Iraq Peace Team

The Iraq Peace Team is a project of Voices in the Wilderness which has led over 45 delegations to Iraq. In May, 2002 Kathy Kelly, a Voices in the Wilderness co-founder, sent a proposal to Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz:

As leaders in the United States speak openly of preparations to massively assault Iraq, we remain grateful for the kindly embraces with which our many delegations have been met by ordinary Iraqi people. Now we feel renewed responsibility to accompany Iraqi children and families, as much as possible, in the event that the US should carry through with threats to attack Iraq.

I’m writing to you today with a proposal for another peacemaking effort which Voices in the Wilderness wishes to organize: we propose formation of an “Iraq Peace Team,” that would bring people from the US and other countries together, in Iraq, well in advance of a US attack. The Iraq Peace Team would be organized by members of our campaign who’ve visited Iraq numerous times. Participants would be required to undertake serious preparation in advance so that all involved would be ready:

to cooperate with guidelines requiring all participants make a commitment to nonviolent discipline in word and action…

to arrive in Iraq prepared for opportunities to take up residence in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq–hold vigils, should bombing raids begin, at places where ordinary Iraqi people go... be present at facilities upon which Iraqi people depend for maintenance of their on roads between cities and towns, in hopes of safeguarding travel for Iraqi civilians.

Rather than take sides in a military confrontation, we would aim to make the strong moral statement that ordinary human beings should not be sacrificed for any government’s military goals and purposes.