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Reclaiming Peace, A V-Mail On The War in Iraq

4/2/2007

Reclaiming Peace, A V-Mail On The War in Iraq

As the war in Iraq continues into its fifth year, as more money continues to get allocated to the fight, as more soldiers continue to return home in body bags, as more civilians continue to get maimed and killed, so too continues the fight to save the women and girls from the all-encompassing violence caused by living in an invaded and occupied country.

For the past four years V-Day has been active in its pursuit for freedom for women in Iraq by working closely with the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) and by shining a spotlight in 2005 and 2007 on women in war, urging international dialogue and instigating international action to assist these women, giving them the tools and resources to survive.

Recently, positive steps have been made in the movement to end the war. A new U.S Congress has been elected and with it, the official request for an exact timetable for troop withdrawal. An invigorated peace movement has re-inserted itself into the mainstream media and public consciousness. Public support of the war has fallen to record lows. Yet the lives of women and girls in Iraq continue to fall victim to the weight of military occupation, civil unrest, disillusionment and fear and despite public opinion and outcry, the plan for withdrawal remains subject to the president's whims.

Women and men throughout the world are working tirelessly to not only end the war, but to bring the truth of the war and the truth of the people in Iraq to the general public: President and founder of OWFI Yanar Mohammad; Italian journalist and feminist Giuliana Sgrena; the makers of Chat the Planet and Hometown Baghdad; and organizations such as United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Not In Our Name, and more have all been united by the common goal to bring peace and freedom to the people of Iraq. We invite you to join them, and V-Day as we move forward, reclaiming countries, reclaiming lives, reclaiming peace.

A Letter from Yanar Mohammed
Women in Iraq are suffering in different ways than men because of a political and social scene that is controlled by reactionary fundamentalist forces. Yanar Mohammad, Director and Founder of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, has been living in Iraq since the beginning of the occupation, and continues to work towards freeing the women of her country. In a recent letter to Madre, Yanar describes the current situation for women in Iraq. To read the letter please visit: http://www.madre.org/programs/iraqupdate07.html

Chat The Planet Launches Hometown Baghdad
Chat the Planet, a global dialogue company that connects young people from around the world via the Internet, along with local filmmakers in Baghdad, Iraq have come together to create a fascinating, insightful documentary web series entitled Hometown Baghdad. The short installments follow the lives of young Iraqi men and women who are trying to survive in Baghdad during the invasion and occupation by U.S. forces.

New York based producer Laurie Meadoff writes, "...After four years of war, we still know next to nothing about normal Iraqis. The life of the everyday Iraqi is the great-untold story of this war. And [Hometown Baghdad] will hopefully change that. If enough people in America see this, it could potentially affect in its own small way the way Americans see the Middle East."

In order for this series to reach as broad an audience as possible, Chat the Planet and the filmmakers are distributing it for free via the Internet. V-Day encourages you all to not only watch these short episodes, but to forward them on to friends and family.

http://hometownbaghdad.com/2007/03/18/first-3-webisodes-of-hometown-baghdad/

Read Italian Journalist Giuliana Sgrena's Story In Friendly Fire
Haymarket Books has published an important new book on the situation of women, journalists, and Iraqi civil society under U.S. occupation entitled Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq, Rescued by an Italian Secret Service Agent and Shot by U.S. Forces, by Italian journalist and feminist Giuliana Sgrena, and including a foreword by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

In February of 2005, while reporting for the Italian daily newspaper Il Manifesto in Iraq, Sgrena was taken hostage by a group of Iraqis and was held until March 4, 2005. On the day of her release, as she was being escorted to Baghdad International Airport by Italian security, U.S. forces fired on her vehicle. The attack killed Major General Nicola Calipari, the number-two man in Italian military intelligence, as he shielded Sgrena.

In this landmark book, Giuliana Sgrena describes her experience as a hostage and provides unique insights into the situation in Iraq under occupation, exposing U.S. war crimes there.

Of the book, Eve Ensler writes: "Friendly Fire reveals the impossible world unleashed by the violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Anyone who thinks the U.S. war on Iraq has bought about liberty, democracy or security needs to read this book."

V-Day readers can order now at http://www.HaymarketBooks.org and enter the special code below to get 20% off your entire order, including an exclusive DVD of Arundhati Roy, books from other publishers, and other Haymarket titles. Code: VDAY

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