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Iraq Peace Team: Baghdad - report
Voices in teh Wilderness - 20.03.2003 21:28

Baghdad, as you must know, is now under heavy bombardment. We last spoke with our team in Baghdad two hours ago. The team is split up
between three hotels in downtown Baghdad.


Dear Friends,


Baghdad, as you must know, is now under heavy bombardment. We last
spoke with our team in Baghdad two hours ago. The team is split up
between three hotels in downtown Baghdad.


Iraq Peace Team member Bettejo Passalaqua managed to get this diary to
us between bombings:


"We were prepared for the bombing to begin Thursday at around 4 AM. We
congregated together until around midnight when we started hearing that a
sandstorm had grounded the military planes and the invasion would be
called off. Then at 3 AM we received word from the States that the planes
were on the way. Some of us went to the shelter and some remained
together in rooms. At 5:30 AM the opinion was that if it didn't come by dawn, it
wouldn't come tonight. The first explosion came just as Cathy Breen
remarked, 'Well, dawn is here, so I guess we can go back to bed.' The
attack lasted for about 1 1/2 hours. Two explosions rocked our building, but
they were pretty far away, I think.


"There hasn't been any bombing since, so Cathy and I went to the hospital
ward where I had been working. It was entirely emptied. Even the sound of
the children crying as they did when I.V. infusions were given would have
been a welcome sound to drown out the ghastly silence.


"But even this silence was eclipsed by the scene I encountered when I
walked into the hospital. The corridor was lined with empty beds (at least 20
beds on either side) awaiting war casualties.


"I spoke with a nurse on the vacant ward and she said she had worked all
night in the emergency room of a regular hospital. There were many elders
brought in with heart problems, most of which were a response to the stress
of the situation.


"Thank you all for all you are doing to stop the atrocity of this war before
more lives are claimed. I don't know how many people died in today's
bombing. But it is too late to save them. I don't know how many people have
died in wars past. But I know it is too late to save them. I don't know how
many people will die in the days coming from this war, but I know it isn't too
late to save them."


We expect to lose contact with our people in Baghdad for a few days or
more. We will continue to share with you any useful information we receive.



Sincerely,


Jeff Guntzel
for Voices in the Wilderness
 
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