As you may have
heard, Bush is coming to Brussels from February 20 until 22. The civil society is preparing protest actions
those days. One of these actions takes place on sunday February 20. It’s a cultural / activist action,
organised by the BRussells
tribunal. We want the world community to speak up against the devastating policies of this neocon
You have signed our
petition “Stop The Escalation”. If you have a message for Bush, please let us know. It can be a statement,
a poem, a cartoon, anything you want to say to him in the language you prefer (English, French, Dutch,
Spanish…). We’ll read these messages for the audience in Brussels and we'll put them on our website.
Let’s show Bush
he’s NOT welcome.
tribunal organising committee
Chers amis, chères
Bush vient à Bruxelles
du 20 à 22 février. La société civile est en train de préparer des action pour protester contre cette
visite. Une de ces actions, le 20 février, sera organisé par le BRussells
tribunal. Ce sera une action culturelle/activiste. Nous souhaitons exprimer par là notre inquiétude
concernant le rôle négatif joué par les Etats-Unis au sein de la communauté internationale sur le plan de la
paix et des droits humains.
Vous avez signé notre
pétition « Contre l’Escalade ». Si vous avez un message pour Bush, faites nous savoir. Un poème, un texte,
déclaration, cartoon, toute forme d’expression est accepté. Nous voulons communiquer ces messages au public
Belge le 20 février et on les mettra sur notre site web.
Montrez que Bush
n’est PAS le bienvenu.
Le comité du BRussells
Queridas amigas y amigos,
Como ustedes saben, Bush estará en Bruselas del 20 al 22 de febrero. La sociedad civil está preparando
acciones de la protesta para esos días. Una de estas acciones se realizará el domingo 20 de febrero. Es una
acción cultural y de protesta organizada por el BRussells
tribunal. Para que el mundo entero sepa que rechazamos las políticas devastadoras de ese gobierno "neocon".
Usted ha firmado nuestra petición "A parar la escalada". Si usted tiene un mensaje para Bush, por favor
háganoslo llegar. Puede ser una declaración, un poema, una historieta, cualquier cosa que usted desee
decirle a él, en la lengua de su preferencia (inglés, francés, holandés, castellano...). Leeremos estos
mensajes en las audiencias de Bruselas y las pondremos en nuestro Sitio web. Demostremos a Bush que él no es
El comité de organización del BRussells
Como já devem saber, Bush vem a Bruxelas de 20 a 22 de Fevereiro. A sociedade civil está a preparar acções
de protesto para esses dias. Uma dassas acções terá lugar no domingo, 20 de Fevereiro. É uma acção cultural
militante, organizada pelo BRussells Tribunal (ver pormenores a
seguir). Queremos que a comunidade mundial proteste contra a política devastadora deste governo
Vocês assinaram a nossa petição "Stop The Escalation". Se têm uma mensagem para Bush, por favor façam-nos
saber. Pode ser uma declaração, um poema, um cartoon, qualquer coisa que queiram dizer-lhe, na lingua que
preferirem (inglês, francês, holandês, espanhol). Nós transmitiremos essas mensagens ao público em Bruxelas
e colocá-las-emos no nosso website.
Mostremos a Bush que NÃO é benvindo.
O Comité Organizador do BRussells Tribunal
The Honorable Mr.
George W. Bush
The President of
the United States of America
Dear Mr. Bush
It was regrettable
that you were not allowed to see and talk to ordinary Iraqi citizens, during your sneak visit to Baghdad on
Thanksgiving Day last year. Those Iraqis whom you met during that visit were part of the American installed
client state that came on the back of the American tanks. Naturally they told you what they thought you
wanted to hear. More over, Mr. President, they lived, like your other advisors in Iraq, in their isolated
bubbles in the secured “green zone” with very little contact with ordinary Iraqis.
I am sure that had
you talked to ordinary Iraqis you would have gotten different opinions than those being passed to you by
your Americans or Iraqi advisors. As an ordinary Iraqi citizen I would like to share my thoughts on the
Iraqi dilemma that America has found itself in.
More than a year ago you promised the Iraqi people that
“the torture chambers and the secret police are
gone forever." Mr. President, I honestly wanted to believe you then. I discovered later that your American
solders were torturing the Iraqi people since May 2003. I discovered also that your army generals knew
about it and wrote reports to their higher authorities about such abuses of human rights. I will give you,
Mr. President, the benefit of the doubt and say that your advisors did not tell you the facts.
Having known the
facts, you did not apologize for the victims of the American torture but went ahead putting the blame on
only the “seven bad apples”. That did not STOP the torture or the human rights violations committed by your
troops in Iraq. Reports are still coming to date confirming that torture is being committed against the
Iraqis in the American detention camps. I am sure that your advisors will tell you that this is necessary
to protect the security of America, several thousands of miles away from Iraq.
Your partners in the “coalition of willing” are
not doing any better! The British and Danish armies are both torturing Iraqi detainees. Now we discover
through human rights reports that the “new Iraqi army”, created and trained by your government, is also
torturing the Iraqis. It is clear to me, Mr. President, that while we were tortured, before the
“liberation”, by one force of evil, now we are being tortured by at least four evil forces after the
“liberation”. It looks to me, Mr. President, that contrary to your announcement, the “torture chambers” may
truly be here forever.
Allow me, Mr. President, that your blaming of
“only seven apples” did set the legal precedent for every dictator in the world to escape the
responsibility for the torture and human rights violations. Like you, every dictator will pin the blame and
the responsibility on the seven, ten, or twenty bad apples in his forces. I am sure that decent American
legal scholars would tell you this excuse is very dangerous and would not stand in a proper and impartial
court of law.
Actions are judged by the results and not
rhetoric. Ordinary Iraqis, like your American soldiers, are faced with threats against their lives. The
general lawlessness that still exists, as a result of your occupation of Iraq, makes the life of ordinary
Iraqis miserable. We Iraqis are afraid to go out for the fear of being kidnapped by criminal gangs rooming
the country with an ineffective police force. We are also afraid of going out for fear that we might be
killed by a bomb directed at your troops or killed or shot at by the trigger happy and nervous American
The innocent Iraqi population is not using
armored personal carriers nor do they use armored cars to help them protect themselves. More innocent Iraqi
civilians are killed by your troops shooting at them than those killed by the criminal gangs. You probably
know, Mr. President, that your trigger happy and nervous troops enjoy freedom from prosecution for these
unlawful killings. From what I have witnessed those killers do not even stop to say sorry for their
respectfully to remind you, Mr. President, that now more than 60% of the Iraqi working forces, in your
“liberated” Iraq, are unemployed as compared to 30% before your liberation. It looks that your action has
doubled the number of Iraqis “liberated” from earning a decent pay or a decent work.
The US congress issued a report on Iraq at the
end of June 2004. In that report they say that in May 2003 (just after the invasion) 7 out of the 18
governorates had more than 16 hours of electricity per day. It also says that this number was reduced to
one governorate in May 2004, one year after the invasion. Now we are very lucky if we get 6 hours of
electricity per day in Baghdad, a city of 5 million people.
Health services have continued to deteriorate
during the past 22 months of occupation. Hospitals still lack even the simplest things. Drugs are not
available. Fewer patients seek medical treatments or examination because of the security situation and the
closed streets. Doctors are not safe at hospitals because they have been physically attacked by relatives
of patients blaming, or venting their frustration at the poor helpless doctors.
Due to lack of security and poor police force,
criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom a few hundred doctors. Some were threatened. As a result, hundreds
of highly qualified doctors have fled the country and it has resulted in further deterioration of health
services. These highly qualified doctors did not run away from the tyranny of the dictator, Mr. President,
but because of the chaos and lawlessness in your “liberated Iraq”.
Records show, Mr. President, that the Iraqi
government smuggled up to a hundred thousand barrels a day of refined desil fuel through Turkey, with your
government’s knowledge. These figures indicate that the Iraqi refineries had an excess refining capacity
allowing it to export refined oil products.
During the “liberation” of Iraq refineries were
not targeted, like in 1991, so one assumes that the damage was minimal. I wonder why refineries are not
fixed yet after 22 months of “liberation”. I still can not understand why Iraq continues to import refined
oil products from Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia and to my amazement from Israel. We Iraqis need to know
why our money is being spent, unwisely, to import Gasoline now when we were an exporting nation. I might
understand that Halliburton and KBR needed to import gasoline for few months but not after 22 months of
In 1991 our refineries were severely damaged by
the bombing. We the Iraqi people were able, despite of the sanctions and without the help from the
Halliburtons, to fix the refineries in only a few months. We kept them working and going for 13 years and
we were exporting products. Similarly the Iraqi people were able to restore the electricity in a few
months. The Iraqi people reconstructed every building damaged by the war of 1991 in less than a year.
Seeing the lack of any reconstruction efforts after 22 months of “liberation” makes me sad.
Mr. President, In 1991 America promised that Iraq
will be returned to the “pre-industrial” age and they nearly did that by bombing and destroying everything.
The Iraqi people surprised the world by reconstructing what was bombed. On top of that, new projects were
implemented despite the sanctions. As an Iraqi this makes me extremely proud of our achievement in 1991. We
the Iraqis set the standards of reconstruction. After 22 months of “liberation” and the lack of honest and
visible reconstruction work I feel that America miserably failed to meet that standard.
For 13 years Iraqis were living on food rations
given by the government. We were told that our government was robbing us and providing us with only 2200
Kcal per day. The “liberated” government of Iraq after the liberation is still providing us with about 2200
Kcal per day of food ration.
The government of Iraq used to spend about 150
million dollars a month to import and distribute the food rations. According to your CPA Inspector General,
8.8 billion dollars were unaccounted for in one year. Mr. President, these 8.8 billion dollars are enough
to feed all the people of Iraq for nearly 60 months. This fiscal irresponsibility and the lack of
transparency in spending our money make me wonder about the aim of the “liberation” of Iraq. I’m sorry to
say that the Iraqi people are being robbed blind. We are being “liberated” from our wealth also.
I am sure, Mr. President, that our traumatized
kids will never forget what was done to their future by your “liberation”. I am sure that your kids have to
deal in future with our traumatized kids. I am also sure that your kids will have to repay for all the
damages and the stolen money. I can see that the price will be very high.
I do not want to be like the rest of your
advisors giving you the rosy picture. They have told you about the WMD, the Al-Qaeda link, the 9/11 link,
the Iraqis welcoming your troops as “liberators” … and it is proved that they were not telling you the
truth. It is about time that you listen to other people.
We do not hate America for its “freedom or
democracy”. We don’t hate America. We hate the crimes, the destructions, and the devastation committed by
America against the innocent people in our country.
Baghdad, occupied Iraq
(witness of the BRussells
Give this to Bush when he comes....
Regaining My Humanity
By Camilo Mejia CodePink.org
Thursday 17 February 2005
I was deployed to Iraq in April 2003 and returned home for a two-week leave in October. Going home gave me
the opportunity to put my thoughts in order and to listen to what my conscience had to say.
People would ask me about my war experiences and answering them took me back to all the horrors-the
firefights, the ambushes, the time I saw a young Iraqi dragged by his shoulders through a pool of his own
blood or an innocent man was decapitated by our machine gunfire. The time I saw a soldier broken down
inside because he killed a child, or an old man on his knees, crying with his arms raised to the sky,
perhaps asking God why we had taken the lifeless body of his son. I thought of the suffering of a people
whose country was in ruins and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an
occupying army. And I realized that none of the reasons we were told about why we were in Iraq turned out
to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al
Qaeda. We weren't helping the Iraqi people and the Iraqi people didn't want us there. We weren't preventing
terrorism or making Americans safer. I couldn't find a single good reason for having been there, for having
shot at people and been shot at.
Coming home gave me the clarity to see the line between military duty and moral obligation. I realized that
I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, a war of imperial
domination. I realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military, and
I decided that I could not return to Iraq.
By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being. I have not deserted the military or
been disloyal to the men and women of the military. I have not been disloyal to a country. I have only been
loyal to my principles.
When I turned myself in, with all my fears and doubts, it did it not only for myself. I did it for the
people of Iraq, even for those who fired upon me-they were just on the other side of a battleground where
war itself was the only enemy. I did it forthe Iraqi children, who are victims of mines and depleted
uranium. I did it for the thousands of unknown civilians killed in war. My time in prison is a small price
compared to the price Iraqis and Americans have paid with their lives. Mine is a small price compared to
the price Humanity has paid for war.
Many have called me a coward, others have called me a hero. I believe I can be found somewhere in the
middle. To those who have called me a hero, I say that I don't believe in heroes, but I believe that
ordinary people can do extraordinary things. To those who have called me a coward I say that they are
wrong, and that without knowing it, they are also right.
They are wrong when they think that I left the war for fear of being killed. I admit that fear was there,
but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of putting myself in a position where to
survive means to kill, there was the fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of
losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be.
I was afraid of waking up one morning to realize my humanity had abandoned me. I say without any pride that
I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our
But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I was a coward not for leaving the
war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral
duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfil my moral duty as a human
being and instead I chose to fulfil my duty as a soldier. All because I was afraid. I was terrified, I did
not want to stand up to the government and the army, I was afraid of punishment and humiliation. I went to
war because at the moment I was a coward, and for that I apologize to my soldiers for not being the type of
leader I should have been.
I also apologize to the Iraqi people. To them I say I am sorry for the curfews, for the raids, for the
killings. May they find it in their hearts to forgive me.
One of the reasons I did not refuse the war from the beginning was that I was afraid of losing my freedom.
Today, as I sit behind bars I realize that there are many types of freedom, and that in spite of my
confinement I remain free in many important ways.
What good is freedom if we are afraid to follow our conscience?
What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions?
I am confined to a prison but I feel, today more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I
sit a free man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience.
While I was confined in total segregation, I came across a poem written by a man who refused and resisted
the government of Nazi Germany. For doing so he was executed.
His name is Albrecht Hanshofer, and he wrote this poem as he awaited execution.
The burden of my guilt before the law weighs light upon my shoulders;
to plot and to conspire was my duty to
I would have been a criminal had I not.
I am guilty, though not the way you
I should have done my duty sooner,
I was wrong,
I should have called evil more clearly by
I hesitated to condemn it for far too
I now accuse myself within my heart:
I have betrayed my conscience far too
I have deceived myself and fellow man.
I knew the course of evil from the start
My warning was not loud nor clear enough!
Today I know what I was guilty of...
To those who are still quiet,
to those who continue to betray their
to those who are not calling evil more
clearly by its name,
to those of us who are still not doing
enough to refuse and resist,
I say "come forward."
I say "free your minds."
Let us, collectively, free our minds,
soften our hearts,
comfort the wounded, put down our
and reassert ourselves as human beings by
putting an end to war.
Thank you for writing. Here is my message for President Bush.
It's a poem about our unforgivable invasion
Thank you for acting on site in Brussels and best of luck,
Michele F. Cooper
The Way the War Gets Born
the way the announcement comes
the way the face leans over the altar
the way it stands on the teak platform
and doesn’t whistle or totter or lisp,
the way the crowd hushes
for the intimacy of the short teeth
and pink lips not half an inch from
the spongy head of the mike,
TV cameras zooming in for the eyes,
in for the glittering kill, the take,
the wrap-up at 11, Congress and citizens
on the edge of their leather seats
for the whole-world secret they’ve
digested, and everything makes sense
the way he separates,
the way he separates the words
The way the generals and secretaries
collect their stars and stripes
and might and right and merge them
into a brass ball they can roll
down the polished floors
to kingpins in foreign capitals.
The way the people cheer on camera
and off, the way they discount
the unaccounted billions
against the raucous tally of 9-11
and their gut feelings and fear
of lights on the world stage,
the barbed-wire borders and
bargains and brisk internet banking.
The way the commander’s voice
rises five keys the next afternoon
when the megaphone sputters
his in-your-face marching orders,
hasty shorthand taking the last
pleasure out of the coffee, the last
the last bite, last page, last minute
to think a private thought.
The way their meals squeeze out of the
yesterday’s extras for garnish, walk a
three times a day keeping the smells
from the insects and rats, food the color
of putty, of green mud, carrots and yams
like melon and orange, paste on
the tongue, juices in the mind.
The way 80 percent of the people thrill
out loud at the power and glory,
give quiet thanks five and ten times a
they can stay alive in their condos and
townhouses, watching the troops on the
cameos ignoring the desperate villagers
with their prayers and dwindling meals,
their last warm milk, last cloudy wine,
last clean water they can see through.
The way the regimental banners wave
in the wind, the way the anthems
backdrop the bombs,
the way the money changes landscapes,
collapsing five-year plans.
The way the earth quakes as the tanks
rumble up from hidden bases in the south,
cross the barren hills, trample the wheat
of uncles and grandfathers, distant
hoof beats thudding from the north
over dry fields, ancient stirrups tied
others swelling in broken shoes.
The way the troops take formation,
pack their 70 pounds of guns and
ammo and gas masks and grenades,
hurl themselves over the hundreds
of barren miles to the core of the
country, the radio stations, the airport,
eight and ten palaces dotting
the riverbank with gold sinks and
marble floors, the portly president
and army sons shipping their kin
and their cash to southern France,
then pounding their fists
under thick black mustachios
shouting relentlessly, as one:
We will not
Praise Praise! Allah
No matter who
No matter what
The way the bright flags whip and curl
around the ropes flailing off the poles,
the way the fabric rips from the edges
the way the red rags, and the white,
the way they fall limp as the black
and blue smoke explodes
into magnificence of orange fire,
the way the people will never cheer