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Americans Slaughtering Civilians in Falluja
(Dahr Jamail, The NewStandard, April 12, 2004)
I knew the entire city of Falluja had been sealed and was suffering from collective punishment in the form of no water or electricity for several days now. . . . We joined a small group of internationals to ride a large bus carrying a load of humanitarian supplies there, and with the hopes of bringing some of the wounded out prior to the next American onslaught, which was due to kick off at any time now. . . . Even leaving Baghdad now is dangerous. The military has shut down the main highway between here and Jordan. The highway, even just outside Baghdad, is desolate and littered with destroyed fuel tanker trucks -- their smouldering shells littered the highway. We rolled past a large M-1 Tank that was still burning under an overpass which had just been hit by the resistance. . . . Back on the highway, it was strewn with smoking fuel tankers, destroyed military tanks and armoured personnel carriers . . . Once we turned off the highway, which the U.S. was perilously holding onto, there was no U.S. military presence visible at all as we were in controlled-controlled territory. Our bus wound its way through farm roads, and each time we passed someone they would yell, "God bless you for going to Falluja!" Everyone we passed was flashing us the victory sign, waving, and giving the thumbs-up. . . . As we neared Falluja a huge mushroom caused by a large U.S. bomb rose from the city. So much for the cease fire. . . . The city itself was virtually empty, aside from groups of mujahedin standing on every other street corner. It was a city at war. We rolled towards the one small clinic where we were to deliver our medical supplies. Itís managed by Mr. Maki Al-Nazzal, who was hired just 4 days ago to do so. He is not a doctor. . . . He hadn't slept much, along with all of the doctors at the small clinic. . . . It started with just three doctors, but since the Americans bombed one of the hospitals, and were currently sniping people as they attempted to enter/exit the main hospital, effectively there were only 2 small clinics treating all of Falluja. The other has been set up in a car garage. . . . As I was there, an endless stream of women and children who'd been sniped by the Americans were being raced into the dirty clinic, the cars speeding over the curb out front as their wailing family members carried them in. . . . This scene continued, off and on, into the night as the sniping continued. . . . One small boy of 11, his face covered by a kefir and toting around a Kalashnikov that was nearly as big as he was, patrolled areas around the clinic, making sure they were secure. He was confident and very eager for battle. I wondered how the U.S. soldiers would feel about fighting an 11 year-old child? For the next day, on the way out of Falluja, I saw several groups of children fighting as mujahedin. . . . After we delivered the aid, three of my friends agreed to ride out on the one functioning ambulance for the clinic to retrieve the wounded. . . . Although the ambulance already had three bullet holes from a U.S. sniper through the front windshield on the driver's side, having westerners on board was the only hope that soldiers would allow them to retrieve more wounded Iraqis. . . . The previous driver was wounded when one of the sniper's shots grazed his head. . . . We ended up spending the night with one of the local men who had filmed the atrocities. He showed us footage of a dead baby who he claimed was torn from his mother's chest by Marines. Other horrendous footage of slain Iraqis was shown to us as well. . . . There had been reports of cluster bombs being dropped too, and two of the last victims that arrived at the clinic were reported by the locals to have been hit by cluster bombs they were horribly burned and their bodies shredded. . . . The next morning we walked back to the clinic. One of my friends who'd done another ambulance run said that a Marine she encountered had told them to leave, because the military was about to use air support to begin 'clearing the city.' . . . What I can report from Falluja is that there is no ceasefire, and apparently there never was. Iraqi women and children are being shot by American snipers. Over 600 Iraqis have now been killed by American aggression, and the residents have turned two football fields into graveyards. Ambulances are being shot by the Americans. And now they are preparing to launch a full-scale invasion of the city. . . . All of which is occurring under the guise of catching the people who killed the four Blackwater Security personnel and hung two of their bodies from a bridge.
posted by Lorenzo 10:11 AM