It’s been a while since I’ve posted…sad to say, but it’s because I had nothing new to say. More babies born with horrific birth defects, more silence from, well, everywhere.
But now there is some action to take. Please help support this Kickstarter started by my friend (we’ve never met but I hope that he will allow me to call him my friend) Ross Caputi, the Veteran who fought in the battle of Falujah who I have written about in these pages. He is in the process of making a documentary about Fallujah, told from both his perspective as an ex-marine, and from the people of Fallujah’s perspective, or as Ross more eloquently states:
“This documentary is about my life after my experience in Fallujah, and my struggle to learn the truth about what I participated in amidst all the propaganda. But it is also a documentary about Fallujah, the people who live there, and the human consequences of US foreign policy in their city. ”
He wants to raise awareness here about the crisis facing the people of Fallujah (and also other cities in Iraq), a crisis caused by our foriegn policy. It is so relevant and touches me even more today, as we sit here and our President speaks of “a targeted surgical strike” in Syria. Meaning a bomb. They want to bomb. Again. The US government screams and cries about chemical weapons being used in Syria…and our answer is to bomb, and we can’t look at this, what has happened in Fallujah as a result of OUR weapons, OUR bombs:
“Possibly the most heart wrenching consequence of these sieges is the public health crisis that emerged a couple years after the fighting. All of the scientific research on this topic suggest that the weapons that were used in the two sieges of Fallujah polluted the city to such an extent that there are now enormous rates of birth defects and cancers in Fallujah. Today, 14% of all children born in Fallujah are born with birth defects. And the cancer rates in children are 12 times the expected rates in a healthy population. These figures have led many people to compare Fallujah with Hiroshima. So not only did the sieges of Fallujah hurt people in 2004, but they are still hurting people today, and unless we do something about it they will continue to hurt the future generations as well. ”
I believe that by helping Ross to share his story we can both raise awareness for the situation in Fallujah, which we need to do in order to really be able to help these babies (think Vietnam, Agent Orange, and what it took to get the US to take responsibility), and hopefully we can change public opinion and public will so that more people stand up and say no more…no more bombs and no more drones that kill and maim innocent men, women and children, for decades on end. No more. Ross plans to make the documentary free for anyone who wants it. And, we can use it to raise funds to send to Fallujah. The awareness HAS to come first, however. Without lots of people knowing and caring, anything we’d raise would be a drop in the bucket. This is a start…
I admire Ross’ efforts. And I think he’s braver than our “leaders”, the ones who talk of targeted attacks and surgical strikes. He was there, and his story needs to be told. Here are more of his thoughts:
“In the past I’ve come under attack because I’ve publicly denounced our mission in Fallujah. I’ve been called a “terrorist,” a “traitor,” a “coward,” and many other things. It has been mostly other veterans who have attacked me in this way, because they feel threatened by my activism.
I fully expect that this documentary will come under similar criticism. And I will defend the message in this documentary the same way I always have. To claim that our mission in Fallujah was immoral, doesn’t in any way imply that the people who participated in either siege are immoral people. We were intentionally misled by our leaders and the media to believe that we were doing a good thing. But however well intentioned we were, that doesn’t change the fact that our mission hurt a lot of innocent Fallujans. This is a fact that can’t be dismissed, and it shouldn’t be dismissed.
Furthermore, I understand that when you have close friends killed in combat (as I have) you want so badly for what they died for to be right and noble. It is a hard pill to swallow to learn that our friends’ lives were squandered in an unjust war. I understand this. I understand why people get angry with me for trying to inform the public that our mission in Iraq was wrong and that it hurt a lot of innocent people. But Fallujans shouldn’t have to suffer because the truth is difficult for us to accept.
Just as other unpopular truths came under fire in the past (like abolitionist ideas and civil rights), this issue will likely come under fire too. The title of our documentary comes from an Arabic proverb: Fear not the path of truth for the lack of those who walk it. Although the message in this documentary is a hard pill to swallow, and it will certainly face some backlash, I’m prepared to defend it.”
It’s a step toward justice for these precious babies. Won’t you take it, and help? Please donate and share this link:
And work and pray for no bombs in Syria…