Sunday, December 17, 2006

Update on Iraqi family and a little about Burma work

I have been so busy that I have not posted in months. Wonder why I keep this blog. For the moment it suffices as my place to post items of interest, until I find a new publisher.

In any case, the situation with Andy and Alice and their children is an exercise in frustration. I have been stymied by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, who now insist that we provide letters from generals from the army units with which Andy served. But of course there are no generals in most of Iraq. The highest ranking officers in the units Andy served with were l. Despite the fact that many highest ranking officers from the units he was with have written to the USCIS to vouch that there were no higher ranking officers in their units, the USCIS insists still that we provide letters from generals.

The whole situation is Kafkaesque to the extreme. Meantime, I am about to send out an appeal for money in the hope that we will get them out soon; I'll have to find them housing, a car, food, clothing, etc., as well as a job for Andy. I look forward to that challenge and hope to heaven they make it through while the bureacrats do all they can to ensure the worst. The prevalence of stupidity, heartlessness, arrogance, callousness, and cluelessness -- sometimes all bundled into one -- in our fellow human beings, despite my growing exposure to government on the local, national, and international levels, still astonishes me, as does the willful ignorance of so many U.S. Americans.

Last weekend we were in NYC on Sunday, December 10, for International Human Rights Day. A small group of Burmese and I did a demonstration in front of the UN headquarters (Ralph Bunche Park) demanding UN action on Burma. The biggest purpose of our demonstration was to get media from other countries (esp. Norway, Denmark, Thailand, and the BBC that covers Burma) to air the footage, which will then make its way, we hope, via independent/pirate media to Aung San Suu Kyi in her house prison and to the Burmese people, who are living in terror under the country's brutal regime. We hope our actions will hearten and inspire them to continue resisting.

I'll try to be better about updating news in future. I'll try.