Skip to main content

IRAQ: U.S. soldiers invade CPT apartment and then stay for a visit

CPTnet

IRAQ: U.S. soldiers invade CPT apartment and then stay for a visit
On December 10, 2004, CPTer Tom Fox was on the roof of Christian Peacemaker Team's Baghdad apartment, enjoying the warm, sunny weather when he saw four humvees parked in the street below. About ten neighborhood kids were hanging out with the soldiers. When they looked up and saw Fox waving, the soldiers waved back. Fox then took several pictures. A soldier in one of the vehicles yelled, "Hey, you can't take pictures of our humvees!" Several soldiers started moving towards the building.

Cliff Kindy and Sheila Provencher had just entered the building after returning from a meeting. Five soldiers followed them to the door and demanded entry. As Kindy went to open it, one soldier shouted angrily, "Open the door! Open the door!" Kindy did so, and the soldier said, "Did you take a picture? Give me the camera!"

Fox reached the door and said, "I've got it; it's upstairs. I'll get it for you." The soldiers yelled that they would get it themselves. As they tried to push inside, Provencher said, "Please stay here. We don't need guns in the house." The soldiers were insistent, so Fox and Maxine Nash went upstairs with them.

Kindy and Provencher stayed with the soldier at the door, whose unit leader ordered him, "Don't let them lock the door behind us." The soldier said his name Billy Smith; he was from Arkansas and had three children under the age of ten. He told Kindy and Provencher that he hoped to return home in the first quarter of 2005, but that these days soldiers do not know whether they will be allowed to go home on schedule. He said he was a bit ashamed at his unit's barging into the building, and thought the other soldiers had overreacted.

Upstairs, Jeff (the unit leader) asked Fox for his I.D. After they had talked for awhile, Jeff asked, "Why did you take pictures of us?" Fox said, "I saw you down there playing with the kids and I thought it would be a good thing to communicate that you do other things besides shoot people." Jeff nodded, but noted, "We don't allow anybody to take pictures of our humvees." Fox deleted the photos.

Jeff was surprised at CPT's presence. Fox said, "We keep a low profile." Jeff, who said members of his unit were reservists with the 1st Airborne, noted that Fox's comment was certainly true because he had no idea U.S. citizens lived in the neighborhood. Nash briefly explained CPT's work, especially in the area of human rights and Jeff said, "They sure need that kind of work here."

The soldiers waiting outside radioed to Jeff that a political organization with an office in the neighborhood had asked the soldiers to move on. The soldiers declined an invitation from CPTers to stay for snacks and further conversation, but they did take a CPT brochure with them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Temper Tantrum

Dear friends: A Temper Tantrum On a shopping trip to Aldi’s I noticed a mother with a girl who was two and a boy who was one sitting together in her cart.. The boy was having a temper tantrum. I know how embarrassing that can be. Besides she was just beginning to shop. So I thought maybe I could help settle him down. So I went over and tried to talk to him. But he would have nothing to do with me. So I just started talking to his sister. “How old are you? What’s your name? How old is your brother? . “What is his name? She replied “Noah.” Hearing his name the boy started to quiet down and pay attention. After some more question and answers the kids and I shook hands and said goodbye. Then we both did our shopping. We passed each other several times. The kids would say “Hi” and wave each time we saw each other. Then as we went through the checkout the mother remarked, “Thank you so much, what is your name?” the kids waved saying “Goodby…

Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution. What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Wo…

Korea Peace Healing our Divided couhtry

Dear friends “Healing Our Divided Country” First I rejoice at the North and South Korea peace agreement. I suggest you go to the link democracy now.org for a very good interview of an American coronel who resigned in protest against the afghan war, and even though she opposes most of trumps doings she gives surprising hopeful insights about the accords. “I have a friend who recently told me he thinks we should deport all undocumented persons. And we should just do away with those who disagree. We are quite good friends we play soft ball together. How do I begin to talk to him?” shared a student at George Fox University in Oregon. The professor suggested, “Well you have some common ground in softball. Maybe that would be a good place to start.” The prof added, “Just about every student enter the conversations that was great.” This was from one of the 10 times I shared in Oregon. Here is our Emily with her family that I shared about in the last letter. I am glad to report that donation for …