Firas Al-Atraqchi - The morbid gallery of quotes, facts, and figures contained in this article, printed and published in Western media by verifiable and veritable sources, can stream on endlessly. But the testimonials it contains are enough to conjure the reality of the USA onslaught in Iraq. It is not humanitarian, nor is it compassionate. It bears the mark of skull ‘n’ bones—the more killed the better. It is the taste of hatred and brutality, one that has been equalled by the razing armies of history — the Nazis, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Mongols — but rarely exceeded.
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Whom are you going to trust: Fallujah civilians who risked their lives to escape, witnesses such as Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, hospital doctors, Amnesty International, top United Nations human-rights official Louise Arbour, the International Committee of the Red Cross; or the Pentagon and US-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi? On the humanitarian front, Fallujah is a tragedy. The city has virtually been reduced to rubble. Remaining residents, the Red Cross confirms, are eating roots and burying the dead in their gardens. There’s no medicine in the hospitals to help anybody. The wounded are left to die in the streets - their remains to be consumed by packs of stray dogs. As Iraqresistance.net, a Europe-wide collective, puts it, “World governments, international organizations, nobody raises a finger to stop the killing.” The global reaction is apathy.
Sara Khorshid - “Listen, listen, the warplanes,” Abu Mohammed cried. I could hear the planes over the phone. “They are over us, over the house, almost 10 meters away.” Tonight is the last night of Ramadan, and tomorrow is the first day of the Islamic feast `Eid Al-Fitr. Abu Mohammed is currently in Al-Amiriyah neighborhood in Baghdad, with his family, and 4 other families who fled Fallujah a few months ago. Those in Baghdad might be better off than Fallujans still locked inside their home town, which is currently being razed to the ground by the US Army. Everything is being wiped out. “The residential areas, our houses, they are all destroyed. They bombed the hospital, the clinics, the doctors, the infrastructure, everything,” Abu Mohammed said.
James Cogan - The collective punishment of the people of Fallujah by the Bush administration has entered its sixth day. What is taking place is not so much a battle as a homicidal rampage by the US military against every Iraqi male trapped inside the city. Since the assault began on Sunday, Fallujah men aged between 15 and 55 have been prevented from leaving. As American bombs and shells rained down, they were left little choice but to fight for their lives against the advancing US troops. An Iraqi journalist in Fallujah told Associated Press: “The Americans are shooting anything that moves.” The US forces have carried out a massive and indiscriminate bombardment from the air, making no attempt to avoid casualties among the estimated 100,000 civilians still in Fallujah. The city, a Los Angeles Times reporter wrote, is “a tableau of destroyed buildings, burned-out cars, battered mosques and piles of rubble”.
Jeff Riedel - Former Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey is a 12-year USA Marine veteran. He is one of a growing number of soldiers returning from Iraq who have become outspoken opponents of the war. Massey entered Iraq as part of the initial invasion, but the brutality of the USA military’s retaliation against the growing resistance of the Iraqi people transformed his view of the occupation and changed him for life. In this interview, he talks about the systematic dehumanisation meted out to military recruits, about the callousness of commanders in the one-sided war, about the lack of humanitarian assistance offered by the military to the Iraqi people, and about what it was like to go through the process of wrenching himself from the military system.
Naomi Klein - A year after Paul Bremer and George W Bush decided that Iraq was too insecure to hold elections - and besides, there were no voter rolls - the country is in grips of yet another invasion, and much of the rest of it is under martial law. As for the voter rolls, the Allawi government is planning to use the oil-for-food lists, just as was suggested and dismissed a year ago. So it turns out that all of the excuses were lies: if elections can be held now, they most certainly could have been held a year ago, when the country was vastly calmer. But that would have denied Washington the change to install a puppet regime in Iraq, and possibly prevented George Bush from winning a second term.
Media Lens Guest Editorial - In 1984, Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead described how “demonstration elections” are “organised and staged by a foreign power primarily to pacify a restive home population, reassuring it that ongoing interventionary processes are legitimate and appreciated by their foreign objects.” In the case of Iraq, it is of course vital that domestic audiences in the US and UK be persuaded that their governments are killing Iraqis with the support of, even on behalf of, Iraqis themselves. The possibility that Iraqis might be dying in their tens of thousands for Western power and profit must, of course, be kept so far out of sight that it is barely even thinkable.
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Fallujah is the ultimate asymmetric war - ultra high-tech F-16s, Cobra and Apache helicopters, AC-130 gunships, tanks, Bradleys and awesome firepower against a bunch of youngsters in tracksuits and trainers with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Nobody will know the full extent of the horror inflicted, because this is a war micromanaged by the Pentagon - carefully built up for weeks, timed to set off only after the re-election of Bush, and now conducted with a few embedded journalists on the side duly brainwashed by a barrage of propaganda and spin. But it’s a blatant lie to describe a city of 300,000 as a “militant stronghold”. Even if there were only 100,000 residents left, most of these, tens of thousands, are civilians, and as usual in any war, they are the most vulnerable: the poor, the elderly, the sick, the ones who could not get way because of fate, and the bravest of the brave - nurses and doctors.
Mike Whitney - Falluja has taken on a meaning that far exceeds whatever transpires in the battle. It has become an Iraqi Alamo; the definitive symbol of Muslim resistance to the Bush onslaught. The significance of the invasion is greatly enhanced by already knowing the final outcome. The world’s only superpower will crush the resistance, destroying anything in its path and laying large swaths of the city to waste; that much is certain. This understanding increases the stature of those who are bravely fighting within the city; fighting for their country, homes and families against the most prodigious military machine ever assembled. It is David against Goliath, only David has no sling.
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