UPDATE: Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project, February, 2004
knotty question for you:
Confronted with the military, political and economic juggernaut of the US
occupation of prostrate Iraq, what sort of chance has a small water restoration
project like IWP to accomplish its ambitious goals?
These goals, as stated in all our literature, are the protection of lives
of ordinary Iraqis dependent on the plants we have selected to rebuild, and,
equally important, the visible contrast of our effort with the hidden agenda of
political domination inherent in all US policy toward Iraq, now as before.
Anyone interested in the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project, or considering a
donation, deserves an answer to this question.
truthful, standing before Goliath IWP is a pretty puny David.
We are proud of our fundraising in the past, but we have not asked in our
mailings for anything remotely approaching the 87 billion in greenback our
larger rival has commanded.
No, we do not intend to restore all of Iraq's water system.
we cannot even accomplish the range of physical improvements to the plants that
were possible in the past, when Iraq was under sanctions, its economy
artificially compressed and everything was shockingly cheap.
That whole pricing structure disappeared in the dust as the first US
military boot trod across the border.
Mechanical repairs are a lot more expensive now.
important uses and goals lie within reach of the Iraq Water Project.
The Coalition Provisional Authority---The Occupation, to be more
direct---is the obedient handmaiden of Bush administration foreign policy, and
by its own admission has committed a series of blunders in its role as
imperial overlord in Iraq.
Precipitate dismissal of the entire Iraq army and instant unemployment of
thousands of armed former soldiers is a spectacular example.
Perhaps less familiar to the public, because receiving less press
attention, is the sell-off of Iraqi state assets under the provisions of CPA
Order 39. The
disastrous condition of Iraq's internal security has had something of a braking
effect on this US brainstorm, yet reports indicate that everything is
prospectively up for grabs outside of oil, and
that particular asset is exempted only because of irresistable opposition
within the Provisional Council (actual Iraqis, appointed or not.).
Here at VFP we consider this Order--- in effect forced privatization---
another example of doctrinaire arrogance and blithe American contempt for the
sovereign right of Iraqis to make their own decisions.
entirely possible that before the Occupation Authority folds its tent an attempt
will be made to privatize Iraq's water system, including even the six treatment
plants repaired by VFP.
This would offer us the opportunity to put up resistance---a frail bodies
across the tracks kind of scenario perhaps.
Even though outwardly unsuccessful in all probability, our very smallness
might nevertheless prove a strength, exposing the bullying character of this
are segments of American media that respond to situations such as that.
Of course, if CPA makes no such attempt, our work is protected and we can
thump our breasts in the satisfying possibility that they are afraid of us.
aspect of the continuance of our work is to demonstrate to the Iraqis we have
come to know, to ourselves, and to everyone who has been interested in our
project that we have not abandoned the people whose precarious health depends on
water supplied by the IWP-repaired treatment plants.
We will keep our project and our website open to put a face on those
thousands of people who in the larger scale of things, and as viewed from the
halls of power, are only figures in a column.
always been the purpose of the Iraq Water Project to serve the Iraqi people by
publicizing their helpless condition in the face of gigantic outside forces
confronting and using them.
As military veterans, we feel we are also serving our own country by
fostering good relations with the people of an important foreign nation, looking
out for their good and ours equally, and at the same time trying to leverage our
government toward a more rational and humane attitude as it moves ponderously
through the world. Whatever
its other goals, IWP will always support the Iraqi people's strivings toward an
authentically independent and dignified future.
--Art Dorland, VFP Iraq Water Project Chair