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Anti-War Activist Ann Wright Travels to Jordan Seeking Iraqi Peace - Interview

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Ann Wright is one of the high level diplomats who resigned in disagreement with the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, its general foreign policy in the Middle East, lack of foreign policy on North Korea, and the constant and consistent erosions of civil liberties in the US. Retiring as a Colonel from the US Army after 29 years, Ann then spent 16 years in the US Diplomatic Corps. Since her resignation March 19, 2003 the day before the US bombed Iraq, Ann has worked tirelessly to bring an end to the US occupation. Most recently, she traveled to Jordan to meet with members of the Iraq parliament to discuss the Bush administration's refusal to consider the new Iraqi government's 28-Point Peace Plan.


AMANDA: I wanted to clarify some things. I want to check out biographical info on you to make sure that I have it right because there were some discrepancies. One said 26 years in the army and one said 29.

ANN: Yes...It was so emotional trying to write that letter of resignation that I miscounted. I was actually in the military 29 years and also 16 years in the Diplomatic Corp.

AMANDA: There were two other discrepancies. One record stated that at the time of your resignation you were deputy chief of Mongolia and another indicated that you were the Deputy Chief of Mission in Afghanistan.

ANN: That's right. That was previous to going to Mongolia. I was in Afghanistan from December 2001 until April 2002 and then went to Mongolia in the summer of 2002 and resigned from Mongolia March of 2003.

AMANDA: March 19, 2003, the day before the Necons struck Iraq.


ANN: Yeap.

AMANDA: Your activism has led to arrests?

ANN: Well the arrests are symbolic sorts of things. I have the right to be arrested for freedom of speech and for if I am in an area where I am not supposed to be, which is essentially what all those things are. Either you are sitting down in front of the White House in an area where you are not supposed to sit down or you're interrupting a session of Congress, either a congressional committee or session of Congress and that is prohibited by their own rules. And we know that. The reason why we do it is to call attention to the fact that the people of the United States are displeased what the Congress is of today and we risk arrests every time we do it and we know it, and that's why.

AMANDA: For the last 30 days, you have been established in front of the White House. With your permission, I would like to talk in two parts about what you have been doing. When we last spoke you indicated that you were leaving tomorrow for Jordan. I would like to talk a little bit about how that effort is going to take focus and what you hope to accomplish there?

ANN: Sure, yeah. For the last 30 days we have had an encampment in Lafayette Square which is right in front of the White House, just across Pennsylvania from the White House. We had a permit for that, which means that you could have more than 25 people join you. You don't need a permit if you have less than 25. But we have been there since the 3rd of July, where we are there from 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening. And we are there sitting to bear witness to what the Bush administration is doing and we talk to them on the public affair system, or the bull horn about three times a day, usually at meal time when we tell them that we are on a 2, 5, 10, 29 of our fast, we are not eating or drinking, water mostly and a few juices for some people and George Bush what are you and Laura having for lunch or dinner? And are you thinking about the fruit as you eat your dinner because we are thinking about them when we don't eat. Today is the 30th day, it has been very, very interesting, because sitting right there in front of the White House are the people -- the tours came by, folks from the United States and the international tours. And we talk with them about the war. I would say at least 95% of the people that come to the White House say that this war needs to end.

AMANDA: Really?

ANN: Yes

AMANDA: That many?

ANN: There are a lot of people that come and talk and say that I'm still a Republican, and I think George Bush is doing okay on some things, but I have come to the conclusion that this war is bad and that we need to end it. We have a couple of folks, usually it will be military or retired, military and we have plenty of active duty military come by and say keep going -- you are doing exactly right thing, we need to protest this war. And then we have some military that know that we should be there and we got to stay, we've started this and we can't stop, we have to keep going. So what the overwhelming majority, I mean 95% of the people coming to the White House are saying this war needs to end.

AMANDA: That's interesting. Did you have an opportunity to speak to any additional family that had family members currently in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or that have had family members injured or killed?

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Amanda, Great interview and certainly some info... by skyreader7 on Tuesday, Aug 8, 2006 at 12:38:06 AM