Spreading international support
On June 3, Mr. Arman Farakish arrived in Japan as the PEACE TV Project leader for IFC (Iraq Freedom Congress) aiming to realize democratic reconstruction of the Iraqi society. Arman attended a series of assemblies from June 4 to 11, calling to citizens around the country for greater support for the launch of the PEACE TV station. "IFC is the hope for the Iraqi people to sustain their life day to day and for Iraqi youth to find confidence in their own future. In the face of the massive propaganda from terrorist groups and other media, the PEACE TV station will raise another voice to point to a perspective. Support this TV station project, and you will be making a historical contribution to the people of Iraq."
It has been four months since the January Tokyo International Conference issued an appeal to the world for solidarity with IFC and donations for the TV station project. Support for the campaign is steadily growing. At the June 4 rally, the Japanese fund-raising committee for the Iraqi TV station announced that it had already collected more than enough funds for trial broadcasting. Arman says, "The TV station is coming true." In the US, following the success of IFC's first speaking tour of the US, USLAW (US Labor Against the War) released a statement declaring their support for IFC. In France also, supporters are planning to hold exhibitions of Iraqi children's photos and pictures soon.
IFC is attracting attention from world anti-war movements.
The occupation rule showing terminal symptoms
Now look at the situation in Iraq.
On May 20, the puppet government was given a new name, "formal government." Who would believe Bush when he sells it as "a fully constitutional government" and the event "the end of a democratic transitional process." The new government is made of "new puppets" as ever, as observed on the May 31 page of the River Bend's blog. Even a US paper, The New York Times, publicized, "US Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, acted as a tireless midwife in the birthing of the new government." Moreover, Western media have carried sensational articles on a series of atrocities including one in which 24 civilians were killed by occupation troops in Haditha in November last year, another in middle Ishaqi in March this year, and yet another in western Hamandiyah in April this year, igniting a pursuit of truth with a heavy suspicion of "the worst atrocity since the My Lai massacre" in the Vietnam war (Newsweek June 5 issue).
Meanwhile, non-discriminatory terrorism by armed sectarian groups is escalating. A state of emergency is issued and a curfew imposed even in southern Basra and Samawah where it has been referred to as relatively "calm" regions.
The occupation rule is now showing terminal symptoms. Now is the time to realize the withdrawal of all occupation forces from Iraq through the might of international solidarity.
Accomplish the goal of fifty million yen
Under the circumstances where violence of occupation troops and political Islam continues to claim lives of Iraqi people day after day, IFC is now rapidly increasing the significance of its presence.
IFC-supported People's House, an autonomy local government so to say, has been established in Iskandariya to the south of Baghdad on May 20, and in Al-Askari District in Baghdad on May 23, one after another. At the opening ceremony in Iskandariya, the mayor was among others. In Basra, 250 farmers have joined IFC and now been mobilized to prevent intrusion of terrorists into the area. IFC member unions are now preparing for a general strike, united around oil workers.
Iraq PEACE TV is the means to broadcast these struggles for building the future of Iraq to all corners of the country and to the world. This TV "is going to be the voice of optimism and bright future. It will save millions of lives," says IFC President Samir Adil. Its broadcasting will start in September on a trial basis. Convey struggles of IFC with photo and picture exhibits. Let us do our best to secure the TV station funds of fifty million yen. (June 6)