. . . Falluja is now to be brought to heel by overwhelming military power. As I
write this, the US attack on the city has begun. The message to Falluja from
the US armed forces in Iraq and from Allawi was brutally simple: submit now
to Baghdad's authority or face attack. . . .
What I believe is then likely to be done to Falluja will be a war crime and
crime against humanity, morally indefensible by any civilised standard or
for that matter, by the Statute of the International Criminal Court (to
which, conveniently, neither the US nor Iraqi Government adheres).
This will be no neat, surgical strike. To get the measure of this, think of
the Warsaw rising in 1944, or the Russian Army's destruction of the Chechen
capital, Grozny. In 1999 this already battered city (of originally 400,000
people) was finally destroyed by massive Russian bombardment. Today,
insurgents still fight it out with Russian troops among the ruins.
Eighteen months ago, before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Falluja was a
living city of 300,000 people. Now - depopulated of most of its civilians by
intimidation and fear - what is left looks like it is about to be blasted
out of existence, simply as a demonstration of overwhelming US power in
Iraq. . . .
The truth is that this city, which has become a symbol of Sunni-Iraqi
political resistance to the occupiers, is to be made an example of, to deter
others. The message the siege of Falluja sends is brutally simple: resist us
and we will destroy you. It is the same message that the Wehrmacht sent in
Warsaw in 1944, and the Russian Army in Grozny in 1999.
This attack will also violate the rules of war and the Geneva conventions in
having grossly indiscriminate effects on civilians and civilian homes and
infrastructure. . . .
Eventually, the attackers will flatten the city and kill everyone that still
resists in it. Falluja will be the Iraqi people's Masada, and it will sow
seeds of deep anti-Western hatred in the Middle East for decades to come.
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, understands all this, in pleading for
a negotiated solution. And as usual, Washington is summarily ignoring his
pleas. . . .
An unnamed US military commander in the tightening military ring around
Falluja proudly boasted (as heard on ABC Radio yesterday) that this battle
will go down in US military history as another Hue. Indeed it will - who can
forget the wholesale artillery destruction of that sacred, historic
Vietnamese city? "We had to destroy it in order to save it" was the line at
the time. . . .
[ . . . the interim president of Iraq, Ghazi al-Yawar, is reported to have
said he totally disagrees with plans by the US-led coalition to launch a
full-scale attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. . . . He likened it to
shooting a horse in the head to kill a fly that had landed on it.--"Downer
condemns Iraqi politician's assassination," Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, November 1, 2004]
[Following the Holocaust, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg
called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil thing . . . to
initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is
the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that
it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."--Marjorie
War: Supreme International Crime," truthout.org, November 9, 2004]
[A drive through the city revealed a picture of utter destruction, with
concrete houses flattened, mosques in ruins, telegraph poles down, power and
phone lines hanging slack and rubble and human remains littering the empty
streets.--Michael Georgy and Kim Sengupta, "A city lies in ruins, along with the lives of the wretched survivors,"
The Independent, November 15, 2004]
[. . . more like a police state than the democracy they have been promised.
Under the plans, troops would funnel Fallujans to so-called citizen
processing centers on the outskirts of the city to compile a database of
their identities through DNA testing and retina scans. Residents would
receive badges displaying their home addresses that they must wear at all
times. Buses would ferry them into the city, where cars, the deadliest tool
of suicide bombers, would be banned.--Anne Barnard, "Returning Fallujans will face clampdown," Boston Globe,
December 5, 2004]
[American citizens, said the Iraqis, need to wake up to what their
government is doing. Manning was told grisly accounts of Iraqi mothers
killed in front of their sons, brothers in front of sisters, all at the
hands of American soldiers. He also heard allegations of wholesale rape of
civilians, by both American and Iraqi troops. Manning said he heard numerous
reports of the second siege of Falluja that described American forces
deploying - in violation of international treaties - napalm, chemical
weapons, phosphorous bombs, and "bunker-busting" shells laced with depleted
uranium. Use of any of these against civilians is a violation of
international law. . . .
And when Manning and Kalustian returned to the motel, he recounted, someone
had broken into their room. Even though there was jewelry and more film
equipment lying about, he said, none of it was touched. In fact, said
Manning, none of the suitcases had even been opened. The only thing missing,
Manning said, was the big bowling-ball shaped bag containing his camera -
and all his taped interviews.
At that time, Manning had not been back in the United States for more than
The next day, Manning said, a mysterious man contacted them to arrange a
meeting, claiming he had the stolen purse. Manning and Kalustian went to a
spot near 6th and Mission as instructed, where they were met by a man who
appeared to be a "full-on street bum," Manning said. After returning the
purse, the man pulled Manning to one side, opened his wallet, and flashed
what Manning estimated was $5,000 worth of $100 bills. According to Manning,
the "bum" winked at him and said, "Look in my eyes. I have the eyes of a
former sniper. You thought you had the goods on George Bush, didn't you?
You've been sandbagged, boy."--Nick Welsh, "To Hell and Back with
S.B. Documentary-Maker Mark Manning," Santa Barbara Independent, March
[Sgrena also says that the US soldiers fired at them from behind, which of
course contradicts the claim that the soldiers fired in self-defense. . . .
That could explain why the US military in Iraq has blocked the Italian
government from inspecting the Italians' vehicle--Jeremy Scahill, "Sgrena Sets the
Record Straight," CounterPunch, March 28, 2005]
[Over 30% of the homes were destroyed by Coalition bombing in April and
November 2004. In the southern part of the city it is 90%. It looked like it
had been hit by an atomic bomb: complete destruction in every
direction.--Doug Pritchard, "Peacemaking in Falluja," CPT Canada News, May 11, 2005]
[The Falluja-based Study Centre for Human Rights and Democracy has claimed
that 4,000 to 6,000 people were killed during Phantom Fury, most of them
civilians. . . .
Dr Hafid al-Dulaimi, head of the city's compensation commission, reported
that 36,000 homes and 8,400 shops were destroyed in the US onslaught.
Sixty nurseries and schools and 65 mosques and other religious
establishments were wrecked. . . .
Witnesses spoke of American Marines dumping bodies in the Euphrates just
after the offensive and of mass graves where hundreds are allegedly
buried.--Hala Jaber, "Terror
reborn in Falluja ruins," Sunday Times, December 18, 2005]
[In the years since the invasion, doctors in Fallujah have reported drastic
increases in the number of premature births, infant mortality, and birth
defects - babies born without skulls, missing organs, or with stumps for
arms and legs. Fallujah General Hospital reported that, out of 170 babies
born in September 2009, 24 percent died within the first seven days, of
which 75 percent were deformed - as compared to August 2002, when there were
530 babies born, only six deaths, and one deformity. As the years go by, the
problem seems to be getting worse, and doctors are increasingly warning
women not to have children.--Hannah Gurman, "The Under-Examined Story of Fallujah," fpif.org, November 23, 2011]
[After several weeks of bombing, the attack opened with a carefully planned
war crime: invasion of the Fallujah General Hospital, where patients and
staff were ordered to the floor, their hands tied. . . .
Medical researchers have found dramatic increases in infant mortality,
cancer and leukemia, even higher than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Uranium levels
in hair and soil samples are far beyond comparable cases.--Noam Chomsky, "Somebody Else's Atrocities," truth-out.org, June 3,