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Thursday, October 21, 2004


"Imagine the most f***ed-up, violent place on earth. Now bomb the s**t out of it."

That's how the Rude Pundit describes Fallujah. (He's not prissy about four-letter words like I am, but then again you'll be able to read my blog at a lot more airports and libraries. I found that out when using Internet kiosks in airports; I couldn't get to some of my favorite blogs because they were blocked for language.) Anyway, Fallujah's the topic. The NY Times reports:
Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon announced today that 850 British troops currently deployed in southern Iraq would advance toward Baghdad to replace American fighting units that are expected to mount an assault on Iraqi insurgents west of the capital near Falluja.
And what does that mean for the most f***ed-up, violent place on earth? Patrick Graham in the Guardian gives us an idea:
As the British government prepares to send its soldiers north to free up the US army to attack Falluja, it is necessary to focus on what this coming onslaught will mean for the city and its people. Falluja is already now being bombed daily, as it is softened up for the long-awaited siege. It has been a gruelling year for its people. First, they were occupied by the US army's 82nd Airborne, an incompetent group of louts whose idea of cultural sensitivity was kicking a door down instead of blowing it up. Within eight months of the invasion, the 82nd had killed about 100 civilians in the area and lost control of Falluja, leaving it to the US marines to try and retake the city last April. After killing about 600 civilians, the marines retreated, leaving the city in the hands of 18 armed groups, including tribesmen, Islamists, Ba'athists, former criminals and an assortment of non-Iraqi Arab fighters said to be led by the Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Fallujans have now been offered a choice: hand over the outsiders they dislike (mostly Arabs) who are protecting them from the outsiders they really hate (the Americans), or get blown apart by the world's most lethal killing machine, the US marines. Zarqawi's influence on the resistance has been wildly exaggerated - indeed, many people in Falluja don't even believe he exists, and most find the non-Iraqi Arabs' brand of Salafi fundamentalism at odds with their local Sufi traditions. Today, many Fallujans are tired even of their own mujahideen, but trust the US army even less, and with good reason. Recently, a Bush administration official told the New York Times the bombing was driving a wedge between the citizenry and the non-Iraqi fighters. If, indeed, the civilian population is being bombed for this end, this is a grave war crime.

We have a blueprint for what will happen in the city during the coming attack: Falluja, part one. Like all sequels the next time will be bloodier. Last April I found myself inching across a bridge into Falluja holding an old white T-shirt: in front of me, marines blocking the bridge, screaming at me to go back; behind me, a large group of Iraqis yelling at me to go forward so that they could follow me through the roadblock and rescue their families. After a while, the marines opened the bridge allowing hundreds of women and children to stream out, but stopped the boys older than 16 and men younger than 60 from leaving the city. Preventing civilians from leaving a battle is against the Geneva conventions - although battle doesn't capture what a meat grinder the city had become in that first week of the assault, when the majority of civilian casualties were killed, blown apart by precision, and often inaccurate, airstrikes.
(whole article)

The worst place on earth is about to get much worse, thanks to George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and the criminals in Congress like John Kerry who continue to support this on-going war crime. Don't forget what Kerry said in the debate:
What I want to do is change the dynamics on the ground. And you have to do that by beginning to not back off of Fallujah and other places and send the wrong message to the terrorists.
I guess the "right message" is that we'll kill as many women and children and men and cats and dogs and chickens and cockroaches as it takes to win the "war on terror."

That's probably the sort of message the Internet kiosks should be filtering out.