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A_Wanderer 11-07-2004 07:10 PM

The Battle of Fallujah
 
This thread, just updates what is going on on the ground tactically, generally through the media BS.
Quote:

NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. forces stormed into western districts of Fallujah early Monday, seizing the main city hospital and securing two key bridges over the Euphrates river in what appeared to be the first stage of the long-expected assault on the insurgent stronghold.

An AC-130 gunship raked the city with 40 mm cannon fire as explosions from U.S. artillery lit up the night sky. Intermittent artillery fire blasted southern neighborhoods of Fallujah, and orange fireballs from high explosive airbursts could be seen above the rooftops.

U.S. officials said the toughest fight was yet to come — when American forces enter the main part of the city on the east bank of the river, including the Jolan neighborhood where insurgent defenses are believed the strongest.

The initial attacks on Fallujah began just hours after the Iraqi government declared 60 days of emergency rule throughout most of the country as militants dramatically escalated attacks, killing at least 30 people, including two Americans.

Dr. Salih al-Issawi, the head of Fallujah’s main hospital, said he had asked U.S. officers to allow doctors and ambulances go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded but they refused. There was no confirmation from the Americans.

“The American troops’ attempt to take over the hospital was not right because they thought that they would halt medical assistance to the resistance,” he said by telephone to a reporter inside the city. “But they did not realize that the hospital does not belong to anybody, especially the resistance.”
https://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._re_mi_ea/iraq

So Marines and Iraqi forces have taken the hospital, remember after the fall of Baghdad not enough was done and many key bits of infrastructure were looted, I think that they have learned from their mistake and have adapted strategy likewise.

A_Wanderer 11-07-2004 07:11 PM

Fallujah, Iraq

https://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...15sept02_1.jpg

More images here

Luthien Black 11-07-2004 07:15 PM

So...did they let the civillians out first?

A_Wanderer 11-07-2004 07:20 PM

Civilians have been allowed to leave but innocent people will almost certainly die at the hands of all sides either by accident or deliberately.

this was on The Messopotamian, go yourself and read - very timely

السيف اصدق انباءا من الكتب------------ في حده الحد بين الجد واللعب

nbcrusader 11-08-2004 06:06 AM

Insurgents have an interest in keeping civilians in place as a buffer/shield/protection.

verte76 11-08-2004 07:52 AM

Oh, my goodness, this scares me. It's not going to be pretty, to put it mildly.

DrTeeth 11-08-2004 03:43 PM

The only civilians who are still in Fallujah are there to protect their houses from looting, support the insurgents or simply have nowhere else to go.

Scarletwine 11-08-2004 04:48 PM

I've read many articles over the last couple of days. One was a minister of Justice that was ffired for taking exceptions to the way Iraqi (not coalition) prisoners are being tortured.
https://www.commondreams.org/views04/1108-33.htm
To Kofi Annan warnign the US.

I don't have any idea how to proceed in Iraq but I think this is the wrong way. I agree with the writer. Why did we take the hospital? Many say to limit the outside world the number of civilian casualities. This situation of screwed up and all thanks to Bushit.
https://207.44.245.159/article7243.htm
All the makings of a war crime - with Australia silently onside

A US-led attack on the Iraqi Sunni-stronghold will breach the Geneva conventions

Tony Kevin.

11/08/04 "SMH" -- We need to be clear on what is about to happen in the Iraqi city of Falluja, about 64 kilometres west of Baghdad and a key centre of Sunni population in Iraq. This city has for many months held out as a centre of Sunni-based political-military resistance, refusing to accept the authority either of the former US-led occupying authority nor, since July, of the interim Iraqi administration led by the Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.

Falluja is now to be brought to heel by overwhelming military power. As I write this, the US attack on the city has begun. The message to Falluja from the US armed forces in Iraq and from Allawi was brutally simple: submit now to Baghdad's authority or face attack.

It is still possible that resistance in Falluja will melt away in the face of US attack. While this would be a more optimistic scenario, I think it more likely at this point that the insurgents will fight, because too much is at stake politically for them to accept a bloodless Allawi victory. I look here at the - in my judgement, now more likely - scenario that Falluja insurgents will dig in and defy the invasion force.

What I believe is then likely to be done to Falluja will be a war crime and crime against humanity, morally indefensible by any civilised standard or for that matter, by the Statute of the International Criminal Court (to which, conveniently, neither the US nor Iraqi Government adheres).

This will be no neat, surgical strike. To get the measure of this, think of the Warsaw rising in 1944, or the Russian Army's destruction of the Chechen capital, Grozny. In 1999 this already battered city (of originally 400,000 people) was finally destroyed by massive Russian bombardment. Today, insurgents still fight it out with Russian troops among the ruins.

Eighteen months ago, before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Falluja was a living city of 300,000 people. Now - depopulated of most of its civilians by intimidation and fear - what is left looks like it is about to be blasted out of existence, simply as a demonstration of overwhelming US power in Iraq.

Of course, the US Army has been for weeks "humanely" encouraging women and children to leave the encircled city through checkpoints while there is still time to save their lives.

The Russians did the same before and during the destruction of Grozny. In a few days, as the battle and the flight of civilians expands, there may be tens of thousands of new refugees in tent cities, and tens of thousands of women left without husbands, and children left without fathers.

If this attack goes ahead as appears inevitable, it will obviously breach the laws of war and the Geneva conventions. First, it will grossly exceed proportionality in terms of ends and means. What intended political or military objective could justify so much death, the creation of so many new refugees, and wholesale destruction of homes?

What threat does the city of Falluja pose to the Iraqi state at this point? Allawi has claimed that free elections cannot take place unless Falluja is subdued. What a spurious argument.

The truth is that this city, which has become a symbol of Sunni-Iraqi political resistance to the occupiers, is to be made an example of, to deter others. The message the siege of Falluja sends is brutally simple: resist us and we will destroy you. It is the same message that the Wehrmacht sent in Warsaw in 1944, and the Russian Army in Grozny in 1999.

This attack will also violate the rules of war and the Geneva conventions in having grossly indiscriminate effects on civilians and civilian homes and infrastructure. America's largely untrained in battle but over-armed forces will start their attack "humanely", but as they inevitably take numbers of lethal casualties, their tactics will quickly escalate to indiscriminate bombing and shelling of the city using their WMD armouries.
...
An unnamed US military commander in the tightening military ring around Falluja proudly boasted (as heard on ABC Radio yesterday) that this battle will go down in US military history as another Hue. Indeed it will - who can forget the wholesale artillery destruction of that sacred, historic Vietnamese city? "We had to destroy it in order to save it" was the line at the time. Now it looks like our military ally in Iraq is about to do it all over again in Falluja.

A_Wanderer 11-08-2004 05:40 PM

Perhaps capturing a hospital early ensures that it will remain open and cannot be used as a base of operations by the terrorists, it also prevents looting of the hospital which will make saving lives easier as the batte progresses, also one must consider the outrageous figures being released in april and the baseless allegations of a sniper campaign against civilians by the US - fact is that when a marine sniper does his job there isn't much left to recover a bullet from.

SMH is filled with anti-American screeds - such as that one which overlooks the terrorism and equates the USMC with the Nazi's and Russian Army. If the US truly didn't care about civilians they would just drop a bunch of MOAB's on Fallujah.

Now that that bit is over
Quote:

This thread, just updates what is going on on the ground tactically, generally through the media BS.
Adhere to the topic, try to stick to the facts of what is going on.

I was reading through a bit before on the use of IDF urban combat tactics to avoid a bloodbath. They are expecting to have houses boobytraped, civilians being used as human sheilds, carbombs and snipers - it is one tough slog of a city and the terrorists and insurgents have had months to prepare for this battle if they choose to fight then they will be prepared. May the battle be as short and bloodless as possible and may political sensitivities not end it halfway, it should be all or nothing anything in between is a waste of lives.

U.S. Marines......No Better Friend.......No Worse Enemy.

A_Wanderer 11-08-2004 06:56 PM

The Battle for Fallujah: The Underlying Military Issues
November 08, 2004
Anthony H. Cordesman
Urban warfare can be highly unpredictable. There is a tendency to assume that because some of the bloodiest battles in history have occurred in cities, all such battles are bloody. In practice, many urban defenses collapse almost immediately, partly through inexperience but more often because the defender is not committed to an almost suicidal form of last ditch combat. The rapid fall of Baghdad in 2003 is a good example of a rapid collapse caused by both military incompetence on the part of defender (and high
confidence on the part of the attacker) and a lack of commitment to final combat. Fallujah seems far more likely to have a determined set of defenders, although this is not certain. It certainly has enough armed Islamists and potential diehards, and Zarqawi and others have already promised a bitter battle. At the same time, several issues must be considered:
• The US has prepared the battlefield. It has had months in which to create a mosaic of the insurgent strongpoints and lines of advance in the city, and to use sensors like UAVs, radars, night vision and mapping, SIGINT/COMINT systems, etc. It has had time to train with has encircled the city and taken the bridges to the West. It has been using air strikes for weeks and has sharply intensified them over the last few days. It has conducted initial AC-130 strikes. The Iraqi government has prepared the political groundwork for an attack through declaring a state of emergency; visibly arresting foreign insurgents, and beginning the first tactical operation on the ground by having Iraqi Special Forces get the credit for taking the hospital. The defenders have also had time to prepare, but there is nothing rushed about the US-led operation.
• Insurgent numbers and “density” may well be low relative to the size of the city. Fallujah is a medium sized city with a core population of around 150,000 and a greater urban population of up to 300,000. Reports indicate that some 50- 80% of the population has left, and that the core insurgent strength is anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 – more probably in the 2,000-3,000 range. The number of part timers and volunteers that will join them could be high or low, and is unknown. In any case, the number of insurgents is high enough to causes large numbers of clashes, but not large enough to defend a broad urban area. • The insurgents could be quickly driven out of the more open areas in the modern city and be forced to defend part of the more crowed and narrow old city. If so, ambushes and booby traps would delay US forces but not defeat them. To succeed, it would have to be able to create various fortresses, but the US has already made it clear that it will attack such strongpoints from the air with precision-guided weapons. Armor and infantry could then penetrate into the area. The result would be considerable physical destruction in a limited area, but become a death trap for the insurgents. Iraq troops could also follow up in sensitive target areas like Mosques.
• The insurgents will know the ground, almost to the building, but the US has compensating advantages. It is doubtful that the insurgents will have more than a few night vision devices, any counter to US standoff sensors and UAVs, and anything approaching effective communications. Many will have little or no realistic combat training and be very poor weapons operators and marksmen. They will have to use mortars and rockets, relatively low-grade anti-armor weapons like RPGs, and possibly relative obsolete MANPADs. This still can make them high lethal, but the US has fixed and rotary wing air supremacy, “owns the night” in terms of technology, has a monopoly of armor, has precision artillery and advanced ground sensors and fire control, real-time situational awareness based on systems like Blue Force Tracker, and vastly superior tactical experience and training. It should be stressed that the end result can still be very
brutal and lethal combat, but this is not Hue. The insurgents can be highly lethal in tactical clashes, but cannot deal with a US-led force on anything like even terms.
• The insurgents may be divided and have other objectives than a last stand
Martyrdom is easy to call for, but better to inflict than suffer. There are no clear indications how many Sunni groups make up this number. Some 35 Sunni groups
have claimed to exist during the fighting, but many are shell groups. The core elements in Fallujah seem to be native Sunni Islamists, FRLs and Sunni nationalists, foreign volunteers, and some core outside-led Islamists under Zarqawi. It is not clear how well these groups will unite, particularly as they come under intense pressure. It seems at least possible, that many native Sunnis will not fight to the last or even at all. It is also possible that any foreign or even local extremists who do stay behind will see scores settled and internal power struggles either by direct attacks by rivals or by informers turning their opponents into the Interim Government or US. Certainly, at least some of the targeting of US air strikes over the last few weeks seems to be based on such informers. As a result,
insurgent tactics based on martyrdom and last stands is the best possible tactic for the US and Iraqi government if they act decisively and quickly. In contrast, putting up an initial battle, leaving low-level cadres to martyrdom, and dispersing to fight another day is by far the most sensible tactic for both local insurgents and outside cadres and leaders.
• Collateral damage, civilian casualties, and religious buildings will be a constraint for Coalition forces, but the impact may be limited. Insurgents are already using them as weapons – claiming the US attacked the main hospital to deny insurgents medical care, and using the bodies of children on television. The fact remains, however, that US commanders have to know that slow, methodical advances may reduce Collateral damage, civilian casualties, and religious damage in a given clash or day, but cumulatively produces far higher and more lasting damage and images of damage over time. It is also a grim reality of political warfare that the same charges and edited TV coverage get made regardless of the actual level of combat. The US will need to show it is showing the maximum possible restraint in achieving decisive results; it will have to ask Iraqi troops to take over some attacks on sensitive targets, and it will have to both let Iraqi forces play a visible role and make it clear it will defer to the Iraqi government. Restrain, however, in no ways needs to be paralysis or ineffectiveness.
• The battle outside Fallujah is already critical. The insurgents have shown they can attack effectively outside the city and with the US forces encircling it and exerting nominal control on all males who enter or exit. This weekend, they were particularly effective in showing that a supposedly “retaken” city like Samarra is highly vulnerable and that the Interim Iraqi Government lacks the governance, security forces, and aid capabilities to conduct its own form of “stability” operations. The broader insurgent threat against Iraqi forces and their families may also help explain reports of major desertions among the supposedly elite Iraqi battalions integrated with Marine units. (Although, recruiting the financially desperate and some very poor USMC handling of such troops at the political level has not helped.)
• A follow-on battle after the battle is a major risk for US and Iraqi Interim Government Forces. As has been noted earlier, the insurgents have every incentive not to be destroyed in Fallujah if they can move outside into the rest of Al Anbar province, and the poor performance of the Iraqi government in following up US-led tactical victories, and weak performance of Iraqi military and security forces to date, makes infiltrating back into a post-battle Fallujah an attractive proposition. The same is true of the systematic killing of any Sunni Iraqis who join the election process, aid workers, Iraqi government security
forces, etc. Why stand and die against professional US troops when you can live
and win against weak Iraqi Interim Government officials and security forces? The underlying irony inherent in all of these points is that stability operations and “nation building” will be just as critical in the “battle after the battle” in Fallujah, as in the “war
after the war” in Iraq. At this point, however, the US can only assist the Iraqi Interim Government and the Iraqis. It will be Iraqi politics, governance, economic and aid
activity, and military and security forces that ultimately win or lose.

verte76 11-09-2004 11:13 AM

This is commentary on the situation in Fallujah from a respected journal in India. It's not exactly flattering.

https://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FK10Ak04.html

MissVelvetDress_75 11-09-2004 03:53 PM

:slant:

diamond 11-09-2004 04:19 PM

look this is war.
it's never pretty.
many thought this is how the war shoulda been back in 3/03.
we're doing it now though.

and a liberal journalist's view isn't going to helped the ppl of iraq.

db9

anitram 11-09-2004 06:30 PM

I hope it is all over soon. I feel sorry for the civilians trapped inside the city, those who couldn't get away, had nowhere to go, didn't get out on time and are resigned to their fate. My thoughts and prayers are with them, because the insurgents had a choice, and they chose to be there and the the men who joined the Marines had a choice and they joined, but the civilians, the kids there, nobody ever gave them any sort of chance.

It's always the civilians who pay the biggest price in war. Never, ever forget that.

A_Wanderer 11-09-2004 06:46 PM

"It is well that war is so terrible— lest we should grow too fond of it." ~ Robert E. Lee

Scarletwine 11-09-2004 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by diamond
look this is war.
it's never pretty.
db9

That is true, but unneccessary slaughter is unnecessary. I thought this sentence was very thoughtful and instructive.


https://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/age14.htm

Surely now, the governments that took us to this war and we, as people who are happy to re-elect them, must face up to our culpability for this carnage. We claim to hold that the lives of civilians are sacrosanct. We assert that the fabric of humanity is torn with every death of every innocent civilian. Indeed, that is why terrorism sickens us.

So why do we not think of these deaths as tragic in the same way we do those of September 11, Bali, Madrid or Beslan? For the Iraqis, we will hold no multi-faith services, no commemorative anniversary functions and we will give no human faces to them. Perhaps some innocent lives are more sacrosanct than others.
We are talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. Eight planes and eight towers.

Of course, there is a crucial difference between the civilian deaths caused by terrorism, and those caused by the US-led coalition in Iraq. Coalition forces did not target the innocent as terrorists do.

True, we should not lose sight of this. But we should also not abuse it to dehumanise those we have killed, and evade the responsibility we rightfully bear. We speak of Iraqi civilians, even 100,000 of them, not as victims, but as collateral damage. We did not murder them as terrorists murder their victims, because there was no intention to kill them.

It is simply not good enough to hide our guilt in this way. Our actions were always destined to claim thousands of civilian lives. This was not merely probable; it was certain. We recognised that certainty and pressed on anyway. The fact that killing innocents was not the aim, but rather a guaranteed byproduct of our action, does not absolve us.

A_Wanderer 11-09-2004 07:34 PM

ABC Reports
Quote:

United States military commanders say the battle to capture Fallujah from insurgents will intensify even though US troops have already fought their way to the city centre.

Ten US soldiers are known to have been killed in the assault on Fallujah, along with two Iraqi troops.

The officer in charge of the offensive, Lieutenant General Thomas Metz, says more enemy fighters have been killed than he expected.

“We have seen very few civilian casualties,” he said. “Friendly casualties are light. I am pleased with that.

“Enemy casualties I think are significantly higher than I expected and let me just keep it there, as we do not have so far in Operation Iraqi Freedom, nor will we start, body counting.”

He says the 2,000-3,000 rebels in Fallujah are putting up a scattered resistance with “little coherence”.

But Lieutenant General Metz warns the military is still “looking at several more days of tough urban fighting”

STING2 11-09-2004 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Scarletwine


That is true, but unneccessary slaughter is unnecessary. I thought this sentence was very thoughtful and instructive.


https://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/age14.htm

Surely now, the governments that took us to this war and we, as people who are happy to re-elect them, must face up to our culpability for this carnage. We claim to hold that the lives of civilians are sacrosanct. We assert that the fabric of humanity is torn with every death of every innocent civilian. Indeed, that is why terrorism sickens us.

So why do we not think of these deaths as tragic in the same way we do those of September 11, Bali, Madrid or Beslan? For the Iraqis, we will hold no multi-faith services, no commemorative anniversary functions and we will give no human faces to them. Perhaps some innocent lives are more sacrosanct than others.
We are talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. Eight planes and eight towers.

Of course, there is a crucial difference between the civilian deaths caused by terrorism, and those caused by the US-led coalition in Iraq. Coalition forces did not target the innocent as terrorists do.

True, we should not lose sight of this. But we should also not abuse it to dehumanise those we have killed, and evade the responsibility we rightfully bear. We speak of Iraqi civilians, even 100,000 of them, not as victims, but as collateral damage. We did not murder them as terrorists murder their victims, because there was no intention to kill them.

It is simply not good enough to hide our guilt in this way. Our actions were always destined to claim thousands of civilian lives. This was not merely probable; it was certain. We recognised that certainty and pressed on anyway. The fact that killing innocents was not the aim, but rather a guaranteed byproduct of our action, does not absolve us.

Some people forget the cost of Not Acting and what it would have meant for people in Iraq, the region and the world.

A_Wanderer 11-09-2004 10:55 PM

Psychological Warfare
Quote:

"Brave terrorists, I am waiting here for the brave terrorists. Come and kill us. Plant small bombs on roadsides. Attention, attention, terrorists of Fallujah."
https://www.news.com.au/common/story_...E28101,00.html

Some Reccomended Lures
"Michael Moore is here! Come get his autograph!"

"I got your contact from the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Following this and other investigations resulting in a good recommendation we have decided to contact you to help us with the legal transfer of US$28,600,000."

"Candygram."

paulrg 11-10-2004 02:58 AM

Thank God we're not in Fallujah
 
All of the below article is reproduced from today's BBC News website. Say a prayer for this poor guy:

'Watching tragedy engulf my city'

US and Iraqi forces are locked in desperate street battles against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, a journalist in Falluja who reports for the BBC World Service in Arabic.

I am surrounded by thick black smoke and the smell of burning oil.
There was a big explosion a few minutes ago and now I can hear gunfire.

A US armoured vehicle has been parked on the street outside my house in the centre of the city.

From my window, I can see US soldiers moving around on foot near it.

They tried to go from house to house but they kept coming under fire.

Now they are firing back at the houses, at anything that moves. It is war on the streets.

The American troops look like they have given up trying to go into buildings for now and are just trying to control the main roads.

I am sitting here on my own, watching tragedy engulf my city.

Looks like Kabul

I was with some of the Falluja fighters earlier. They looked tired - but their spirits were high and they were singing.

Recently, many Iraqis from other parts of the country have been joining the local men against the Americans.
No one has had much sleep in the past two days of heavy fighting and of course, it is still Ramadan, so no one eats during the day.

I cannot say how many people have been killed but after two days of bombing, this city looks like Kabul.

Large portions of it have been destroyed but it is so dangerous to leave the house that I have not been able to find out more about casualties.

Mosques silent

A medical dispensary in the city centre was bombed earlier.

I don't know what has happened to the doctors and patients who were there.

It was last place you could get medical attention because the big hospital on the outskirts of Falluja was captured by the Americans on Monday.

A lot of the mosques have also been bombed.
For the first time in Falluja, a city of 150 mosques, I did not hear a single call to prayer this morning.

I broke my Ramadan fast yesterday with the last of our food - two potatoes and two tomatoes.

The tomatoes were rotten because we have no electricity to run the fridge.

My neighbours - a woman and her children - came to see me yesterday. They asked me to tell the world what is happening here.

I look at the devastation around me and ask - why?

A_Wanderer 11-10-2004 03:06 AM

Should probably go in war.

Scarletwine 11-10-2004 03:16 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by STING2


Some people forget the cost of Not Acting and what it would have meant for people in Iraq, the region and the world.

No Sting, some of haven't forgotten that we shouldn't have been there in the first place. Take it to another thread.

A_Wanderer 11-10-2004 03:21 AM

Quote:

No Sting, some of haven't forgotten that we shouldn't have been there in the first place. Take it to another thread.
I think is a very debatable point - which is not what this thread is about. Just what is going on, please.

verte76 11-10-2004 05:22 AM

Damn. This is really bad news. I feel so sorry for the people in Fallujah right now, they didn't ask for this.

starsgoblue 11-10-2004 05:29 AM

:tsk:

Se7en 11-10-2004 07:20 AM

look on the bright side, a free and democratic iraq is in the interest of the united states. we're talking about collateral damage here. :up: /sarcasm

:|

seriously though, this sucks. i can't imagine those conditions. what a truly tragic situation those people in iraq face.

A_Wanderer 11-10-2004 03:11 PM

They found "hostage slaughterhouses" here

Scarletwine 11-11-2004 02:16 PM

AW we have had that discussion too many times to count.

While as I stated before I don't have the perfect solution other than get the F out. Tje American people are responsible for the slaughter in their name.
Sorry if I post too long an article.
https://207.44.245.159/article7274.htm

Iraq: the unthinkable becomes normal

Mainstream media speak as if Fallujah were populated only by foreign "insurgents". In fact, women and children are being slaughtered in our name.

John Pilger

11/11/04 "New Statesman" -- Edward S Herman's landmark essay, "The Banality of Evil", has never seemed more apposite. "Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on 'normalisation'," wrote Herman. "There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals . . . others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public."

On Radio 4's Today (6 November), a BBC reporter in Baghdad referred to the coming attack on the city of Fallujah as "dangerous" and "very dangerous" for the Americans. When asked about civilians, he said, reassuringly, that the US marines were "going about with a Tannoy" telling people to get out. He omitted to say that tens of thousands of people would be left in the city. He mentioned in passing the "most intense bombing" of the city with no suggestion of what that meant for people beneath the bombs.

As for the defenders, those Iraqis who resist in a city that heroically defied Saddam Hussein; they were merely "insurgents holed up in the city", as if they were an alien body, a lesser form of life to be "flushed out" (the Guardian): a suitable quarry for "rat-catchers", which is the term another BBC reporter told us the Black Watch use. According to a senior British officer, the Americans view Iraqis as Untermenschen, a term that Hitler used in Mein Kampf to describe Jews, Romanies and Slavs as sub-humans. This is how the Nazi army laid siege to Russian cities, slaughtering combatants and non-combatants alike.

Normalising colonial crimes like the attack on Fallujah requires such racism, linking our imagination to "the other". The thrust of the reporting is that the "insurgents" are led by sinister foreigners of the kind that behead people: for example, by Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian said to be al-Qaeda's "top operative" in Iraq. This is what the Americans say; it is also Blair's latest lie to parliament. Count the times it is parroted at a camera, at us. No irony is noted that the foreigners in Iraq are overwhelmingly American and, by all indications, loathed. These indications come from apparently credible polling organisations, one of which estimates that of 2,700 attacks every month by the resistance, six can be credited to the infamous al-Zarqawi.

In a letter sent on 14 October to Kofi Annan, the Fallujah Shura Council, which administers the city, said: "In Fallujah, [the Americans] have created a new vague target: al-Zarqawi. Almost a year has elapsed since they created this new pretext and whenever they destroy houses, mosques, restaurants, and kill children and women, they said: 'We have launched a successful operation against al-Zarqawi.' The people of Fallujah assure you that this person, if he exists, is not in Fallujah . . . and we have no links to any groups supporting such inhuman behaviour. We appeal to you to urge the UN [to prevent] the new massacre which the Americans and the puppet government are planning to start soon in Fallujah, as well as many parts of the country."

Not a word of this was reported in the mainstream media in Britain and America.

"What does it take to shock them out of their baffling silence?" asked the playwright Ronan Bennett in April after the US marines, in an act of collective vengeance for the killing of four American mercenaries, killed more than 600 people in Fallujah, a figure that was never denied. Then, as now, they used the ferocious firepower of AC-130 gunships and F-16 fighter-bombers and 500lb bombs against slums. They incinerate children; their snipers boast of killing anyone, as snipers did in Sarajevo.

Bennett was referring to the legion of silent Labour backbenchers, with honourable exceptions, and lobotomised junior ministers (remember Chris Mullin?). He might have added those journalists who strain every sinew to protect "our" side, who normalise the unthinkable by not even gesturing at the demonstrable immorality and criminality. Of course, to be shocked by what "we" do is dangerous, because this can lead to a wider understanding of why "we" are there in the first place and of the grief "we" bring not only to Iraq, but to so many parts of the world: that the terrorism of al-Qaeda is puny by comparison with ours.

There is nothing illicit about this cover-up; it happens in daylight. The most striking recent example followed the announcement, on 29 October, by the prestigious scientific journal, the Lancet, of a study estimating that 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the Anglo-American invasion. Eighty-four per cent of the deaths were caused by the actions of the Americans and the British, and 95 per cent of these were killed by air attacks and artillery fire, most of whom were women and children.

The editors of the excellent MediaLens observed the rush - no, stampede - to smother this shocking news with "scepticism" and silence. They reported that, by 2 November, the Lancet report had been ignored by the Observer, the Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Star, the Sun and many others. The BBC framed the report in terms of the government's "doubts" and Channel 4 News delivered a hatchet job, based on a Downing Street briefing. With one exception, none of the scientists who compiled this rigorously peer-reviewed report was asked to substantiate their work until ten days later when the pro-war Observer published an interview with the editor of the Lancet, slanted so that it appeared he was "answering his critics". David Edwards, a MediaLens editor, asked the researchers to respond to the media criticism; their meticulous demolition can be viewed on the [https://www.medialens.org] alert for 2 November. None of this was published in the mainstream. Thus, the unthinkable that "we" had engaged in such a slaughter was suppressed - normalised. It is reminiscent of the suppression of the death of more than a million Iraqis, including half a million infants under five, as a result of the Anglo-American-driven embargo.



In contrast, there is no media questioning of the methodology of the Iraqi Special Tribune, which has announced that mass graves contain 300,000 victims of Saddam Hussein. The Special Tribune, a product of the quisling regime in Baghdad, is run by the Americans; respected scientists want nothing to do with it. There is no questioning of what the BBC calls "Iraq's first democratic elections". There is no reporting of how the Americans have assumed control over the electoral process with two decrees passed in June that allow an "electoral commission" in effect to eliminate parties Washington does not like. Time magazine reports that the CIA is buying its preferred candidates, which is how the agency has fixed elections over the world. When or if the elections take place, we will be doused in cliches about the nobility of voting, as America's puppets are "democratically" chosen.

The model for this was the "coverage" of the American presidential election, a blizzard of platitudes normalising the unthinkable: that what happened on 2 November was not democracy in action. With one exception, no one in the flock of pundits flown from London described the circus of Bush and Kerry as the contrivance of fewer than 1 per cent of the population, the ultra-rich and powerful who control and manage a permanent war economy. That the losers were not only the Democrats, but the vast majority of Americans, regardless of whom they voted for, was unmentionable.

No one reported that John Kerry, by contrasting the "war on terror" with Bush's disastrous attack on Iraq, merely exploited public distrust of the invasion to build support for American dominance throughout the world. "I'm not talking about leaving [Iraq]," said Kerry. "I'm talking about winning!" In this way, both he and Bush shifted the agenda even further to the right, so that millions of anti-war Democrats might be persuaded that the US has "the responsibility to finish the job" lest there be "chaos". The issue in the presidential campaign was neither Bush nor Kerry, but a war economy aimed at conquest abroad and economic division at home. The silence on this was comprehensive, both in America and here.

Bush won by invoking, more skilfully than Kerry, the fear of an ill-defined threat. How was he able to normalise this paranoia? Let's look at the recent past. Following the end of the cold war, the American elite - Republican and Democrat - were having great difficulty convincing the public that the billions of dollars spent on the war economy should not be diverted to a "peace dividend". A majority of Americans refused to believe that there was still a "threat" as potent as the red menace. This did not prevent Bill Clinton sending to Congress the biggest "defence" bill in history in support of a Pentagon strategy called "full-spectrum dominance". On 11 September 2001, the threat was given a name: Islam.

Flying into Philadelphia recently, I spotted the Kean congressional report on 11 September from the 9/11 Commission on sale at the bookstalls. "How many do you sell?" I asked. "One or two," was the reply. "It'll disappear soon." Yet, this modest, blue-covered book is a revelation. Like the Butler report in the UK, which detailed all the incriminating evidence of Blair's massaging of intelligence before the invasion of Iraq, then pulled its punches and concluded nobody was responsible, so the Kean report makes excruciatingly clear what really happened, then fails to draw the conclusions that stare it in the face. It is a supreme act of normalising the unthinkable. This is not surprising, as the conclusions are volcanic.

The most important evidence to the 9/11 Commission came from General Ralph Eberhart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad). "Air force jet fighters could have intercepted hijacked airliners roaring towards the World Trade Center and Pentagon," he said, "if only air traffic controllers had asked for help 13 minutes sooner . . . We would have been able to shoot down all three . . . all four of them."

Why did this not happen?

The Kean report makes clear that "the defence of US aerospace on 9/11 was not conducted in accord with pre-existing training and protocols . . . If a hijack was confirmed, procedures called for the hijack coordinator on duty to contact the Pentagon's National Military Command Center (NMCC) . . . The NMCC would then seek approval from the office of the Secretary of Defence to provide military assistance . . . "

Uniquely, this did not happen. The commission was told by the deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Authority that there was no reason the procedure was not operating that morning. "For my 30 years of experience . . ." said Monte Belger, "the NMCC was on the net and hearing everything real-time . . . I can tell you I've lived through dozens of hijackings . . . and they were always listening in with everybody else."

But on this occasion, they were not. The Kean report says the NMCC was never informed. Why? Again, uniquely, all lines of communication failed, the commission was told, to America's top military brass. Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defence, could not be found; and when he finally spoke to Bush an hour and a half later, it was, says the Kean report, "a brief call in which the subject of shoot-down authority was not discussed". As a result, Norad's commanders were "left in the dark about what their mission was".

The report reveals that the only part of a previously fail-safe command system that worked was in the White House where Vice-President Cheney was in effective control that day, and in close touch with the NMCC. Why did he do nothing about the first two hijacked planes? Why was the NMCC, the vital link, silent for the first time in its existence? Kean ostentatiously refuses to address this. Of course, it could be due to the most extraordinary combination of coincidences. Or it could not.

In July 2001, a top secret briefing paper prepared for Bush read: "We [the CIA and FBI] believe that OBL [Osama Bin Laden] will launch a significant terrorist attack against US and/or Israeli interests in the coming weeks. The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against US facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning."

On the afternoon of 11 September, Donald Rumsfeld, having failed to act against those who had just attacked the United States, told his aides to set in motion an attack on Iraq - when the evidence was non-existent. Eighteen months later, the invasion of Iraq, unprovoked and based on lies now documented, took place. This epic crime is the greatest political scandal of our time, the latest chapter in the long 20th-century history of the west's conquests of other lands and their resources. If we allow it to be normalised, if we refuse to question and probe the hidden agendas and unaccountable secret power structures at the heart of "democratic" governments and if we allow the people of Fallujah to be crushed in our name, we surrender both democracy and humanity.

A_Wanderer 11-11-2004 06:41 PM

You are using that clown Pilger as a source for your information - I suppose that that would lead to the view of it as a total quagmire with a full force conspiracy of sinister "neocons" and Millitary Industrial Complex to boot.

And may I just say that if the US didn't care about civilians they would have said fuck it and dropped a whole heap of MOAB on the place and vaporised every terrorist, child, woman and man.

A_Wanderer 11-12-2004 05:44 PM

More information on the "slaughter houses"

https://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...n_041112182614

namkcuR 11-12-2004 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Scarletwine


That is true, but unneccessary slaughter is unnecessary. I thought this sentence was very thoughtful and instructive.


https://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/age14.htm

Surely now, the governments that took us to this war and we, as people who are happy to re-elect them, must face up to our culpability for this carnage. We claim to hold that the lives of civilians are sacrosanct. We assert that the fabric of humanity is torn with every death of every innocent civilian. Indeed, that is why terrorism sickens us.

So why do we not think of these deaths as tragic in the same way we do those of September 11, Bali, Madrid or Beslan? For the Iraqis, we will hold no multi-faith services, no commemorative anniversary functions and we will give no human faces to them. Perhaps some innocent lives are more sacrosanct than others.
We are talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. Eight planes and eight towers.

Of course, there is a crucial difference between the civilian deaths caused by terrorism, and those caused by the US-led coalition in Iraq. Coalition forces did not target the innocent as terrorists do.

True, we should not lose sight of this. But we should also not abuse it to dehumanise those we have killed, and evade the responsibility we rightfully bear. We speak of Iraqi civilians, even 100,000 of them, not as victims, but as collateral damage. We did not murder them as terrorists murder their victims, because there was no intention to kill them.

It is simply not good enough to hide our guilt in this way. Our actions were always destined to claim thousands of civilian lives. This was not merely probable; it was certain. We recognised that certainty and pressed on anyway. The fact that killing innocents was not the aim, but rather a guaranteed byproduct of our action, does not absolve us.

Damn straight. What we're doing in Fallujah is wrong.

A_Wanderer 11-14-2004 03:26 PM

They have found a mutilated body of a caucasian woman in Fallujah, that is why this operation must go ahead to remove this base of operations for the terrorists and kill a good many of them, to slow the carbombings and kidnappings, in the real world whatever you do there is always a price be it through action or inaction - innocent people are killed by both sides in this urban combat environment, but if we were to shirk off the necessity then even more innocent people would be on the recieving end of carbombs (and they know where to strike, case in point at children during the opening of a waste treatment plant). Action and inaction are the fundamental driving forces for everything.

A_Wanderer 11-14-2004 04:11 PM

Iraq soldiers in the field have an opinion too

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...04Nov14_2.html

Macfistowannabe 11-15-2004 11:01 AM

I watched a very interesting program on my local channel last night. It was about the US Army and what they're doing in Iraq. After all this negative news you hear every day, it was refreshing to know how badly the troops want to achieve a peaceful Iraq. I haven't heard a ton of good news about Iraq from CNN and other liberal organizations, but I still remain very neutral on the war.

My thought is, if we have so much negativity about the war, how does it send a good message to our troops? The vast majority of our troops want us at home to support what they're doing. I find it hard to trust both liberal and conservative views on the war.

Many conservatives are still saying that we did everything right. Not exactly, we relied on flawed intelligence to bring us into the country in the first place. We still haven't found WMD's, and we won't search Syria and other terrorist nations for them for political reasons.

The liberals are saying that Saddam's capture and the deaths of Uday and Qusay have not made us any safer. We must realize what the future of that country could've been if we didn't bring an end to 25 years of a cruel and unusual regime.

A_Wanderer 11-15-2004 02:56 PM

https://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/

The good news from Iraq and Afghanistan does show the other side of the coin, it is not perfect but it is not as bad as some would present it. The truth lies in between the two.

A_Wanderer 11-15-2004 04:01 PM

Quote:

Mutilated bodies dumped on Fallujah’s bombed out streets today painted a harrowing picture of eight months of rebel rule.

As US and Iraqi troops mopped up the last vestiges of resistance in the city after a week of bombardment and fighting, residents who stayed on through last week’s offensive were emerging and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.

Flyposters still litter the walls bearing all manner of decrees from insurgent commanders, to be heeded on pain of death. Amid the rubble of the main shopping street, one decree bearing the insurgents’ insignia - two Kalashnikovs propped together - and dated November 1 gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city’s library or face execution.

The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the “Mujahidin Advisory Council” through which they ran the city.

Another poster in the ruins of the souk bears testament to the strict brand of Sunni Islam imposed by the council, fronted by hardline cleric Abdullah Junabi. The decree warns all women that they must cover up from head to toe outdoors, or face execution by the armed militants who controlled the streets.

Two female bodies found yesterday suggest such threats were far from idle. An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress, lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets to the head.

Just six metres away on the same street lay the decomposing corpse of a blonde-haired white woman, too disfigured for swift identification but presumed to be the body of one of the many foreign hostages kidnapped by the rebels.
https://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...359782,00.html

Yeah nice chaps those "Iraqi Minutemen", this represents the cost of inaction, I am more pissed that the US didn't go in 8 months ago all the way and instead wasted hundreds of innocent lives with this "peace".

https://www.sondrak.com/archive/fallujafuckyou

US Marines, no better friend, no worse enemy.

Macfistowannabe 11-15-2004 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by A_Wanderer
[url]The good news from Iraq and Afghanistan does show the other side of the coin, it is not perfect but it is not as bad as some would present it. The truth lies in between the two.
I strongly agree with you.

Norse 11-16-2004 04:08 AM

Some thing I find hard to believe is that this battle came a week after one of the closest elections in America's History. I hope things will not continue like this, but odds are they will.

Fallujah is not the last stand of terrorism as Bush is making it out to be. After we win Fallujah their will be another central for insurgents and then another. They won’t all lay down their rifles and say "Oh boy I guess this was our last stand. Let's put aside our differences and move on". We are just caught in a spiral of violence that shows no sign of stopping.

What’s worse is that we still have the Afghans to deal with and the shinny city of Jerusalem has caught Mr. Bush's eye.

A_Wanderer 11-16-2004 02:03 PM

Afghanistan is being built up slowly but surely, you do know that they just had their first elections and they were very successfull.

Norse 11-16-2004 02:17 PM

Not as much as you think. In fact the election was considered rigged by many experts. Voting registration was completely off. Most towns did not have a popular vote but one determined by the “local party” (Your local War Lord) and opium money was every where. I don’t think it was as free as everyone seems to be making it out to be.

STING2 11-16-2004 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Norse
Not as much as you think. In fact the election was considered rigged by many experts. Voting registration was completely off. Most towns did not have a popular vote but one determined by the “local party” (Your local War Lord) and opium money was every where. I don’t think it was as free as everyone seems to be making it out to be.
Has there ever been a more free election in Afghanistans 5,000 plus history than this one, or for that matter even another election?

Any study of Afghanistan's history will show that this event is amazing.

STING2 11-16-2004 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Norse
Some thing I find hard to believe is that this battle came a week after one of the closest elections in America's History. I hope things will not continue like this, but odds are they will.

Fallujah is not the last stand of terrorism as Bush is making it out to be. After we win Fallujah their will be another central for insurgents and then another. They won’t all lay down their rifles and say "Oh boy I guess this was our last stand. Let's put aside our differences and move on". We are just caught in a spiral of violence that shows no sign of stopping.

What’s worse is that we still have the Afghans to deal with and the shinny city of Jerusalem has caught Mr. Bush's eye.

If the battle had come a week before the election, people would be attacking Bush saying he launched the attack on Fallujah to increased his chances of winning the election. The Presidents poll numbers improved during the last attack on Fallujah in April.

This past election was not one of the closest election in US history as I know off hand ten other elections that were closer. In addition, it was the first time that a President recieved more than 50% of the vote since 1988 when Bush's father first won the White House.

Bush NEVER made Fallujah out to be the last stand for terrorism in Iraq. The US has plans to keep over 140,000 troops in Iraq through 2005 into 2006 as well as sending Billions more dollars in aid money. Fallujah was a city that needed to be cleaned of insurgents. It was the central base for insurgents in Iraq as found by the massive amounts of bomb making materials for IED's, that Marines found in the city. Secret Tunnel complex's with massive stocks of ammo were found as were torture chambers and rooms where terrible attrocities took place.

What the troops have done in Fallujah is AMAZING!

A_Wanderer 11-16-2004 11:04 PM

Sting again I say you are the man, every time that somebody knocks your arguments for not being emotional tug-at-heartstrings sob stories take it as a compliment that you are arguing the point properly.

Norse 11-17-2004 03:31 AM

Quote:

Has there ever been a more free election in Afghanistans 5,000 plus history than this one, or for that matter even another election?
There was acctually one in 1987 but it got overthrown by civil war, but I see your point. What I am saying that even though it was a step towards democracy, it might not have been a huge one considering the numbers. I think it was in the New York Times, that I read that 1/3 of the voters voted twice, tryed to vote twice, or registered twice.

I admit this election was a step forward in Afgan history but lets not make it in to something it was not.

Quote:

If the battle had come a week before the election, people would be attacking Bush saying he launched the attack on Fallujah to increased his chances of winning the election. The Presidents poll numbers improved during the last attack on Fallujah in April.
I dont know where you got that. Gallup had him down in FP and Iraq. Don’t look at whole numbers the week after an election victory.

Quote:

This past election was not one of the closest election in US history as I know off hand ten other elections that were closer. In addition, it was the first time that a President recieved more than 50% of the vote since 1988 when Bush's father first won the White House.
I meant in the context of partisanship general feeling. The Election was quite close however, but I dont know where it places in the top 10. I am pretty sure it is there though.


Quote:

Bush NEVER made Fallujah out to be the last stand for terrorism in Iraq. The US has plans to keep over 140,000 troops in Iraq through 2005 into 2006 as well as sending Billions more dollars in aid money. Fallujah was a city that needed to be cleaned of insurgents. It was the central base for insurgents in Iraq as found by the massive amounts of bomb making materials for IED's, that Marines found in the city. Secret Tunnel complex's with massive stocks of ammo were found as were torture chambers and rooms where terrible attrocities took place.
I have never seen evidence of any of that. First off it is not Bush making Fallujah in to the last stand its the media. I don’t know where you got all of that, you may be right I may be wrong :P

In general Fallujah was a victory but I would say a critical one. There will always be a Fallujah. I think we just need to wait a week before a new one pops up.

carrieluvv 11-17-2004 04:10 AM

"Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction."
-- Pablo Picasso

like the iraqi civlian said - dont look at the destruction , look to the future..
that is what im going to try to do

its impossible not to look at the destruction - but something good can come of it

Macfistowannabe 11-17-2004 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Sting again I say you are the man, every time that somebody knocks your arguments for not being emotional tug-at-heartstrings sob stories take it as a compliment that you are arguing the point properly.
I'd be afraid to argue with him. He ends up writing half a novel to defend himself.

verte76 11-17-2004 03:48 PM

Sting is pretty tough in debates, sometimes I end up just deciding we don't agree on Issue X and we never will. :wink:

Macfistowannabe 11-17-2004 05:06 PM

That's about the best way to surrender. He probably never knew you were actually surrendering until now. :hmm:

Norse 11-17-2004 06:32 PM

I hate to deabte, just like alittle friendly banter :P

Macfistowannabe 11-17-2004 09:58 PM

I don't mind a friendly debate. It helps me understand why the opposite side feels the way they do, rather than going on thinking that each other are hypocrites and all that crap. In reality, we follow a different set of principals, and it's for the individual to decide what they believe in.


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