Dahlia Wasfi is an Iraqi-American physician and peace activist. Born in 1971 in New York to a Jewish-American mother and Muslim Iraqi father, Dr. Wasfi spent part of her early childhood living in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. She returned to the US at age 5, earned her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College in 1993 and her medical degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
Wasfi visited family in Iraq in 2004 and 2006, and, based upon her account of Iraqi civilian life, became an advocate for “immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Here is the full text of her speech which she delivered against illegal aggression and in favour of justice:
“We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression because all of this carnage has been done in our name.
Since World War II 90% of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians, a third of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us, from Palestine to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Somalia, to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage they are the nature of modern warfare.
They don’t hate us because of our freedoms, they hate us because everyday we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.
The so-called war on terror is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western Asia. This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries.
This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world we are the terrorists. In these times, remaining silent on our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN Charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation?
Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire demanding respect for their humanity. They are labelled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.
The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt five years ago, today we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honor, country. They sacrifice for Kellog, Brown & Root.
They don’t fight for America, they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them because we put them in a war zone. They’re not defending our freedom, they’re laying the foundation for fourteen permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of Exxon-Mobil and British Petroleum.
They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.
Iraqi society today, thanks to American ‘help’, is defined by house raids, death squads, check points, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets, and constant violence.
We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.
We must dare to speak out in support of those American war resistors, the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington DC more commonly known as the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Frederick Douglas said :
“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”
Everyone of us, everyone of us, must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep ploughing, keep speaking, keep struggling, until justice is served. No justice no peace. No justice no peace”.