We've Been Through the Heaviest Bombardment of the War So Far...
by Wade Hudson
March 22, 2003
(March 21) On day one of the "Shock & Awe" campaign Bitta Mostofi connected by telephone with Iraq Peace Team delegate Wade Hudson at the Andulus Hotel in downtown Baghdad.
It's a little before 2 AM. There hasn't been any bombing for the last 2-3 hours. I'm not even sure of the date I don't have my watch on me. I think it's the 22nd. We've been through the heaviest bombardment of the war so far.
Our hotel here lost some tiles on the wall by the elevator after having been shaken - probably 20-30 times - by bombs and missiles. The Al Fanar Hotel nearby has lost one window, and everyone is okay at the Al Dar Hotel. We have been communicating occasionally by walkie-talkie, everyone's spirits seem to be holding up pretty well.
We saw three fires across the river, one of them may have been a Presidential Palace. A reporter from Vienna just told me that the U.S. military is saying that the other two were military sites, they are all in a row, maybe they were all on the same street. I don't know if those were all military targets or not.
One staff person came up to me when Robert and I stepped out on to the sidewalk to look around a bit. He looked angry and asked 'Why is the United States doing this?' But mostly people are very calm and composed. There are many expressions of their faith that lead them to accept what they cannot change.
Earlier today people at the hospital said that most of the children had been taken out because the parents are afraid of flying glass. There are big windows in the hospital. People from the neighborhood came out and visited with us in the evening. Some of them said they would inquire and insist that people from the Iraq Peace Team be trained to help treat injuries and for others to be at the hospital to be with victims and interview their families. Today 95% of the businesses were closed, there was not very much traffic.
The bombing has been intense but I think our team spirits remain high and we are relatively calm and committed to stick it out and learn what we can and report back.
Wade Hudson is a mental health counselor from Boulder Creek, CA. He is currently in Baghdad as a delegate of the Iraq Peace Teace, initiated by Voices in The Wilderness, a group of international peaceworkers pledging to remain in Iraq through a US bombing and invasion, in order to be a voice for the Iraqi people in the West. The Iraq Peace Team can be reached at email@example.com