,0000.101101111111111. were gloomy and cavernous, overcrowded and understaffed, with little vital medication because of 12 years of U.S. sanctions. Later, after Bush’s shock and awe show, they would be swarming with mangled children mutilated by Washington’s cluster bombs. My friend and fellow Human Shield Father Fippinnger tells of carrying their little amputated limbs into the courtyard where ravenous dogs would snap them up. It was not Homeland Security that came to interrogate me about ripping up the stars and stripes but rather my day nurse, a beaming Vietnamese angel of mercy, Kieue, who had been brought by her family to the United States following the fall of Saigon in \\.0 tremendous whomp on the back from the baton of one of San Francisco’s Finestadmittedly, I had availed myself of the proximity of Adolfo Calero, the Jefe of Coca Cola-Nicaragua, whose expensive suit jacket I managed to rip up the back. To my great shame, the eye was repaired at Kaiser during a strike there and the near fatal buckle was implanted. I have no recollection of being informed that this lethal time bomb was ticking away inside my eye. Now, several wars, rebellions, and uprisings later, I awoke from yet mother surgery in a gleaming white hospital room, groggy with morphine and exhausted from my ordeal. The calendar on the wall announced that the date was June 27th, the day I was to have set off for Palestinea pledge I fully intend to make good on once I have rested awhile. On the door of my room and, indeed, on the door of every room on Moffet-14–the nurses had affixed red, white, and blue stars. I suppose they were echoing the nauseating jingosim that has infected America in the wake of the terrible slaughter in Iraq. “God Bless America,” read the wall decor tions on the floor. “A Nation m: Stand Strong!” I tore the star from door and ripped it into tiny patrict shreds. The nurses wanted to kno what I thought I was doing. I expected an interview with Homeland Security would be next on the agenda. UCSF is an exemplary institution beautifully landscaped into the sur-` rounding hills, with a world-class vista of the soft billows of fog pushing in through the Golden Gate. But as I lay there dozing in and out of consciousness, I visited other hospitals. In Baghdad, at the Saddam Children’s Hospital, hundreds of infants, suffering cancers said to be caused by depleted uranium shells fired upon them by the Yanqui troops during the first GulfWar, lay solemn and motionless on their cots. When you picked a child up, they were as light as a feather and you knew by their body weight that they would not make it. Unlike UCSF, the hospitals of Iraq 1975. Although she barely remembered the war, when I looked at her hovering above my bed I saw an 11year-old girl running down a dirt road near Danang on fire from the Napalm that the United States had dropped upon her village. I explained to Kieue what I had seen in Baghdad, what I had seen in Chiapas and Palestine and Peru and the Highway to Hell, what I had seen right here on the streets of San Francisco, and by the time I had run out of steam, I was dissolved into weeping. “Shhh,” she cautioned, “you must rest. Your eyes have seen too much … ” Despite his recent setback, John Ross will soon be headed to Palestine. v.
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