Iraq 10 Years On…

Dear friends,

Last week, as we remembered the 10 year anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I heard far too often the opinions of politicians and military men in the mainstream media.

They gave their views about the success of the military campaign and how well the new Iraq is doing.

These views are from men who never actually walked down a street in Iraq, sat with ordinary Iraqi people or heard their experiences.

Instead they lived in the fortified city-state known as the Green Zone and US military bases surrounded by concrete blast walls and razor wire – separated from the rest of Iraq and from everyday life. And, in the case of Australia’s Major-General Jim Molan, sat in an operations room in one of Saddam’s Palaces ordering the targeting of missiles on residential areas.

So as I attempted my own reflection and media commentary I was forced to compete for air-space with the so-called ‘official’ voices; the politicians and Major-Generals who the media so love.

I did my best to balance their out-of-touch views with my first-hand experience, to bring a more realistic picture to the audience and to share the opinions of Iraqi people I’d met over the years.

Here’s my written reflection on Iraq 10 years on, published on Eureka Street website:

and some interviews; my favourite one first (ABC Radio Sunday Nights) which covers a range of issues including Iraq, nonviolence, activism, contemplation and meditation – a nice reflection for Holy Week perhaps…

and also:

Channel 10, The Project (you need to wait for the ads to finish)

ABC Brisbane, Mornings with Steve Austin:

Fran Kelly – Radio National Breakfast

Radioactive Program – 3CR with Jessie Boylan – in-depth radio documentary

The Drum – ABC News24 (about 26 mins in)

Triple J Hack (March 19 program)

There has been many excellent articles and analysis published around the world in the last week, I won’t overload you, but this is a great one published in the Canberra Times from Sue Wareham, a colleague in the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry:

Please go to website to sign the petition calling for an inquiry

I hope to do some more commentary as we approach the anniversary of the fall of Baghdad in early April, when I expect more ‘experts’ to come out , and when former Prime Minister John Howard will give a lecture on the subject.

While those who hold power attempt the re-telling of history, I think it’s important to gently insist on the truth – otherwise how can we ever learn from history?

Your pilgrim


PS: Was great to catch up with some of you at meetings last week in Sydney and Brisbane.

PPS: This Thursday night you are welcome to come along to this event in Lakemba hosted by Lebanese Muslim Association: “Conversations with Donna Mulhearn, story of a Human Shield’ interviewed by Widyan Widz, at the LMA Library (Level2, 71-75 Wangee Rd, Lakemba), Thursday 28 March at 7:30pm. This is a FREE event, however registration is required. To register your attendance, please email: placing: “Conversations with …” in the subject header.

PPPS: Also Sydney folk, pencil in Friday May 24 where I’ll be at Politics in The Pub in Sydney speaking on Iraq 10 years on.

PPPPS: “Unless we know how things went so wrong in 2003, we will repeat the grave errors and again find ourselves in wars we don’t want.” Sue Wareham



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bruce
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 21:39:51

    I had an opportunity to meet and write about the citizens of Baghdad when I was there in 2007. The result is ‘Flowers of Baghdad’ published last year by Harper Collins. It’s an attempt to convey a little of what the people were living with, a perspective that never surfaced in our media. Who knew the war zone was really Joe Citizen trying to get his kids to school, have a picnic in the park and buy groceries all without being shot. Or worse, starve to death as a result of gross mismanagement by the interim administration.


  2. tiffany267
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:34:02

    Hi there,

    First off, I am so inspired by your courage, not just in your outstanding activism but also your moral compass. I stand in awe of all you have faced to bring light to the truth in Iraq.

    I read about your recent visit on, and I decided to reblog it on my own WordPress account. You may check it out here:

    Though I have nothing of your activism, I do like to post a lot of pacifist content in order to get people thinking and talking about the evils of war, particularly the disaster in Iraq. I hope that you will read some more of my content, as I am excited to start following your blog as well. I encourage you to share my posts with others in your circle.

    Thank you for being a true hero in Iraq. We may only hope that one day the country will be healed thanks to the efforts of people like you 🙂


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