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Voices for Creative Nonviolence has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003. More about Voices
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recent additions at a glance

Life Goes On Under the Helicopters and the Terrible Cost of Avoiding the Dangers of Kabula visit to Kabul's Street Kids School and reflection on refugee crisis
Henoko takes on U.S. ImperialismVoices UK's Maya Evans writes from the protests in Okinawa
To Find a Happy DayThe wave of refugees trying to find safety in European countries continues unabated.
Killing Blindon the U.S. bombing of a hospital in Kunduz
Learn Your Lessons Well: An Afghan teenager makes up his mindReport from the Street Kids School in Kabul, Afghanistan
The U.S. Ought to Un-Swivel Its China PivotSeventy years after occupying Japan in 1945, it is time for the United States to vacate its overseas bases

Blessed Are the Merciful in Baghdad

December 7, 2005

In January of 2004, two Palestinian college students visited me in Amman, Jordan, the evening before our small Voices in the Wilderness team traveled to Baghdad. “Please, if you can, help our friends,” they pleaded. “They have been in the Bucca compound, south of Basra. We were released from there after six months, but till now we have heard nothing of them.” The young men explained that they had been living in a student dormitory, in Baghdad, and had decided not to return to their families in Palestine when the U.S. threatened attacks against Iraq. Leaving Baghdad might mean losing all the years they had devoted to their studies. One was a pre-med student, the other an engineer. When U.S. Marines arrived in Baghdad, they decided to take over the students’ dorm, recognizing that it had the advantage of being one of the tallest buildings in the area. The students were swiftly placed under arrest and transported to a series of detention centers until they reached the Bucca Compound in a bleak, isolated area of Iraq called Umm Qasr. Our two visitors had been released, perhaps because they spoke English so well. But they were desperate to do something on behalf of the friends they left behind. We didn’t want to raise their hopes, yet we knew that we could at least ask the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) members to help.

Photos of the four CPT members

December 7, 2005

Photos of the four Christian Peacemaker Team members underlines their unwavering commitment to peacemaking and justice. They show a history of consistent opposition to the war and the continuing presence of multinational forces in Iraq.

CPT member James Loney outside Abu Ghraib James Loney writing testimonies from family members of detainees outside of Abu Ghraib on Februrary 29th, 2004. This was long before the 60 Minutes news report aired on April 28, 2004 as well as the article by Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker magazine which was published online on April 30, 2004.

See the photos on Electronic Iraq

Our Friends in Christian Peacemaker Teams

CPT MembersCPT Members

November 29, 2005
By Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) working in Baghdad were abducted there this past Saturday, November 26. Having worked with the organization over many years, we feel deepest respect for their courage and tenacity. CPTs statement in response to the kidnapping appears on their website.

In the course of this year alone, many thousands of Iraqis have experienced anguish because their loved ones have been abducted, tortured, disappeared and murdered. The Christian Peacemaker Team members dedicate themselves to living alongside ordinary Iraqis during this time of intense suffering. They have steadily reported the effects of occupation and war on the many people whom they’ve befriended since they first began working in Iraq in October 2002.

Tom Fox, one of the four CPT members being held, maintains a blog which we recommend for further insight into CPT’s work.

Reporters and human rights worker around the world are indebted to the careful work done by Christian Peacemaker Team members as they documentated abuses suffered by people detained in U.S. run prisons.

CPT has consciously chosen to not take sides in the conflict that rages in Iraq—other than to take the side of advocating for Iraqis who are treated unfairly and are suffering during this war.

Members of CPT willingly undertook the risks of living amongst Iraqis, in a common neighborhood outside of the infamous Green Zone. They sought no protection in arms or armed guards—trusting in, and benefiting from, the goodwill of the Iraqi people.

We harbor no ill will towards those responsible for the abduction of our friends and colleagues. Just as we hope no harm will befall our friends and colleagues—we trust that no harm will befall those who abducted them. We hope and pray that those responsible for the abduction of the four CPT members will recognize the common humanity they and their captives share and release them unharmed.

CPT

November 29, 2005
By Dahr Jamail

Four members of the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) in Baghdad have been abducted and taken hostage recently. This event is horribly dismaying for me, as I’ve known members of CPT since before I ever ventured to Iraq.

Back in November of 2003, while sitting in Amman, Jordan waiting to go into Iraq, I met a member of CPT who had been working in Palestine. He told me he was walking with Palestinian children as they went to school, in order to prevent them from being attacked by Israeli settlers.

Later I would learn that this same individual had returned to Palestine and was beaten so severely by Israeli settlers that he was hospitalized for several weeks.

Last Thanksgiving, November 24, 2004 I shared a meal with members of their team in Baghdad, along with several of our Iraqi friends. We gave thanks together for being in Baghdad in solidarity with our Iraqi brothers and sisters. All of us – the CPT members and myself — were then and remain fully committed to getting out the truth about the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.

On the website of CPT is a quote of scriptural reference which reads, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This is what the members of CPT do in Baghdad. I’ve seen them do this first-hand. They graciously opened their files of documents to me when I was working on stories about Iraqis who have been in US military detention centers inside Iraq. They have worked extensively on fighting for the rights of Iraqi detainees and supporting their families. The team documents home raids conducted by the US military, and have worked to assist internally displaced people (refugees) inside of Iraq who are left homeless by heavy-handed US military operations such as those in Fallujah and Al-Qa’im.

In addition, CPT has been instrumental in bringing media attention to villages and towns in Iraq which have suffered collective punishment by the US military.

Each of the members of CPT in Iraq I have met are committed to non-violence and being a truthful witness to the ravages of war and occupation. They have been accused by their captors of being spies or missionaries. This is simply not the case. If there is any group operating in Iraq today who works tirelessly to end the suffering of Iraqis, it is CPT.

Anti-War Campaigners arrested for holding Bell-Ringing Ceremony Outside Parliament

November 25, 2005

100,000 Rings: In Remembrance of the Iraqi Civilian and Military Dead

Two women were arrested on Friday 25th November while holding a bell-ringing ceremony outside Parliament as part of an international peace event to mark the anniversary of the release of the Lancet study on 29th October 2004 which estimated 100,000 people had died since the beginning of the war in Iraq.

One of the women, Giulia, stated: “I am here today to remember the terrible loss of life that has occurred throughout the illegal war and occupation of Iraq, to commemorate the slaughter that took place in Fallujah a year ago and in solidarity with all the courageous people who have been arrested since the introduction of the new laws preventing demonstrations in the vicinity of the Houses of Parliament.”

Do Cordova-based planes transport terrorists for CIA? Spanish newspaper reports craft landings there

November 20, 2005
By Bartholomew Sullivan and Marc Perrusquia
Published in Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

WASHINGTON — A Cordova company is at the center of a diplomatic row over whether its planes have been used to secretly transport terrorism suspects for interrogation by foreign security services in a practice called extraordinary rendition.

Stevens Express Leasing, which Federal Aviation Administration records show owns four airplanes, was identified by the Spanish newspaper Diario de Mallorca as the owner of planes associated with CIA operations regularly landing on the island of Majorca, Spain.

Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth

By Greg Muttitt, November 2005
(Published by PLATFORM with Global Policy Forum, Institute for Policy Studies, New Economics Foundation, Oil Change International, and War on Want)

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Executive Summary

While the Iraqi people struggle to define their future amid political chaos and violence, the fate of their most valuable economic asset, oil, is being decided behind closed doors.

This report reveals how an oil policy with origins in the US State Department is on course to be adopted in Iraq, soon after the December elections, with no public debate and at enormous potential cost. The policy allocates the majority (1) of Iraq’s oilfields – accounting for at least 64% of the country’s oil reserves – for development by multinational oil companies.