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Iraq War “Neighbors” Tour Michigan

February 29, 2008

Lansing, MI – A U.S. soldier who served in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen are touring Michigan to share their perspectives on the war and their hopes for a peaceful future for Iraq.

U.S. National Guard soldier Patty McCann and Iraqi citizen Raed Jarrar were neighbors in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004, though they didn't know it at the time, and it turns out they have a lot in common.

McCann says looking back to her time in Baghdad is emotional because the real stories about innocent Iraqis losing their homes and being killed have been glossed over.

"It makes me angry, and I don't want to be lied to anymore. And it makes me angry when I see my fellow citizens believing these lies."

McCann says more than 4 million Iraqis have had to leave their homes because of the war.

Iraqi citizen Raed Jarrar says the people of his country don't understand why their wishes for peace are not being acknowledged.

"It's really amazing that we never hear the voices of the majority of Iraqis. The majority of the elected officials are for setting a timetable."

Supporters of American involvement in Iraq say withdrawing U.S. troops too soon could lead to a prolonged civil conflict.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MI