- As Americans prepared for Thanksgiving, an estimated
100,000 residents of the besieged Iraqi city of Fallujah, trapped in their
homes, struggled to survive without fresh food, water or electricity, reportedly
cut off by U.S. forces on Nov. 8.
- Meanwhile, on the streets of Fallujah, a city of more
than 350,000, dogs gnaw on bloated and rotting corpses that remain unburied
- Thousands of families in Fallujah were reported to be
in a critical humanitarian situation after U.S. forces prevented the delivery
of relief supplies. An Iraq Red Crescent Society (IRCS) humanitarian aid
convoy, reportedly blocked by U.S. troops for more than two weeks, was
allowed to deliver aid to residents in the heart of the city on Nov. 25.
- On Thanksgiving, U.S. forces permitted the IRCS convoy
carrying thousands of food parcels, blankets, tents and medical supplies
to enter the city and allowed one of the clinics to be converted into a
temporary hospital to treat the injured.
- Rana Sidani of the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, however, told American Free Press
on Nov. 30 that "many civilians" were still prevented from receiving
aid or medical care.
- At the beginning of the U.S. operation in Fallujah on
Nov. 5, a hospital in the central Nazzal district of Fallujah was reduced
to rubble as a result of U.S. air and artillery bombardment. "Only
its façade, with a sign reading Nazzal Emergency Hospital, remained
intact," Reuters reported.
- "A nearby compound used by the main Fallujah hospital
to store medical supplies was also destroyed," witnesses told Reuters.
Fallujah,s main hospital was occupied by U.S. forces when the ground offensive
began. These actions are apparent violations of international humanitarian
- "Bodies can be seen everywhere, and people were
crying when receiving the food parcels," Muhammad al-Nuri, a spokesman
for the IRCS in Baghdad, said. "It is very sad. It is a human disaster."
- Al-Nuri said that it is difficult to move in the city
due to the large number of dead bodies in the streets. The IRCS estimates
there are more than 6,000 dead in Fallujah, al-Nuri said.
- 6,000 DEAD?
- AFP asked Maj. Jay Antonelli at the Coalition Press Information
Center (CPIC) in Baghdad if the IRCS estimate of 6,000 dead in Fallujah
was credible. "We do not keep a count of dead Iraqis," Antonelli
said. Asked the same question, the ICRC,s Sidani said, "We don,t know."
- Antonelli said, "U.S. forces never blocked aid convoys
from reaching the wounded. We only recommended to the aid convoys that
they should not enter the city because the MNF [Multi-National Forces]
could not guarantee their security or safety."
- "The ICRC is very worried about the humanitarian
situation in Fallujah," Sidani said. Asked what the ICRC was doing
to alleviate the suffering in Fallujah, Sidani said: "We are reminding
the parties of their responsibilities under international humanitarian
- It shouls be noted that the United States and Britain,
the occupying powers in Iraq, are the two largest contributors to the ICRC,
providing more than 42 percent of its budget for field operations.
- A second convoy from Baghdad, headed by Dr. Said Ismael
Haki, the IRCS president, delivered aid to Fallujah on Nov. 26. "There
are no houses left in Fallujah, only destroyed places," Haki said.
"I really don,t know how the people will return to the city. No one
will find their homes."
- As U.S. troops in Fallujah engaged in what has been described
as the most intense urban combat since Vietnam, the controlled press scrupulously
avoided discussion or footage of the devastation of the rebellious Sunni
city. For example, during the second week of the attack, rather than discuss
the widespread devastation of Fallujah, U.S. television news programs focused
largely on a brawl between basketball players and fans in Detroit.
- At least 136 U.S. soldiers were killed during November
in Iraq, and more than 800 were wounded, most of them in Fallujah, making
it the most costly month, and operation, in terms of U.S. lives lost since
the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.
- FOR WHAT CAUSE?
- Michael Ware, Baghdad bureau chief for Time magazine,
who has been in Fallujah during the fighting, said U.S. actions in Fallujah
are "creating the nightmare that we are seeking to prevent.
- "I stood there as I saw American boys die,"
Ware told Chris Matthews of MSNBC on Nov. 24, "I mean, a man shot
at close range, blown apart by a rocket-propelled grenade. He dies there
in front of you, and I can,t help but think why? For what cause?
- "I see us creating the very thing that the president
said we went there to prevent," Ware said, ". . . . subsequent
to this invasion and the occupation and the guerrilla war that is currently
under way, we are the midwives of the next generation Al Qaeda and Islamic
- Ware, who has interviewed senior insurgent leaders, said
they study the writings of the Vietnamese Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, Che Guevara
and Mao Zedong. "They,re bringing it straight from Vietnam and the
broader insurgency playbook," Ware said.
- "The name of the game is deny the population to
the insurgents," Ware said. "That,s what we,re trying to do,
win hearts and minds. But we,re not winning them."
- The New York Times has reported actions taken by U.S.
forces in Fallujah, which appear to be prima facie evidence of war crimes,
without mentioning that the actions constitute clear violations of the
Laws of Land War found in The U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10.
- For example, a Nov. 20 Times article by Edward Wong,
with two correspondents in Fallujah, reports that U.S. Marines had transformed
a mosque into a fortress with snipers and machine gunners perched on the
- Then, using the passive form, Wong goes on to say that
"no neutral group has been able to enter the city," without mentioning
that U.S. forces blocked humanitarian aid convoys. Likewise, Wong wrote,
"Electricity and water had been cut off."
- The Times, whose motto is "All the news that,s fit
to print," apparently didn,t think that its readers needed to know
the U.S. forces had cut off the water and power to a city of 340,000 people.
- Asked if U.S. forces had cut power and water to Fallujah,
Maj. Antonelli wrote: "MNF did, with approval of the Interim Iraqi
Government, cut off electricity to the city of Fallujah as Operation Al-Fajr
began. Water was not cut off intentionally. However, the water system did
sustain some kinetic damage during strikes."
- American Free Press asked the Pentagon,s Lt. Col. Joe
Yoswa if it is true that U.S. forces were using mosques as fortresses.
- "It,s not possible," Yoswa said. "Under
no circumstances. We would not set up snipers in a mosque in an offensive
- CPIC,s Antonelli said: "MNF would not use a mosque
as a fortress., MNF and Iraqi security forces would only fire from a mosque
if they were being fired upon and were firing back in self-defense."
- Abu Sabah, a refugee from Fallujah, reported seeing phosphorus
bombs: "They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom
cloud. Then small pieces fell from the air with long tails of smoke trailing
behind them. These exploded on the ground with large fires that burnt for
half and hour," Sabah said. "When anyone touched these fires
their bodies burnt for hours."
- Eyewitnesses from Fallujah also reported seeing "melted"
- OBLITERATION OF FALLUJAH
- The "obliteration of Fallujah" is a serious
war crime, according to Francis A. Boyle, a professor of international
law at the University of Illinois. "The obliteration of Fallujah continues
apace," Boyle wrote in his Nov. 15 article, "A War Crime in Real
Time: Obliterating Fallujah."
- "Article 6(b) of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter defines
a Nuremberg War Crime in relevant part as the wanton destruction of cities,
towns or villages,, " wrote Boyle. "According to this definitive
definition, the Bush administration,s destruction of Fallujah constitutes
a war crime for which Nazis were tried and executed."
- Throw Away Soldiers? [insert]
- HAVING SEEN WHAT APPEARED to be a depleted uranium (DU)
missile fired at a building in Fallujah on CNN during the first week of
the fighting, AFP asked the Pentagon if DU weapons are being used in Fallujah.
"Yes," Lt. Col. Joe Yoswa said, "DU is a standard round
on the M-1 Abrams tank."
- Because U.S. Marines in Fallujah are very close to the
poison gas produced by exploded DU shells, AFP asked Yoswa if anything
was being done to protect the troops from DU poisoning. Yoswa seemed unaware
of the dangers posed by the use of DU.
- Marion Fulk, a retired nuclear scientist from Livermore
National Lab, told AFP that U.S. troops in DU contaminated battlefields
are considered "throwaway soldiers." The Marines exposed to DU
in Fallujah, and elsewhere, face greatly increased risks of cancer, deformed
children, and other health problems in the future.