Reflections – April 2013
Friends:Those who’ve followed these postings know that my legal battle with the federal government over a $16,000 fine (for traveling to Iraq to bring medicine without a U.S. license) has ended. The judge dismissed the government’s efforts to collect saying the government waited too long to sue. See Bert’s Case for a history of the legal issues.
This being my 28th monthly posting, I have been planning to take a break from writing it. I’m not sure how long a break it will be. If you are subscribed (on the “Email list signup” in the right-hand column) you will automatically receive any new posting (and will not be bothered with any extraneous emails). Simply stay subscribed and your email will, in effect, be in hibernation waiting for a new post.
I want to thank you, dear readers, who have stayed with this project and have shared your thoughts and support via the blog or with personal emails to me. Your input has meant a great deal. Struggling to clearly put words to my thoughts has been a value in itself. But knowing that you are there, willing to read what I write, has also been an important value to me. I thank you deeply!
All that said, for now (maybe for other months), I may still have a few things I want to say.
In Seattle, we’ve been grateful for the visit of Cathy Breen. The words of Iraqis she quotes from her trip there late last year have moved many. We collected $1,000 in donations to help support her as she plans to return to Iraq to continue to bear witness and to aid Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan. See tinyurl.com/CathyOnIraq for her writings and also tinyurl.com/CathyInterview for an interview with her.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, the Geneva International Centre for Justice has held a Conference on “Accountability and Justice for Iraq: the 10th commemoration of the invasion and occupation of Iraq – How much can a people take?” Presently on the home page at gicj.org there is a photo of a panel with Hans von Sponeck’s familiar face and a lead article by him, “Iraq and the Betrayal of a People – Impunity Forever?” This should give us all heart that others in the world are paying attention to what U.S. policies have done to the Iraqi people, despite the relative silence here.
I’ve been reading several books about WWI. I’d like to end with this quote from Bertrand Russell’s book Justice in War-Time (1916). He is speaking about his government’s tendency to avoid difficult truths during WWI; it’s as relevant to our government’s policies today: “No good cause is served by the suppression of truth; and those among us who show fear of truth are doing a greater disservice to the national cause than can be done by fearlessly proclaiming the most damaging facts.”