Naked City

Activist Heading Back to Iraq

Texans for Peace founder Charlie Jackson hopes to head back to Iraq soon to join on-the-ground efforts to promote peace in the midst of war. Jackson visited Iraq in January and had expected to return two weeks ago but didn't have enough funds for the trip. He also suspected that he wouldn't be able to enter the country -- but a group of peace workers from Voices in the Wilderness made it across the border last week, making him optimistic about his own chances. Jackson says he's hoping to obtain plastic bags for blood transfusions and other emergency relief supplies and personally deliver them when he arrives in Baghdad.

Is Jackson worried about his safety? "There will be more soldiers getting killed than unarmed peacemakers," he responds. On his last trip, Jackson was injured in a car accident that left one person dead. The cause: A Firestone tire blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over. However, he says, if the U.S. government "decides to start bombing hospitals and orphanages, [peacemakers] will be killed."

Asked if the U.S. government is right that Iraqis want to be "liberated" by the American military, Jackson flatly says no. "Iraqis can't figure out why anybody would [conduct this war] at all," he said. "All they want is the sanctions lifted."

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