Published on Saturday, November 2, 2002 by the Rocky Mountain News
Peace Activists to View Life in Iraq
Boulder Couple Hope to Stay 2 Months, Promote Nonviolent Solution
by Katie Kerwin Mccrimmon
A pair of Boulder peace activists will depart Sunday for Iraq to monitor life there as the United States threatens an attack.
Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon, both 58, want to take a stand against a war in Iraq. The married former teachers sold their Boulder home three years ago and have been making pilgrimages around the world to promote peace.
They hope to stay for at least two months, but the Iraqi Ministry of Information will decide how long to grant them visas.
They will be part of a group called the Iraqi Peace Team, sponsored by the nonsectarian peace group Voices in the Wilderness. Roberts and Amidon have raised money from supporters and small foundations to fund their trip.
"It's important that we all try to do what we can for peace," Roberts said.
She has some fears that the bombing will start when she's there. But she hopes her decision to bear witness to life in Iraq will promote a nonviolent solution to the standoff with Saddam Hussein.
Amidon said he does not support Saddam nor excuse his atrocities. But he does not view the people of Iraq as enemies.
Roberts is concerned that an attack on Iraq could ignite a dangerous regional war.
"I'm very worried about destabilizing the Middle East. What will that do in terms of Palestine and Israel? This is an incredibly hot spot," she said.
Roberts also opposes President Bush's attempt to reshape foreign policy, allowing pre-emptive strikes on any country threatening the United States.
Roberts and Amidon have been married for 18 years and have four grown children. Once the children graduated from college, the couple decided to leave jobs at the Naropa Institute and venture to Third World countries.
"I want to give hope and support to all those people who don't support this war but feel helpless," Roberts said.
2002 © The E.W. Scripps Co