Iraqi Women to Visit the US
A number of Iraqi women who lost family members during the invasion are visiting the United States next week to tell the United Nations, Congress and communities around the country about the realities of war. Code Pink is still trying to secure visas for two women whose applications were denied by the State Department because the women do not have "sufficient family ties that would compel them to return:"
Gael Murphy, a CODEPINK cofounder who has been coordinating the delegation, is working with Congress to try to reverse the decision. "These women have no desire to stay in the United States. We had a very hard time convincing them to come, but we told them how important it was for Americans to hear their stories," Murphy said.The delegation, representing Shia, Sunni and Kurdish women--some religious, some secular--are united in their demands for an end to the occupation and the violence plaguing their nation.
CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans, who has led several fact-finding missions to Iraq, suspects that other factors influenced the State Department's decision. "These women's stories are heartbreaking, and the administration doesn't want the U.S. public to hear them. They don't want the American people to know how cruel this occupation is, or to know that the majority of Iraqis want the U.S. troops to leave," Evans said.
The Bush administration insists it is bringing democracy to Iraq; yet refuses to listen to the wishes of the Iraqi people. Now we see just how far the administration will go to keep the voices of Iraqis away from the American public.
These women's voices and perspectives are more important now than ever before. The escalation of violence in Iraq since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra has left more than 1,300 people dead in Baghdad alone.
We urge you to support the Iraqi women who at great personal peril will be traveling to the US at the end of this week. Please attend their events and spread the word to family and friends."This is not the world we want for ourselves or our children. With fire in our bellies and love in our hearts, we women are rising up - across borders - to unite and demand an end to the bloodshed and the destruction."