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US Commits War Crimes in Falluja
(Orit Shohat, Haaretz, April 28, 2004)
During the first two weeks of this month, the American army committed war crimes in Falluja on a scale unprecedented for this war. According to the relatively few media reports of what took place there, some 600 Iraqis were killed during these two weeks, among them some 450 elderly people, women and children. . . . The sight of decapitated children, the rows of dead women and the shocking pictures of the soccer stadium that was turned into a temporary grave for hundreds of the slain - all were broadcast to the world only by the Al Jazeera network. During the operation in Falluja, according to the organization Doctors Without Borders, U.S. Marines even occupied the hospitals and prevented hundreds of the wounded from receiving medical treatment. Snipers fired from the rooftops at anyone who tried to approach. . . . This was a retaliatory operation, carried out by the Marines, accompanied by F-16 fighter planes and assault helicopters, under the code name "Vigilant Resolve." It was revenge for the killing of four American security guards on March 31. But while the killing of the guards, whose bodies were dragged through the streets of the city and then hung from a bridge, received wide media coverage, and thus prepared hearts and minds for the military revenge, the hundreds of victims of the American retaliation were practically a military secret. . . . Since the start of the war, the Americans have persecuted the network's journalists - not because they report lies, but because they are virtually the only ones who manage to report the truth. The Bush administration, in cooperation with the American media, is trying to hide the sights of war from the world, and particularly from American voters. . . . The ethical dilemmas in Israel over the targeted killings must make the American government laugh. After Falluja, Israel Defense Forces commanders can feel easier with their consciences - and especially with the consciences of those who refuse to carry out such operations. The one-ton bomb that was dropped on an apartment building in Gaza in order to assassinate Salah Shehadeh, which also killed 14 civilians, is almost like throwing candy compared to the number of bombs the Americans dropped on the houses of the residents of crowded Falluja.
posted by Lorenzo 9:49 AM