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by Michael Mime.
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003 at 3:47 AM
Along with Turkish Special Forces, Michael Todd, a British performance artist and writer was captured in North Iraq on 4th July. After been taken to Kirkuk Air Base the group were flown to Baghdad. The Turks were released on the 8th July but the British man, in Iraq to find his missing half-Iraqi daughter, was held as a prisoner of war / terrorist suspect for 3 weeks at Baghdad Airport under 24 hour armed guard. His crime? Walking down the street, searching for his daughter !
If a man went abroad to look for his child and was then captured and falsely accused of been a terrorist by an occupying army, it would be hard to believe. Read on!
Three weeks under 24 hour armed guard by American soldiers in full body-armour. Such paranoid behaviour towards a man who was in Iraq to search for his missing half-Iraqi daughter and to give out soft toys to Iraqi children? Indeed so, especially as the guy was in Iraq with the knowledge of Paul Bremers office (Coalition Provisional Authority), certain units of the American Army in Iraq and with the blessing of the Turkish Prime Ministers office.
The capture of the Turkish Special Forces on 4th July in Sulaimaniyah, North Iraq, sparked an international incident between the USA and Turkey so they got to go home after a couple of days. Michael Todd, who was captured with them as he happened to be walking past the building, had to wait. The guy who had no weapons and only carried intentions of love in his heart suffered a broken toe when an American soldier kicked him. He also has impaired hearing as the Americans "forgot" to issue ear protection for the Chinook helicopter flight from Kirkuk to Baghdad.
If this is the response to love then we need to ask ourselves some pretty deep internal questions; if it could happen to him then it could happen to anyone. But why? But was there a more conspiratorial explanation to all of this? The girlfriend of Michael Todd is / was an Iraqi citizen, who had a mother that studied in the USA in the late 1960's. She became pregnant by a US citizen who later rose the political grease-pole to take up office in Washgington. Not just any office, but a position within the Bush cabinet. Just a co-incidence then that the Americans claimed not to have seen letters on Michael confirming the identity of this politician.
Just as the english guy was making progress in finding his daughter came the news that his girlfriend had been killed by American bombs. The letter came from his girlfriends mother so he was too late to save her. His treatement and release three weeks later meant that much time was wasted, especially as the Americans refused to return Michael to the Iraqi town where he was captured to resume his search. The town in question was Sulaimaniyah; the date was 4th of July.
Already Michael, now back in the UK after the British flew him home, is making plans to celebrate next years 4th of July. He plans to wear the orange jump suit, plastic handcuffs and white plastic sand bag and drink a toast to his captors. How strange, how sad and how shameful that the guy who searched only for love was made to wear the uniform forced on the residents at Camp X-Ray and had a plastic bag put over his head. In darkness he heard verbal abuse that left him in no doubt that he was a terrorist suspect.
But love recognises no danger and is stronger than any force which uses weapons to enforce the wishes of those who bear arms. Michael will be returning to Iraq to continue this incredible search and would love to hear from well-wishers or those keen to know more about this ordeal.
Before returning to Iraq he will go to Washington to loby the White House. He feels that the Americans should now assist him in the search for his loved ones. There are, after all, man hundreds of soldiers with nothing to do; why else would they waste 12 soldiers time, 24 hours a day for three weeks?
There will me much more on this story as the weeks un-fold; needless to say, he expects some very 'powerful' people leaning on him to secure his silence. But the story will be told; more later !
Michael can be reached on email@example.com
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