March 19, 2003
IRAQ: Letter from Cliff Kindy
[Note: Cliff Kindy sent the following letter on March 17, 2003. It has been
edited for length and clarity.]
Dear Family, Friends, and Good People,
Last Monday I visited the Papal Nuncio to share our hope to bring in the
Pope with the next CPT delegation. The Nuncio secretary was interested in
talking more about Anabaptists and the development in the Vatican toward
clearer positions against the death penalty and war.
The Buddhist Peace Walk for the children started on Wednesday and traveled
about twenty miles each day to arrive in Baghdad tonight. That same day we .
. . went to the UN headquarters with a sign: “Farewell UN. Please Advise.
Who will care for the Chldren?” The UN programs, funded by Iraqi oil, have
been the infrastructure caring for the population of Iraq. When war breaks
that net, the minimal preparations that the US government has in place will
not be able to carry the tremendous infrastructure that is presently in
Spaniards are here in a large group. They traveled to Basra and initiated a
vigil back here at the Ameriyah Shelter for internationals to voice a common
declaration of peace in the face of our governments’ plans for war. One
would think that a war for democracy would take into account the will of the
. . .
We did a prayer of blessing Friday at the Al Wathba Water Treatment Plant
and watered the tree that the CPT delegation had planted just before they
left. The water from that plant supplies the needs of 6% of Baghdad and the
complex of eight hospitals that is nearby. Later we visited the Maternity
Hospital that is operated by the Dominicans. On each of two days there were
about twenty births, six each day caesarian as parents were pushing to get
babies born before the war. One day there were five miscarriages which the
doctor blamed on the stress of war. That same day I saw apricot, quince and
orange trees in bloom. Today the petals from the date palm on our street
cover the sidewalk.
. . .
Saturday I received a six day exit visa. If the war slides away again into
April I would be happy to go out, orient the CPT delegation coming in the
next two days, and go home to plant the garden, trusting that the war will
just keep sliding away. Now war seems more probable this week. So I’ll
stay. The president seems prepared to level the city. When society goes
mad, Christians should probably be where the consequences will be the worst.
. . .We continue boldly trying to be a presence of love where others
have placed signs: “Enemy.”
Love, Cliff Kindy