Emma Kreyche and Ali Tonak travelled to Baghdad and Basra in 2001 to learn about the effects of 10 years of UN sanctions imposed on Iraq. They had the opportunity to visit hospitals, schools, sewage and water treatment plants deteriorating under the sanctions. They also observed the effect Depleted Uranium ammunition, used heavily since the first Gulf War, had upon the population. The slide-show presentation will include a history, effects and analysis of the sanctions that have killed upward of 1.5 million Iraqis.
Image vs. Reality in the Iraq Occupation: The Coalition of the Killing
This presentation will be an examination of the current occupation of iraq. Rob Eshelman will begin with a slide presentation and an analysis of the disparity between the U.S. media's spin on the occupation and the reality he found during his own time 'in-country'. David Martinez will follow with selections from his own film-in-progress and discuss the breakdown that happened in march-april of last year and the resulting first siege of Fallujah and my own experience in that city during the siege. The two will be available for discussion afterwards and would very much like the evening to end with an open forum for discussion.
A little something to think about: A 24 year-old Iraqi youth was born into a 8 year war between Iraq and Iran, became a teenager during the first Gulf War, was an adolescent during 10 years of sanctions and now is an adult under occupation.
Ali Tonak (Bard class of '03) is a biologist working with Ignacio Chapela (UC Berkeley) on issues around Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) contamination and a journalist with the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (www.indybay.org). He has written articles on Iraq, the counter-globalization movement and academic freedom that have appeared in CounterPunch and Alternet and a number of Turkish publications.
Emma Kreyche (Bard class of '02) is an activist and community organizer living in the Hudson Valley. Emma's most recent work has focused regionally on farm worker and immigrant justice issues. Besides fighting war, imperialism and all forms of oppression, Emma enjoys knitting, reading, watching movies, drinking tea, hiking, playing volleyball and practicing yoga.
David Martinez (Bard class of '89) is a filmmaker and journalist based in San Francisco. He is currently editing a film about his experiences in Iraq under the U.S. occupation, where he foolishly went for four months in 2003-4. He contributed war footage to Fahrenheit 911 and his writing has appeared in The San Francisco Bay Guardian, CounterPunch, and Islam Online. He has worked in feature film production with directors John Sayles and Jimmy Mendiola, and as an actor in Waking Life, directed by Rick Linklater. He has also been employed as a school teacher, social worker, bike messenger, and taxi driver. (It apears that David may not be able to make it to Simon's Rock tonight).
Rob Eshelman is a San Francisco based journalist. His articles have appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Brooklyn Rail, Clamor, and CounterPunch. From December 2003 to February 2004 he reported on conditions in Iraq under the US led occupation.