IRAQ: Ten years of lamentation, partnering and action

19 March 2013
IRAQ: Ten years of lamentation, partnering and action

 Najaf, Iraq: Woman seeks information on a disappeared familiy member

Ten years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Christian Peacemaker Teams, together with uncounted Iraqi families, laments the carnage that continues to echo from that moment.

Reports sent before, during and after the invasion brought rare, non-embedded perspectives that helped earn CPT a reputation for reliable, independent reporting, broad partnering and bold action.

Here are some views of CPT's peacemaking work at the time of the invasion.

War report from team in Baghdad - the first report from the Iraq team after the invasion began, 20 March

2nd release          3rd release

You can read Iraq team releases of that period here (navigate through time at page bottom).

Here are a few selections (dates are all 2003):

Final thoughts - 19 March, 7pm "I mourn for all the people who will soon die. But I delight in the beauty of everything around me, and bask in the fellowship of my precious friends here – both the Iraqis and internationals...."

Letter from Cliff Kindy - 19 March - report on a visit with the papal nuncio

Christian Peacemaker Team statement to U.S. and Iraqi governments - 17 March  

A letter to the churches in Canada and the United States from the Christian Peacemaker Team in Baghdad - 15 March "From prayer and fasting find the strength to stop paying for war. From joy in discipleship, hold fast to the evangelistic boldness to invite soldiers and corporate technocrats to abandon their posts…. Live in Easter hope."

Spiritual sacrifices and the Iraq war - 21 March from the Aboriginal Justice Team - "The idea for the CPT shelter was born out of concern over the escalating threat of war in Iraq, over the conspicuous connections between that war and oil, and over the team's reliance on oil to heat the trailer that housed them."

Canadian CPTer denied entry to USA, questioned by FBI - 14 March - "...immigration officers claimed that the CPT newsletters, printed in Chicago..., were 'anti-American.' "

Caught – 19 March – CPT delegation member John Barber records his interaction with an Iraqi hotel clerk.

"My family is here in Baghdad. My father, my brothers. Do you know I go home each night and I just sit. I only think of one thing: 'What am I to do? War is coming, What am I to do?' " ….

I look deeply into his eyes. Days, months, years, in this trap. "Why this war?" he asks. I cannot answer. I want to console him, but I cannot. I want to hold him like my child, and tell him it will be all right, but it will not be all right.

"Thank you and your friends for being here, you have good hearts", he says. He puts his hand over his heart--a common gesture here in Iraq. It is a reminder for me. For a moment we stand across from each other, holding our hearts, holding our anguish. We both begin to cry.