THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Friday, August 29, 2003

I Saw the Suffering

A retired teacher who served as a human shield during the war recounts her experience in Iraq and braces herself for the fines and jail time she faces now that she is back

By Lynn Waddell
NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE

Aug. 27 Faith Fippinger, a 62-year-old retired teacher of the blind, was one of more than 200 international human shields who hunkered down in Iraq early this year in hopes of discouraging a U.S. attack.
................

Why would a retired woman leave her home in sunny Florida to sleep on a cot in a desert halfway around the world where there was an impending war? Couldn't you have protested the war from America?

It was a humanitarian reason: to serve justice, help the people and instill good will. I follow Gandhi's principle to nonviolent resistance. I wanted to stand beside and protect those who had already suffered. They were caught between their domestic tyrant and United States' ambitions. I went in hopes of stopping what I perceive as an illegal and unnecessary war.

....................

What happened when the bombing started, were you scared?

The first missile didn't go over our house until 5:30 at night [on March 19]. I have never experienced that sound before. Knowing it was so close, my heart definitely pounded harder than it has before. More than feeling fear, I was overwhelmed by sadness that our government would do such a thing. I knew why I went to Iraq, and I was prepared to give my life if need be for those innocent civilians. When all labels and names are taken down, we are all just human beings.

Did you see Iraqis rejoice at Saddam's fall from power?

Yes, people were relieved, but they were also concerned about what's going on now. They worry if worse is coming. Their motto to America is:- Drink your oil, take your oil, bathe in oil, and get out.- I did not see people dancing through the streets.

................

How did people in the hospital respond to you when you told them you were American, and were you ever hesitant to tell them?

I always said I was American because I wanted the Iraqi people to see that our country has concerned caring people. Usually when I did say that I was from America, they would say, "Thank you for helping us. Why this war?" One time there was a man standing beside his dying wife. Six of their children had been killed in the bombings. With tears streaming down his face, he asked me where I was from. I said America, but it was very difficult to admit.

How long did you volunteer at the hospital, and what other experiences did you have there?

Actually I spent about a week, but to me it seemed like a lifetime. Many of the horrors [I saw] will stay with me the rest of my life. There was this beautiful, young pregnant woman whose right arm had been taken off and her left was badly damaged. They took her baby by Cesarean; fortunately she was almost full term. Then the mother in fact lost her left arm. When I would pass by her room, I could hear her crying. She would say, "I can't hold my baby."'

Another Iraqi woman, Dena, went in for surgery on her leg. Bombing had destroyed her home and her whole block. They had to remove her entire left leg. After her surgery, she looked up at me and said,"And this is liberation?"

I saw doctors sobbing while they worked. One doctor would point bed to bed, telling the names of the children who had died there. There were vans in back of the hospital for the dead bodies. Due to sanctions they had no air conditioning. I witnessed families who had sent their children to relatives thinking they would be safe, try to find their children's bodies there.


The Treasury Department wants to garnish this woman's pension and social security. While Dick Cheney makes millions and the Shia have no protection for their leading clerics. Your tax dollars at work at a billion a day

posted by Steve @ 12:57:00 PM

12:57:00 PM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans