Saturday :: Feb 24, 2007

Fallujah: an update

by soccerdad

Back in January of 2005, I had a post which described the attack on Fallujah by American forces. From all accounts it was brutal. There had been enough warning so that many had left the city, including many of the insurgents. Once the city was surrounded, they refused to let males leave the city. The attack and siege of Fallujah was brutal and thorough. The Americans destroyed the sewage treatment plant, the water treatment plants, occupied the hospital, used snipers, etc. I wrote:

Many think that the brutal nature of the siege of Fallujah was retaliation for the failed operations the previous April. The thinking behind this tactic was summed up by New York Post columnist and former military officer Ralph Peters.
We must not be afraid to make an example of Fallujah. We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price... Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it
. They are not afraid to pay the price?? The Iraqis paid the price.

Also from that post

Pictures taken inside Fallujah can be found here. Warning Graphic pictures of war's results.

Let's summarize the possible war crimes committed in the latest siege of Fallujah
1. Use of cluster bombs
2. Use of Napalm
3. Attacking a medical facility
4. Seizing a medical facility
5. Indiscriminate killing of civilians including women and children
6. Cutting off water and electricity to the entire city before the siege
7. The use of collective punishment
8. Purposeful destruction of water, electrical and sewage facilities.
9. Preventing male Iraqis from leaving and making them return to the city.
10. Preventing the wounded from being treated
11. Preventing the Red Crescent from entering the city

Exactly how is this strategy supposed to work? The majority of the insurgents left the city before the start of the siege so you weren't going to kill off the fighters. Does some idiot in Washington or Baghdad really think this kind of destruction and killing is going to help stop the insurgency? You destroy their city, their houses and their belongings, kill civilians including women and children, people who were their neighbors, relatives and friends and then expect everything to be ok because you are willing to rebuild a city you destroyed. You destroy their places of worship many of which were historic. How do you replace those?

Rumsfeld has said that sooner or later the Iraqis will tire of being killed. I submit they will not. They are fighting for their country. They are fighting to avenge the deaths of relatives. They have seen our tactics.They are not the tactics of liberation but of occupation and control.

So now two years later how has our occupation of the city and collective punishment of its inhabitants gone? Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily have an update.

Resistance groups have taken the fight to the security forces. In one instance resistance fighters in four cars attacked one of the biggest police stations in the city with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.

Chief of the city council Abbas Ali Hussein was killed by unknown assassins. He was the fourth chief of council killed in the city within 12 months.

"The big failure of the U.S. troops in Fallujah came when they began bringing Sunni secret police into the city," a member of the city council told IPS. "The situation in Ramadi, Hit, Haditha and all over al-Anbar province is now catastrophic."

And the effects on the people?

Khattab, a resident of Fallujah who never believed in violence before, has changed his mind after being detained by U.S. forces and held in Abu Ghraib prison and Camp Bucca near Basra for over a year.

"The Americans are now hiding behind their mercenaries," he told IPS. "I wish I joined those brave men I thought wrong for fighting. U.S. jailers have done me a favour because they have brought me to my senses, and made me believe in the mujahideen (resistance fighters)."

And this has been repeated over and over again in Iraq.

U.S. forces continue to claim success by way of killing "insurgents". In one instance this was by way of an air attack on suspected safe houses for resistance fighters in Amiriya town near Fallujah. The U.S. forces reported 13 dead in the attack.

Ahmed al-Ami, a doctor at a Fallujah hospital where the dead and wounded from the air strike were taken, told reporters that more than 30 bodies, including those of seven children, were brought in.

In the face of all this, the city remains defiant.

"We cannot let the blood of our sons which Americans spilled in this holy city go in vain," a 35-year-old teacher from Fallujah told IPS. Like most others, he did not want to give his name.

"This time all of us will be the resistance against the Americans because they obviously want to finish us off and pull us up by the roots," he added.

Raids and arrests continue to provoke such anger.

When I wrote my original post in Jan 2005, the rage was real, rage at the Bush administration for dragging our country down into the gutter with other genocidal maniacs. The rage is gone, replaced with despair. Despair that we as a country have not risen up against our criminal leadership. Despair that most don't really care what our leaders do in our name. And despair that my naive view of what America was and could be was and is an illusion, propaganda spewed from our leaders and history books meant to tranqualize the sheep as our leaders do what ever they want. The myth of American greatness and moral superiority is dead, buried with the bodies of those innocent victims in Iraq.

Wars of occupation are seldom successful in the long run as our wars in the Phillipines and Vietnam prove. But, in some sense, America was built on a successful war of occupation. But that success was accomplished by the near complete genocide of Native Americans. That seems to be the only paradigm that works. Exactly how many people are Bush and America willing to kill in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Given that the war has been going on for 4 years and we re-elected Bush and we are not clamoring for his impeachment, we are now all responsible for this human and moral diaster.

soccerdad :: 3:54 AM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!