Friday, May 30, 2008


A talk by Iraqi political analyst and blogger Raed Jarrar, with a response from Jon Osorio, director of Center for Hawaiian Studies

Friday * May 23 * 7pm * University of Hawai'i Manoa Art Auditorium

Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi political analyst and consultant to AFSC's Iraq Program currently based in Washington D.C. He also hosts a blog ( Jarrar, who was asked by House Foreign Relations Subcommittee to coordinate a visit of Iraqi Parliamentarians to testify before Congress in June, will be visiting O'ahu, Big Island and Kaua'i as part of a multi-city tour to discuss the initiative. He will also discuss current war funding bills before Congress, the ongoing insurgent conflict, and a vision of what a constructive U.S. involvement would look like.

After the U.S.-led invasion, Jarrar became the country director for CIVIC Worldwide, the only door-to-door casualty survey group in post-war Iraq. He then established Emaar (meaning reconstruction in Arabic), a grassroots organization that provided humanitarian and political aid to Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs). Emaar delivered medicine and food as well as helped initiate micro-enterprise projects for IDPs. Additionally, Emaar engaged in political advocacy on behalf of displaced populations.

On O'ahu, Jon Osorio, Director of the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies, will respond to Raed Jarrar drawing parallels between the present war and occupation in Iraq and the U.S. invasion and occupation of Hawai'i which began more than a century ago.


The U.S. strategy in Iraq is not working. Five years of occupation has led to the largest forced displacement in the Middle East since 1948 and an estimated 1 million Iraqi dead. More than 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed, and the US Government has spent one trillion dollars. The result has been little security and no stability for the Iraqi people.

Inside Iraq, the deterioration of basic services, including the collapse of the health care system, lack of electricity and potable water, and personal and economic insecurity make daily life for Iraqis nearly impossible. Eight million Iraqis are in need of emergency assistance, and more than one in six Iraqis have been forced from their homes. In neighboring countries absorbing refugees, infrastructure is sorely inadequate, and the economic and political strain is increasing. The chaos and violence in Iraq threaten to destabilize the whole region.

A new vision is emerging based on the complete removal of US troops and bases, Iraqi political reconciliation and regional negotiations. It is what the majority in Iraqi's Parliament and a majority of Iraqis want. The peace plan would require U.S. assistance to Syria and Jordan, which are hosting 2 million Iraqi refugees, and dialogue with Iran, an important actor in Iraq.

The event is sponsored by Honolulu Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee, American Friends Service Committee-Hawai'i, CHOICES, DMZ-Hawai'i Aloha 'Aina, Friends of Sabeel, Military Families Speak Out-Hawai'i, World Can't Wait-Hawai'i, Revolution Books-Hawai'i, Malu 'Aina Center for Non-Violent Education and Action, Kauai Alliance for Justice and Peace, Hawai'i People's Fund, Buddhist Peace Fellowship-O'ahu, Manoa Mediation & Peace Club, Ohana Koa, Nuclear Free & Independent Pacific, Hawai'i Labor for Peace and Justice.