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I did my research

First let me say that my opinions are not necessarily those of the Roaring Fork Peace Coalition or the Stepstone Center. I do not belong to any communist or socialist organization. I pledge my allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. I am a patriotic American who believes in truth, justice and compassion.

My opinions are based on my own extensive research as well as firsthand experience. In January I visited Iraq with Christian Peacemaker Teams (www.cpt.org). In Baghdad we were able to walk freely around the neighborhoods talking to residents and shop owners with NO Iraqi minders present.

There were no armed guards on the streets. It was an ordinary city, functioning normally. I and the other women in the delegation did not have to cover our heads, because under the former Ba’ath Party regime, Fundamentalist Islamists could not impose repressive rules on Iraq’s society.

We visited a family farm two hours north of Baghdad and traveled south to Basrah where we stayed a few days. From Basrah we took a day trip to a fishing village on the Faw peninsula. In all, we traveled over 2,000 miles around the country.

Many Iraqis speak English, and expressed pride in their educational system, their medical system, their cultural accomplishments and their society as a model of freedom and modernization in the Middle East. Everyone I talked to said they did not want war. They knew it would be destructive, deadly and devastating to their civil society.

My position on the war remains that it was an unjustified act of violence, an illegal invasion based on lies and that DESPITE a brutal regime, the Iraqis did not need or want to be “liberated.”

Because I believe a great injustice has been committed by the U.S. government, for which I and all American citizens are responsible, I will continue to write and speak my mind in this community.

Anyone who would like an enlightening view of Iraq as it was before the invasion, please consider attending my next public slide show on May 17, at 7 p.m. at Colorado Rocky Mountain School (in the Barn), in Carbondale. It is free, and everyone is welcome.

Sue Gray

Carbondale


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