the new PNG Prime Minister Chan begs BRA commander Sam Kauona for an armistice, to get his starving men, surrounded, out of Panguna. Three years later, today, the Bougainvillians have definitely won their war, beaten not only PNG, but Australia and … keep that secret ! Rio Tinto. Them little Blacks have kept the (stolen, from Rio Tinto !) mine.)
Max: what about the Shiites, Kurds …
ROSERMARIE: Shiites don’t want an American puppet president any more than any other Iraqi. Kurds are very divided …
Max: In Sydney anti-war demo this arvo (Thursday, about 30,000 people) there was a Kurd contingent with Banners: "Neither Saddam nor America"…
ROSERMARIE: Yes, that figures …
ROSERMARIE: Will try find working email, send tomorrow…
Max: You are supposed to be bombed tonite! Massively…
ROSERMARIE: We'll see. One day at a time…
Tel call to C in Kurdistan, with Satelite Phone.
C: Situation is tense. People are very nervous. No shooting right now. But afraid may come. Americans … or Turks ... People are leaving town(s)… Sulaymaniah (sp? Phonetic). Heading into the hills, mountains.
Can't talk now. Try me again later …
Vienna: "We are, thank God, neutral."
Max: "Don't you want to be protected by America?" I was trying to be funny, but got a fast answer:
Vienna: "Nobody here wants any part of it. No, No, NO!"
Get rid of US Dollars, convert into Euros! Now EUR100 = US$107, some months ago the American Dollar was worth more than the Euro, maybe 100:95. Should have got Euros then! Hindsight!
Saddam's fault … he is selling oil for Euros, rather than Dollars!!! A real crime. We can understand why they shoot 40 cruise missiles, at 1 Million dollars each, at him! Once "we" have captured Iraq, no more of that funny money Euro game. Funny that Ruhmsfeld doesn't mention that!
Toronto: Organise intercontinental "peace activist" panel for CTV (Canada AM) program. "Find us Oz Peaceniks!" Get Dr. GD and Film Star CH. Hope it works. Fall asleep at switch. Wake …
Lebret, Sask: DP: "I just worked a week - per em - with Jane Fonda, on her autobiography." (Private DP, RA, US Army, helped politicise Jane Fonda, 36 years ago… in Paris…
Melbourne: Do Radio Broadcast on 3CR. Have no idea what said. (Iraq, sure)… Falling asleep.
Sydney: Asleep. Erka calls. Didn't make demo. Will go to next one. I tell of Dream, about Brit drongo called Jack Straw, some kind of minister. In dream he narks me, says you got another 20 (Brit) Labour MPs to vote against war, but "they ain't got no commitment!" I wake and decide to recommence writing Bougainville Book, come what may… next chapter will be about: COMMITMENT
Inspired and sad, the journey we need to do is still very long
by Maria Pilar
5:30pm Fri Mar 21 '03
Excellent Max, please pass to GrandMother Rosemarie Waratah Gillespie my love AND thanks for her courage, once more she proves us what she is made of ... but please ... remind her that she is more valuable alive than dead, she is needed here, and have an important role to play for a future real peace. I wish i could meet more people like her ... (no money to call myself, all spend in peace activities) also let her know that Arthur Chesterfield-Evans read her latest report at the rally on thursday and Vivienne Porzslot spoke as well. The antiwar coalition Mc/organisers did a slighter better job this time regarding the speakers but still no voices included from indigenous people (still is their land), the grassroots or cross- cultural non white, maybe one day they will learn that there is only one world to be share equally by all races, black, yellow, red ... and white. For the non white, non western mayority of the rest of the world, we do really exist and we have a lot of wisdom/experience to share. wonder if the white western dominated culture will see in themselves the relationship between American domination and themselves as foot soldiers of that domination in their every day actions. A lesson still to be learned i suppossed. Sorry, still hurts to be invisible, excluded, silenced and discriminated even in our progressive/left ranks.
All the best and regards