This compilation of soldiers words, as published in the Christian Science Monitor, Evening Star, Los Angeles Times and several other publications, provides another side of the story of Occupied Iraq. Their words expose both the low morale of the troops and the chaos that currently grips Iraq.
"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here…I say that seriously. We have no business being here... All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks."
-43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24, Washington Post, July 1, 2003
Our entry point to Iraq was Jordan, where we arrived after 16 hours of plane rides. Gael Murphy from Code Pink in Washington DC and I are the advance team, with a larger group scheduled to join us in Baghdad in early July. We are coming as emissaries of different US peace groups Global Exchange, Code Pink, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the umbrella coalition United for Peace and Justice.
The purpose of our trip is to lay the groundwork for setting up an International Occupation Watch Center in Baghdad that would get out reliable information to the global peace movement about the actions of the occupying forces and the US companies. The center would also support emerging Iraqi independent groups and serve as a hub for international visitors who want to support Iraqi efforts to end the occupation and truly help Iraqis rebuild their country.
Cognizant of the current lack of information about Iraq and knowing that Iraq will receive increasingly less attention as media sources abandon the country for the newest “hot spot,” an international coalition of peace and justice groups is organizing the Baghdad-based International Occupation Watch Center. The center will monitor the military occupation forces and foreign corporations, host international delegations to Iraq, and keep the international community updated about the occupation forces’ activities.
We have watched carefully in recent weeks and months as you have suffered under the pains of war and its chaotic and unstable aftermath. Our hearts are with you and your families.
We write to you now because we fear that you might be made victims of additional suffering, at the hands of a multinational corporation - Bechtel - an evil business that the people of Bolivia know all too well. This Bechtel Corporation, the company that has been awarded a massive contract by the US government to rebuild infrastructure in your country, is the same one that took over the public water system of our city, Cochabamba, three years ago.