Third Battle of Fallujah
By Stephen Lendman
Iraq today is a grim reflection of America's ruthless imperial agenda. It includes mass slaughter, destruction, devastation, deprivation, human misery and unending violence.
On August 31, 2010, Obama displayed criminal contempt. He's done it many times. He declared an end to America's combat mission in Iraq, saying:
"Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility."
Ignored was America's genocidal legacy. Iraq was ravaged and destroyed. Pre-1990 Iraq no longer exists. Charnel house conditions replaced it.
So did plunder on the grandest of grand scales, millions of internal and external refugees, ongoing violence, dozens of daily deaths, a plague of preventable diseases, ecocide, and overall conditions too horrific to ignore.
Remember Fallujah. In September 2004, the UN Human Rights Council issued a report titled "Testimonies of Crimes Against Humanity in Fallujah: Towards a Fair International Criminal Trial."
It discussed horrific conditions, saying:
"From the (2003) outset and at the start of the indiscriminate and merciless campaign of collective punishment and willful destruction, undertaken by the occupational troops of the United States of America," innocent civilians endured an "inhumane siege and indiscriminate killing" during April and May 2004.
"(G)enocidal massacres" included "sustained and targeted bombing(s), aimed directly at the homes of defenseless civilians."
A November/December massacre followed. Thousands more Iraqis were slaughtered, wounded and maimed.
Depleted and enriched uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous and other terror weapons were used.
Chris Busby is a radiation expert. "We went to Fallujah, and we found the levels of cancer high," he said.
"We looked at the parents of children with congenital malformation, and we did analysis of their hair to see what was inside their hair that might be genotoxic, that might be the sort of thing that can cause congenital malformation."
"The only thing that we found was uranium. We found uranium in the mothers of the children with congenital malformations."
"We know that uranium is genotoxic, that it causes these levels of genetic damage, and because of that it also causes cancer."
"The only source of uranium was the use by the American-led forces of uranium weapons."
"Not only depleted uranium weapons, but as we later found out slightly enriched uranium weapons, which we believe they were using in order to cover their tracks."
Fallujah was besieged. Food, medicines and other vital supplies were kept out. US soldiers were ordered to kill anything that moved.
Young and old were targeted. Men, women, boys and girls were indiscriminately attacked.
Between both Fallujah battles, US warplanes kept bombing residential and industrial areas.
Negotiations to halt fighting failed. Washington blocked them. It did so to continue mass killing and destruction.
Hundreds were arrested. Imprisonments followed. So did horrific torture and ill-treatment.
Fallujah witnesses confirmed wholesale slaughter of unarmed civilians. They were killed inside their houses and mosques.
Some were shot after being arrested. Others were blown up inside their homes.
Children saw their parents shot. Adults witnessed their spouses and children killed. US and complicit Iraqi forces looted homes and stores.
Thousands of others were destroyed. A Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah Citizens said 7,000 houses were demolished.
So were 8,400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses and other structures. Sixty-five mosques were totally destroyed. So were five dozen primary, secondary and higher education schools.
Thirteen government buildings were leveled. Water and sewer systems were destroyed. So were two electrical power substations. Other infrastructure targets were demolished.
Around 100,000 domestic and wild animals died from toxic exposure. Four libraries containing valued Islamic manuscripts and books were burned.
Virtually everything in Fallujah was fair game. It remains symbolic of imperial US viciousness.
Subsequent Fallujah health statistics showed:
around 6,000 previously unknown or rarely seen diseases; and
sharp increases in leukemia, other cancers, infant mortality, birth defects, miscarriages, abnormal deliveries, and other health problems similar to what Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors experienced.
Will the third battle of Fallujah repeat what happened earlier? US forces aren't directly involved. Iraqi government troops are battling Anbar Province Al Qaeda affiliated Sunni militants.
In December, Washington began supplying Nuri al-Maliki's government with dozens of Hellfire missiles, other weapons and drones.
It's unclear whether US operators will wage drone warfare like what's ongoing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. If al-Maliki's forces can't contain things on their own, bet on US involvement.
On Sunday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Al Qaeda affiliated elements are "seeking to gain control of territory inside the borders of Iraq."
"(They represent a) common enemy of the United States and the Republic of Iraq, and a threat to the greater Middle East."
Al Qaeda is a US creation. It's used strategically as both ally and enemy. John Kerry issued a statement saying:
"We will stand with the government of Iraq and with others who will push back against their efforts to destabilize. We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground."
Vice President Biden spoke with al-Maliki. His office issued a statement saying "the United States stands with Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
Iraq is a failed state. It's a dysfunctional wasteland. Nightmarish conditions exist. Multiple car bombings occur almost daily.
So does other nationwide violence. Iraq is a virtual war zone. Dozens die daily. Fighting never ended. Al-Maliki is a convenient US stooge.
Al Qaeda affiliated elements largely gained control of Ramadi and Fallujah. Al-Maliki reinforced nearby Iraqi forces. Air strikes and artillery shelling followed.
Perhaps laying siege to both towns is planned. Will mass destruction and massacres follow?
On Tuesday, fierce clashes occurred between so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters and government forces.
ISIL elements are Sunni militants. They're linked to Al Qaeda. They're heavily involved in Syria.
Both countries share a common border. It's porous. Militants fighting Assad's forces cross it easily to fight in Iraq.
Sectarian tensions are high. Violence increased after Iraqi forces attacked Hawija Sunni protesters last April. Dozens were killed.
Deadly car bombings continue nationwide. In 2013, Iraq's death toll was the highest since 2007. In Anbar Province, Iraqi forces, local tribes and ISIL fighters are waging three-way war.
Before 2003, Iraq had no Al Qaeda elements. No threat existed. Washington's war changed things.
Iraq is a cauldron of violence. Fighting shows no signs of ending. Expect things to get much worse before it ebbs.
If US drone warfare complements Iraqi forces on the ground, mass killing and destruction may follow. It may happen with or without US involvement.
The third battle for Fallujah may replicate the first two. Expect Ramadi and other parts of Anbar Province to be affected.
Civilians will suffer most. Millions died since GHW Bush's Gulf War. Clinton's sanctions alone claimed around 1.5 million lives.
GW Bush's war, Obama continuing where he left off, and subsequent violence, disease, and deprivation took millions more.
On October 7, 2001, America's new millennium wars began. They continue out-of-control. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are war zones.
Fighting rages daily. Iraqi government forces are preparing to storm Fallujah. Expect another bloodbath to follow.
Washington bears full responsibility. Bush I and II, Clinton and Obama are unindicted war criminals.
Millions of regional deaths bear witness to their high crimes. They continue daily with no end.
They do so when polls show Afghanistan is Washington's most unpopular war in history. Over 80% of Americans oppose it. Less than 20% support it.
It rages out-of-control. It shows no signs of ending. With or without most US forces remaining, it could continue for another decade or longer.
It reflects America's addiction to war. It reveals state terror as official US policy. It shows contempt for rule of law principles. It suggests conflicts without end will continue.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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