In the spring of 2004, human rights activist Kathy Kelly, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was sent to Pekin Federal Prison for leading a protest at the School of the Americas. While in prison, Kelly’s organization, Voices in the Wilderness, was targeted by a US State Department lawsuit charging that Kelly violated US-imposed sanctions when she took humanitarian aid to Iraq during numerous visits over the last five years.
In this fiercely eloquent book, Kelly recounts such trips to Iraq, tells the largely unknown story of the School of the Americas and describes daily life inside a federal prison, where America’s poor are warehoused. Like Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail , Kelly’s powerful narrative gives voice to the unheard millions suffering at home and abroad.
About the Author
Kathy Kelly, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is the founder of Voices In The Wilderness, a group dedicated to breaking the US embargo on Iraq by contributing humanitarian aid, and providing 'human shields' to protect against bombing. She is also a key organiser of the protests against the School of the Americas, for which she was imprisoned.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a good antidote to the mainstream media. This is the American assault on Iraq without the spin, as witnessed by an unembedded American who was there voluntarily, in solidarity with the local people. It is a cry of protest against what Americans are doing to the rest of the world, specifically to Iraq. The sanctions against Iraq were "child abuse" and "child sacrifice." The United Nations is a "battered woman" bullied by the U.S. rogue superpower, the "world's greatest killing machine," which has an "unfortunate addiction" to war making. The suffering the author relates is horrendous, and it is real. Americans need to know about it. This book is important because it exposes ongoing crimes that depend upon secrecy. From our "abysmally failed foreign policies" she proceeds to our "abysmally failed" prison system, as seen from the inside. She complains of "absurdly long sentences," dehumanizing and cruel treatment, and disrespect for the family ties of inmates. Nonviolent lawbreakers are being scapegoated while lethal crimes in high places are ignored. She asks, are prisons necessary? And suggests alternatives, at least for nonviolent criminals. Not a comfortable read, but important. Although the sanctions are now history and the focus of American imperialism has shifted from Iraq, this book is by no means out-of-date. Would that it were!