Website update for December,
It is the beginning of Christmas season as this is written, and American families are emptying out bank balances in the tiresome purchase of obligatory gifts. But along with almost two thousand years of Christmas seasons, we have had a parallel two thousand years of wretched, miserable, annihilating, repetitive warfare over the entire blighted world, sparing virtually no one. Will it never end?
If you are reading or
watching news, you have before you a generous selection of stories about current
wars and threats of war. Some of this may even involve us Americans, imagine.
Reaching back a couple of decades, you will recollect successive invasions by US
military forces of a faraway country called Iraq, an invasion carried out under
political justifications that seem, to say the least, vaguely inadequate. A huge
amount of damage, whether deliberate or not, was done to that country and its
luckless people by our political and military actions. We bring all this up to
suggest a small way you yourself in this Christmas season might personally help
unfortunates of that war-wrecked country.
for Peace Iraq Water Project was
created many years ago to help address the disastrous absence of clean water
throughout that nation, one of the legacies of US Iraq policy. Contaminated
water hospitalized thirty thousand people this summer in Basra alone and
scarcely any part of Iraq has accessible clean water. Many of the hospitals
themselves lack decent water. In past years our project has placed 170 small
treatment units, ultraviolet and reverse osmosis, in Iraqi institutions,
primarily clinics and schools. We are the fundraising arm here in the states;
the actual work is undertaken by cooperating NGOs on the ground in Iraq, that
is, by Iraqis themselves. To the extent possible additional money is sent into
Iraq for maintenance and repair of previously installed water filters.
of compulsive honesty, we have to acknowledge that not all this effort is
successful; we do have failures. Anyone insisting on a guarantee his donation
will be without risk needs to look somewhere else. Iraq is unstable and
downright dangerous in many areas in contrast to what the Polyanna war hawks
predicted back when. Whatever the rationale, US policy annihilated a functioning
government that had once at least minimally taken care of its population. Then
we came. You know who I mean by “we”.
irrespective of the moral purpose of IWP, that is, whether it is seen as a
humanitarian gesture or a form of reparation, at least some Iraqis some of the
time have access to clean potable water once one of our units finds its way to a
school or clinic.
Since last report (Feb 2018) IWP has accomplished the following: our friends in Nasiriya drove up to Baghdad to install reverse osmosis units in two local schools, alSarmed (mixed boys and girls) and Yafa school for girls. The first of these school, alSarmed is in a very poor neighborhood of Baghdad, yet its dedicated staff somehow managed to raise money for an extensive refurbishment of the building and for other improvements. We were very glad to help out by providing clean water. Extra filters were left at each of these schools.
same Nasiriya installers repaired 14 previously placed units at 8 sites. (Not
all of these were IWP installations---go where the need is greatest.) We also
extended our monthly maintenance program for another year at 5 schools in Najaf.
This business of maintenance---caring for the puppy after you bring it home—is
a very important part of the work, less “glamorous” than the initial
placements, and you don’t get a lot of impressive action photos. It is also
plenty difficult in the chaotic conditions of contemporary Iraq. We are entirely
mindful of the need.
the coming year IWP hopes to struggle over and around the obstacles and continue
its work, however small. This brings us back to Christmas. Can you help us help
them? Much more information is
available here on the website, and you will note a donation button for credit
card use. Checks made out to Iraq Water Project can be mailed to Veterans for
Peace, 1404 North Broadway, St Louis MO 63102.
--Art Dorland, Chair, Iraq Water Project, Veterans For Peace