Women Under Siege is an excellent, fact-filled
new 20 page report from the US peace group CODEPINK. Download from:
“The report shows that from 1958 to the 1990s, Iraq provided more
rights and freedoms for women and girls than most of its neighbors.
Though Saddam Hussein's dictatorial government and 12 years of severe
sanctions reduced these opportunities, Iraqi women were active in all
aspects of their society. After the occupation, with the exception of
women in Iraqi Kurdistan, women's daily lives have been reduced to a
mere struggle for survival.
Say NO to WAR:
Call for Peace: An Urgent Appeal
petition for peace was signed by 100,468
people by March 8, International Women's Day, surpassing the 100,000
goal set by Code
Pink. On March 7 Code Pink reported that "March
8 anti-war actions (are) planned in 18 countries and 65 cities in the
US! In Hyderabad, Pakistan a group will go to their US Embassy with
signatures and a message that "the Pakistani people don't want war in
Iraq." In Cairo, Egypt they are going to both the US and UK Embassies.
On the Fiji island of Suva, women have been wearing pink every Wednesday
to spread awareness and get more signatures to deliver to the US Embassy
on their island. In Venezuela, after hearing the call from President
Hugo Chavez to support the Women Say NO To War campaign, a brand new
CODEPINK Caracas chapter formed last week and is organizing an action
on March 8th..." US
Families for Peace" activist Cindy Sheehan
and others were arrested as they tried to present the petition at the
UN in New York City. See
more on Cindy Sheehan and her recent writings.
In Berlin Women and Life on Earth and others delivered petition
posters with the signature totals to the US Embassy and German Chancellor,
calling for an end to the US occupation of Iraq and a halt to German
support for US illegal war-related activity on German soil.
Will Tell Our Stories?
Medea Benjamin, AlterNet. Posted March 2, 2006.
A delegation of Iraqi women who lost family members during the invasion
want to visit the U.S. The State Department says no way.
The Samarra Bombing and its Aftermath: A New Face
on the Civil War?
by Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver; Institute for Policy Studies; February
ZNet | Iraq·" It remains unclear who was responsible for the attack
on the golden-domed Askariya Shi'a mosque in Samarra. In the two days
following the bombing over 200 Iraqis were killed, and the country was
put under a day-and-night curfew... The spike in sectarian violence does
not reflect a sudden danger of civil war. Rather, if it continues to escalate
it may lead to a shift from the existing low-intensity political civil
war between supporters (reluctant or not) of the U.S. occupation and opponents
of that occupation, to a civil war identified largely along sectarian
The three, who were
working for the TV-channel Al Arabiya, were kidnapped on Wednesday,
February 22, on the outskirts of Samarra, north of Bagdad. The team
had just finished reporting on the destruction of on important Shiite
Golden Mosque and mausoleum in the city centre, which had been bombed
earlier in the day.
and Life on Earth mourns the death of Atwar Bahjat, 26, an Iraqi
journalist, and her colleagues, Khaled Mohsen and Adnan Abdallah,
who were murdered while fulfilling their professional duties.
On Thursday morning, the bodies of the three journalists were found.
We at WLOE are horrified by this appalling act, our thoughts are with
the families of the three victims. We share the concern expressed by "Reporters
without Borders", a press freedom organisation, who said "We
will never stop repeating that journalists are neutral and vital observers.
They are neither combatants nor targets to be shot down. Their work
must be protected and respected, whatever their nationality and regardless
of which media they work for." For more on this story see
their report here.
Iraq Quagmire: the mounting costs of the Iraq War", January
2006, Institute for Policy Studies
2 page fact sheet (pdf
Iraqi Mother's Open letter
to Cindy Sheehan:
a mother myself I have been following your campaign to pull out the
US armed forces from Iraq. Having lost my son, as yourself, on the
same battle-field, IRAQ, but on opposite sides, I felt both compassion
and relief to have an ally on the other side..."
17 November 2005
The World Tribunal on Iraq:
"The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our
safety, on our future, on us all"
After two years of hearings and research, the closing session of this
international investigation on the causes and effects of the US-led
war on Iraq was held in Istanbul, Turkey from June 23-27, 2005.
Release about Jury Statement
women's voices from the Tribunal:
Most Cowardly War in History: Opening Statement of Arundhati Roy
24 June 2005
.."The testimonies at the previous sessions of the World Tribunal
on Iraq in Brussels and New York have demonstrated that even those of
us who have tried to follow the war in Iraq closely are not aware of
a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq... The assault
on Iraq is an assault on all of us: on our dignity, our intelligence,
and our future.
We recognize that the judgment of the World Tribunal on Iraq is not
binding in international law. However, our ambitions far surpass that.
The World Tribunal on Iraq places its faith in the consciences of millions
of people across the world who do not wish to stand by and watch while
the people of Iraq are being slaughtered, subjugated, and humiliated."
A New Political Imaginary: Corinne
Kumar, Women in Black India, El Taller International, Asian
Women’s Human Rights Council
Read this inspiring speech on the informative website of Women
in Black Leuven (Belgium)
"Only the imagination stands between us and fear : fear makes us
behave like sheep when we should be dreaming like poets...
We must seek new imaginaries from the South : the South not only as
third world, as the civilizations of Asia, the Arab world, Africa, Latin
America; but the South as the voices and movements of peoples, wherever
these movements exist; the South as the visions and wisdoms of women..."
Eve Ensler's Letter to America, witten at the close of
the Tribunal. She challenges America to wake up and act.
" Dear America,
I am longing to reach you-crossing this river of indifference and consumption
and denial. I am trying to find you, reaching out through the desperate
limitations of words and descriptions, swimming through the rhetoric
of terror and God..."
Evans reports for CodePink Also
on Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/22308/
"Anti-war organizing that began within
days of September 11th and kicked into high gear in the run-up to Bush's
war in Iraq is paying off...
writes Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in a widely
Point, 28 June 2005 See other
articles by Phyllis Bennis
28 June: Congresswoman
Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) offered the following statement in response
to President Bush’s speech on Iraq tonight: “The President
misled the American people about this war, and he has no credibility
on Iraq. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. There was no connection
between Saddam and al Qaeda. There was no post war planning, and our
nation is less safe as a result..."
20 June 2005:
Phase II of the Anti-War Movement
by Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK,
"For the history books, mark down June 2005 as the moment the US
movement against the occupation of Iraq got its second wind. In June,
the US public became solidly anti-war, Bush's approval rating took a
nosedive, and a significant number of Congresspeople started to call
for an exit strategy..."
is Small Potatoes
Ivins, AlterNet. Posted April 1, 2005.
"Some days, it's hard to pick the outrage du jour, but hypocrisy
is always an inviting target, and the United Nations oil-for-food scandal
provides a two-fer..."
Invasion of Falluja: A Study in the Subversion of Truth
Mary Trotochaud and Rick McDowell,
Service Committee's representatives in Iraq.
Their home is in Baghdad, but they are temporarily living in Amman,
"The illegal invasion, occupation, and subsequent violence
perpetrated on the people of Iraq has lent considerable evidence
to the assertion that truth is the first casualty of war.
It's hard to get past the US Administration's rhetoric that the
siege of Falluja was an operation of pacification to ensure the
Iraqi population's participation in free and democratic elections
planned for late January. Is it not Orwellian that annihilation
and occupation have been redefined to represent pacification and
liberation? One wonders if the entire nation of Iraq isn't being
destroyed in the name of saving it.
Falluja should go down in history as a case study on how truth
is subverted, co-opted, buried, and ignored..."
for more on Falluja: http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000196.php#more
Thought and Local Action
for Nonviolent Social Change
monthly journal since 1972 of the New England Regional Office
of the AFSC.
view of the situation of women in war-torn Iraq from Houzan MahMoud,
Iraqi living in Britain and United Kingdom head of the
Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq. This article was first
published in The Independent in Britain.
January 2005, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
women find election a cruel joke
By Houzan MahMoud
" I am an Iraqi woman, and I am boycotting the elections. Women
who do vote will be voting for an enslaved future. Surely, say those
who support these elections, after decades of tyranny, here at last
is a form of democracy, imperfect, but democracy nevertheless? ...
The senseless violence that surrounds -- and is caused by
-- the US occupation of Iraq is brought home again, with the death of
a young activist working for compensation for civilian victims of the
war. Visit her organization's website for a visual display honoring
her life and work, The
Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict: "CIVIC is a small organization
working to obtain U.S. Government assistance for communities and families
in need, while helping to shine a spotlight on the human costs of war."
CIVIC Worldwide http://www.civicworldwide.org/index.htm
A few of many articles
written by those who knew her:
A FRIEND KILLED IN IRAQ
Benjamin, Kevin Danaher, AlterNet
Marla Ruzicka was a bright, shining light whose work focused on trying
to bring some compassion into the middle of a war zone.
Remembering Marla Ruzicka as someone who didn't let the warmongers impede
her quest for justice
By Camille T. Taiara, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Just before her death, Marla Ruzicka wrote about the importance of recording
and publicly releasing Iraqi civilian casualty numbers.
Numbers Matter By Marla Ruzicka, AlterNet. Posted April
What Are We Fighting For? By
27 January 2005, Alternet
An excellent interview:
writer Naomi Klein talks about the US presidential election, the
failure of the Kerry campaign and its effects on the continuing war
in Iraq. Several quotes:
..."First of all, I believe that an anti-war campaign could have
won the election. But even if you think I'm crazy, I believe that an
anti-war campaign would have done a better job at losing the election
(laughs). Elections are also moments where issues get put on the national
agenda. If there had been (an anti-war) candidate with courage, for
instance, it would have been impossible for Bush to name Alberto Gonzales
as his candidate for attorney general. It was Kerry's silence more than
Bush's win that allowed Bush to make such a scandalous appointment.
When the siege in Fallujah happened (days after the election), and the
violations of the Geneva Convention were at a completely new level,
there were no questions raised in the mainstream press. The New York
Times reported these incidents without even an editorial or interview
of experts on international law about whether it was legitimate to attack
all the medical care facilities and so on. This to me is Kerry's legacy...
We need to develop
an agenda based on the demands coming from Iraq for reparations, for
total debt erasure, for complete control over the oil revenues, for
a cancellation of the contracts signed under the occupation, and so
on. This is what real sovereignty would look like, real self-determination
— we know this..."
the Torture of Others a powerful critique of U.S. torture in Iraq
and awe were what our military promised the Iraqis. And shock and the
awful are what these photographs announce to the world that the Americans
have delivered: a pattern of criminal behavior in open contempt of international
costs of war
War affects everyone,
not just those directly involved in the fighting.
National Priorities Project website shows the ever-updated dollar
costs to US taxpayers -- and what could be done with those funds
-- instead of destruction.
Cost of the
War in Iraq
War has cost 100,000 Iraqi lives: Lancet study 29 October 2004:
The first scientific study of the human cost of the Iraq war suggests
that at least 100,000 civilians have lost their lives since their country
was invaded in March 2003. More than half of those who died were women
and children killed in air strikes, researchers say. Iraqi people are
now 58 times more likely to die a violent death.
Download 8 page study at: http://www.zmag.org/lancet.pdf
The Iraq Body
Count Project: "an independent and comprehensive public
database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly
from military action by the USA and its allies..."
Coalition Casualty Count
A detailed listing of the killed and wounded among the occupying forces
terrible totals grow
Turners Falls, Massachusetts, November 2004
casualties: 10,000+ wounded as New Year starts
4 January 2005: "The number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq
since the start of the war in March 2003 has surpassed 10,000,
the Pentagon said Tuesday in a delayed update of its casualty
data. Of the 10,252 total wounded, the Pentagon said 5,396 were
unable to return to duty and 4,856 sustained injuries that were
light enough to allow them to resume their duties...
The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq stood at 1,335 on Tuesday,
according to the Pentagon."
Read full story at:
Committee for Conscientious Objectors supports and promotes
individual and collective resistance to war and preparations for
FOR PEACE Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice Through
Non-violence. Wage Peace!
Gold Star Families for
We as families of soldiers who have died as
a result of war are organizing to be a positive force in our world to
bring our country’s sons and daughters home from Iraq, to minimize the
“human cost” of this war, and to prevent other families from the pain
we are feeling as the result of our losses.
Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War, Call for State's National Guard
to Come Home
March 2nd, 2005
Vermont, 48 town meetings voted last night to condemn the war in Iraq
and to call on political leaders to bring home the state's National
Guard. Vermont has lost more soldiers per capita than any state, and
has the second highest mobilization rate for its National Guard and
on Iraq and Iraqi women: Country
Profiles, Reports and Fact Sheets from the United Nation's UNIFEM
For more information on Iraq: Iraq
Occupation Watch website has a special women's
page; see also
Alternet's War on Iraq site, with further links; Information
Clearing House; Robert
for Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) - a women's a women's political
organisation working in Iraq, advocating Iraqi women’s rights and setting
up women's shelters etc. Publishes a regular newsletter. http://www.equalityiniraq.com/
Together: Women's Action for Iraq "We are a group of UK-based
Iraqi and non-Iraqi women. We formed in 2000 to campaign against the
economic sanctions on Iraq and, since late 2001, also campaigned against
the US/US invasion of Iraq. Now our focus is on the occupation and the
support of independent grassroots women’s initiatives in Iraq."
of Iraq Portal "A linksite focusing on empowering the Iraqi
people" offers hundreds of links on Iraq and issues of war and
peace in the region.
profits from the war in Iraq?
In 2003, Dick Cheney's former firm Halliburton received contracts from
the Department of Defense worth $4.3 billion. See
The Center for Public Integrity's chart:
Contractors Ranked by Total Contract Value in Iraq and Afghanistan
From 2002 through July 1, 2004
to women and peace