Fallujah in the News, Again. And Still…

It’s been too long since I’ve posted in this blog.  What to say? Too much attention to my personal life. Not an excuse, just an explanation. And for those babies in Fallujah, well, not a lot has changed. Babies are still being born, looking like this:

Jan fallujah baby

So in some ways, nothing new to say.  The world still turns, the U.S. won’t acknowledge that this isn’t right, that there has to be something really, really wrong for babies to be born who look like this…not just one in a million, but hundreds, thousands of babies. No acknowledgement of responsibility. And me, knowing about this…and not really knowing what to do to help, knowing that I want to, but feeling helpless.

Still, there has been some progress. Ross (Ross Caputi of the Justice for Fallujah Project) did finish his documentary, it can be downloaded here.  Please watch it, to understand the U.S. government’s involvement in Fallujah from the perspective of a U.S. marine who fought there. It’s an informed and different point of view towards what we did in Fallujah, one that is not what the media and the U.S. government wants us to have.

Now, more than ever, that is important to understand. because now there is renewed fighting in Fallujah, and once again, the U.S. media (and our government) tells us that it’s us (meaning the U.S. backed Iraqi government) against the “terrorists” (i.e. the people of Fallujah). And even though I am someone who is woefully ignorant of the nuance and the history and the politics of Iraq and the middle east in general, to me, that doesn’t seem right. I simply can’t believe that things are cut and dry and drawn in such black and white good vs evil lines, and of course I am right.  i know that I am right because I dig deep and read and learn and listen to people like Feurat Alani, a French-Iraqi journalist who has family in Fallujah and who has made several documentaries about Fallujah…I listen to Feurat and he speaks to me in a way that feels real. Here is Feurat on Democracy Now.

And I listen to Ross, someone who I have spoken with and who through our exchanges has impressed me as a person with a good heart and a good soul. Here is his latest op-ed for the Guardian.

And I listen to Dr. Samira Alani, the brave doctor who is on the front lines of this crisis in Fallujah; who has to face the families of of these babies…

baby with multiple defects

to explain this, over and over again.  And I can’t forget, and I want to help these people and I fear that more news will only harden the people of the U.S. to the plight of these babies, and worse, that we will send more weapons over there to create more deformed babies…it’s almost too much to take in. I want to scream.

So what can we do? Push back against the media spin. Sign this petition calling for more balanced reporting.  Sign up for updates from the Justice for Fallujah Project…hopefully in the coming months there will be opportunities for all of us who care about these babies to raise money for the Fallujah General Hospital. That is my hope, and my wish for 2014.

That, and peace for the families of Fallujah, and everywhere where there is war…