Article from the Nov 2004 edition, the Socialist
DONALD RUMSFELD said that he didn't foresee large numbers of civilian casualties during "Operation Phantom Fury", US Imperialism's bloody assault on Fallujah. Yet, what little news that is emerging from the besieged city, contradicts this obscene lie.
by Stephen Boyd
Muhammad Abbud watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death in their Fallujah home. "We just bandaged his stomach and gave him water, but he was losing a lot of blood" said Abbud. "We buried him in the garden because it was too dangerous to go out".
US forces have bombed hospitals, clinics, and apartment blocks, killing doctors, nurses, patients and residents. Half of the city's 120 mosques have been destroyed. The city's electricity has been cut off, water, medicine and food are in short supply, there isn't even a surgeon left to help the injured and dying. Martial law and a shoot to kill curfew has been imposed across Iraq.
Shock and awe
The Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah is being mercilessly pounded by everything that the US occupation forces can muster. 10,000 US troops have invaded Fallujah in an attempt to re-occupy it, as the first strike in a move by the US to try and quell the resistance movement in 22 cities in the run up to elections planned for January. Between 60,000 and 150,000 civilians are still left in the city, which is being bombed night and day. "My kids are hysterical with fear, they are traumatised by the sound but there is nowhere to take them" said Farhan Salih.
The "shock and awe" tactics being repeated in Fallujah are deliberately aimed to traumatise the entire Iraqi population in an attempt to destroy all resistance to the US military machine. The US has claimed that the Al Qaeda linked Jordanian Musaab al-Zarqawi is in the city, and that he and his supporters are the target of the assault. A leading Sunni Muslim Cleric Mahdi al-Sumaidaei replied to this claim "Everybody knows that Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi is another lie, like the WMDs." According to the Boston Globe 2 November 2004, 15,000 resistance fighters have been preparing to defend the city for six months, armed with surface to surface and surface to air missiles and artillery pieces.
100,000 innocent Iraqi deaths
Ralph Peters, a neo-con who moves in the Bush regime's circles was quoted in New York Post 4 November, "We need to demonstrate that the US military cannot be deterred or defeated....Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate our strength of will to the world, to show that there is only one possible result when madmen take on America". But it is the madmen and women who are ruling the USA that have caused the deaths of an estimated 100,000 Iraqis since the invasion and who are intent on pursuing a war they cannot win. Since the assault on Fallujah began resistance fighters have carried out persistent attacks on the occupation forces all across Iraq. Even if the US achieve their goal of levelling Fallujah to the ground they will not have achieved a victory. All that the assault on Fallujah will do is multiply the hatred and opposition to the US and British occupation. A US marine officer stated in the Washington Post 28 October 2004, "The provincial government [Anbar province] is on the verge of collapse. Just about everybody has resigned or is resigning...The insurgent activity is everywhere. It's at our firm bases here. It's among women and children".
In a predictable irony this assault, aimed at trying to "stabilise" Iraq in the run up to the 27 January elections, has resulted in them being undermined. The Association of Muslim Scholars (Sunni) have called for a boycott. "We consider the [election] results null and void. Elections that come with the blood of Iraqis, the burning of their properties and the killing of their women and children, are a farce that does not deserve respect", Mohammed al-Faidhi, Aljazerra.net 10 November 2004. Iraq's "official" Sunni Muslim party, the Islamic Party has quit the US interim government in protest at the assault in Fallujah.
The attacks on the occupation forces have intensified to between 80 and a 100 a day. Resistance to the occupation exists everywhere in all sections of society with infiltration of government departments and the US formed Iraqi National Guard who have "purged" 50,000 of its soldiers as infiltrators.
The assault on Fallujah, Bush's first act since re-election, is a message of intent from his neo-con regime. Bush believes he can use the next four years to strengthen the "US Empire" in the neo-colonial world. The weeks ahead in Iraq will send a message to the whole world that the barbarism inflicted on the people of Fallujah will result in one thing only - a bigger, stronger and more determined resistance from the Iraqi people that they will never accept colonial subjugation!