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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fallujacide for real

The assault on Fallujah has begun.
American troops and Iraqi special forces launched a major operation in Falluja late Thursday aimed at disrupting future attacks by insurgents who control the volatile city, the U.S. military said.

U.S. warplanes pounded targets in the Sunni Triangle city that has been a hotbed for the insurgency for months, lighting the night sky and producing plumes of smoke.

The operation, on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, marked the first time U.S. forces have gone into Falluja since April, when a tenuous cease-fire was reached to try to restore calm.

Since then, U.S. forces have operated in the region but not the city itself, and the insurgency has gotten bolder around Iraq.

"We've been looking forward to this for a long time," said 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

"This operation is going to set the stage for Fallujans and for the Iraqi people to go out and elect their government and live in freedom and security as they deserve," Gilbert said.
Freedom is on the march. Thousands are getting stomped on in the process.

On the eve of Ramadan. Another brilliant hearts-and-minds operation.

And a reminder. In the VP debate, Fearmaster Cheney said this:
We know hes still in Baghdad today. He is responsible for most of the major car bombings that have killed or maimed thousands of people.
Now, I suspect that the Veep from the Deep mis-spoke, meaning to say "Iraq" when he said "Baghdad." If not, this raiding of Fallujah to get Zarqawi when he's not there would be as crazy as invading Iraq to eliminate non-existent weapons of mass destruction. I mean, seriously insane!

But, even if he meant to say that Zarqawi is in Fallujah, it makes no sense. How does this mythical super-terrorist control car-bombings in Baghdad, some 100 miles away? As I understand it, US forces have been stationed outside Fallujah for months, and I would guess that the road between Fallujah and Baghdad is one of the most heavily-guarded in Iraq. I just don't see daily truckloads of bombs and terrorists heading east towards Baghdad as being possible. Angry young Iraqis working in the shadows in Sadr City makes a lot more sense.

The Zarqawi story is just a cover for another brutal assault on an Iraqi city, like Moqtada al-Sadr was in Najaf. Just one more chapter in a future Chomsky book on the horrors of American imperialism.