The Peace and Justice Center

Colours to the mast: this particular blog entry was a little awkward to write, because although I sympathise with the sentiments expressed in this area of the Better World Island, I don’t actually agree with them. For what its worth, my own view is that the US and UK should never have gone into Iraq in the first place, but now that they are there it would be wrong to just pull out (I believe that if they do so, Iraq is likely to collapse into civil war, making the situation even worse than before). If my blog comes over as less than enthusiastic (I hope it doesn’t), this is the reason.

The Peace and Justice Center overlooks Better World Island’s central lake, a peaceful location that only underlines the message of the center, which is that the world — and at this specific moment, Iraq — is anything but peaceful.

Along with the calls for action (although some of these seem to be out-of-date), there are many, many notecard givers with extracts from on-line chats and emails with ordinary people in Iraq. To read them is to have a glimpse of what it is like to live in such a war-torn country. They do not make easy reading — which is, of course, the whole point. The center is not designed to make you feel comfortable, it is designed to make you think, and to think hard.

A nice touch is a small area of cushions inside the center, for the express purpose of letting you sit down and think.

Whatever your views on Iraq, you owe it to the people who live there to read what they have to say about their life, and about the profound and painful impact that the past years have had on them.


As before, here are links to my snapshots from my own visit to the center, along with the other areas of Better World Island:

A Better World Island snapshot album

And to visit the Better World Island itself (if you have Second Life installed):

Better World Island SLURL