Jamail: Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

April 18, 2006
The Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq
By Dahr Jamail

t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 18 April 2006

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it 
will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by
a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqu s are belated, 
insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our 
administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows ... We are 
today not far from a disaster.-- T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), The 
Sunday Times, August 1920

On Monday, April 17, my sources in Baghdad reported fierce fighting in the 
al-Adhamiya neighborhood of the capital city, as well as fighting in the al-Dora
neighborhood. One source, who lives in the predominantly Sunni area of Adhamiya,
had been telling me the situation was disintegrating for days leading up to 
this. There had been clashes every day for four days leading up to yesterday's 
huge clash there, with sporadic fighting between Sunni resistance fighters and 
members of the two largest Shia militias. The armed wing of the Supreme Council 
for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Badr Organization, and Muqtada al-Sadr's 
Mehdi Army have been launching ongoing attacks against fighters in the 
neighborhood. There is a shorter version of this description.

Civil war.

Yet we don't hear it described as such in the corporate media, nor from the 
Cheney administration. Their propaganda insists that Iraq is not yet in a civil 

But in Adhamiya, every night now for several weeks roads have been closed with 
tires, trunks of date palm trees and other objects to prevent "kidnappers and 
Shia death squads" from entering the area, according to one source, whom I'm 
keeping anonymous for security reasons.

His description of the fierce fighting in his neighborhood is quite different 
from the reporting of it in mainstream outlets.

"Sunday night at 12:30 a.m. clashes started just like on the four previous 
nights, but it was very heavy and from different directions. It was different 
from the other nights in quantity and quality; it was truly like the hell which 
I haven't seen even in the battles of the war between Iraq and Iran during the 
eighties," wrote my source. He added that mortars and rocket-propelled grenades 
were used, and so much ammunition that the sky was "glowing red." The situation 
went on until Monday morning. He said, "I usually have my cup of coffee in my 
small backyard to drink it in a good atmosphere, but the minute I opened the 
door someone from the interior ministry commandos shouted at me, telling me to 
get inside or he'd shoot me. Of course I stayed inside and the shooting 
continued in a very heavy way until 12:30 p.m., when the American forces came to
start helping the militia's attack on al-Adhamiya after they were watching the 
scene from their helicopters."

He went on to state very clearly that "these were members of the Badr militia 
and Sadr's Mehdi Army who were raiding the neighborhood."

Another witness at the scene wrote, "Men in police uniforms attacked the 
neighbourhood. The Ministry of Interior claimed the uniformed men don't belong 
to the puppet [Iraqi government] forces, but local residents are quite sure they
are special-forces from the Ministry of Interior, probably Badr brigades. The 
neighbourhood was sealed off and the mobile phone network was disconnected until
10:45 p.m. Electricity was cut off from 10 a.m. on."

Meanwhile, Reuters obediently parroted the US military by reporting that 
"Insurgents mount bold attack in Baghdad," and saying, "About 50 insurgents 
mounted a brazen attack on Iraqi forces in Baghdad on Monday, prompting U.S. 
troops to provide support in a battle that lasted seven hours, a U.S. military 
spokesman said. The guerrillas attacked Iraqi forces in the mostly Sunni Arab 
district of Adhamiya in northern Baghdad overnight. Five rebels were killed and 
one member of the Iraqi forces was wounded. There were no U.S. casualties, said 
the spokesman."

While this press report quoted an Iraqi police official as saying, "Adhamiya 
residents have taken up arms to prevent the Shi'ite militia from entering," and 
"Adhamiya residents said Shi'ite militiamen accompanied the Iraqi forces," it 
added that this could not be confirmed.

An Iraqi in Adhamiya confirmed this immediately after the clashes ended by 
writing, "When the uniformed forces entered the neighbourhood, the National 
Guards that are usually patrolling the streets left. Young armed men from the 
neighbourhood fought side by side with mujahedin against the attacking forces to
protect Al-Adhamiya. Several residents have been killed in the streets, but 
there are currently no figures available. US troops also entered the 
neighbourhood. At first, they only stood by and watched; later on they, too, 
fired at the locals, who tried to repel the attacks. Later in the day, rumours 
circulated that another fierce attack of Al-Adhamiya is planned on Wednesday, 
but ... couldn't confirm this information."

Other news outlets directly contradict the aforementioned statement by the US 
military spokesman, when one reported that "gunmen clashed with residents in 
Baghdad's Aadhamiya district."

Of course, the military spokesman also failed to mention that on the same day, 
"Four gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque killing a guard in the Adhamiya district of
the capital."

Instead, we hear reporting that "[US] Army officials said they had suffered no 
casualties, and plan to raid homes in search for the gunmen."

Disturbingly, this obvious US-backed Shia militia invasion of a Sunni 
neighborhood may well be a prelude to what the US military is calling a "second 
liberation of Baghdad" which they will carry out with the Iraqi army when a new 
government is installed.

The Sunday Times reports that US commanders both in Iraq and at an army base in 
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, are planning a "carrot-and-stick" approach by offering
suffering populations "protection" from sectarian violence in exchange for 
"rooting out insurgent groups or Al-Qaeda."
Sound like mafia tactics to you?

The article states that "Sources close to the Pentagon said Iraqi forces would 
take the lead, supported by American air power, special operations, 
intelligence, embedded officers and back-up troops. Helicopters suitable for 
urban warfare, such as the manoeuvrable AH-6 "Little Birds" ... are likely to 
complement the ground attack."

This is disturbingly similar to what just occurred in al-Adhamiya.

Another glaring example of the Cheney administration/US military's ongoing war 
on truth in Iraq is the open wound which is Fallujah.

Heavy-handed assaults by the US military continue in Fallujah, where as recently
as this Monday three Iraqi civilians were killed, along with 10 wounded in the 
Jebail district of the city. Of the 10 wounded, three were women and two were 
children. According to Mustafa Karim, with an Iraqi security force in the city, 
"US forces fired on houses in the district following confrontations with armed 
groups in the vicinity." Karim added that residents of Fallujah have been 
demanding an easing of the tight security procedures imposed by Iraqi and US 
armed forces on the region since November 2004, which have obstructed the 
passage of civilians into and out of the region, and "Fallujah has been recently
witnessing a renewed escalation of armed confrontations between US forces and 
armed Iraqi groups."

In fact, fierce fighting in Fallujah has been ongoing since just a few months 
after the November 2004 US attack, which destroyed most buildings and homes in 
the city of 350,000 people.

But the US military doesn't want people to see that American soldiers are dying 
there on nearly a daily basis as of late. Rather than calling it Fallujah when 
soldiers die there, they prefer a sort of Bermuda Triangle approach and use 
"Al-Anbar Province" for the location of these deaths.

Let's have a brief glance at some soldiers killed recently in "Al-Anbar 

* April 17, Department of Defense (DOD) announced (hyperlink 'announced' with 
http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2006/nr20060417-12834.html ) the death of a 
Marine who "died April 14 from a non-hostile motor vehicle accident in Al-Anbar 
province, Iraq."

* April 16, CENTCOM announced: "Camp Fallujah, Iraq - A Marine ... died due to 
enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 15."

* April 16, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - Multi-National Forces (MNF) Iraq announced: 
"Three Marines ... died due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province
April 15."

* April 15, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced: "Two Marines died and 22 
were wounded due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 13 
... Ten wounded Marines ... were evacuated to a medical facility at Camp 

* April 15, DOD announced: "four Marines died April 15 when their HMMWV struck 
an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Al Anbar province, 

* April 11, DOD announced: "Lance Cpl. Juana NavarroArellano, 24 ... died April 
8 from wounds received while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, 

* April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - CENTCOM announced: "A soldier ... died from 
wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 

* April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - CENTCOM announced: "Two soldiers ... died due 
to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 9."

* April 8, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced: "A Marine ... died from 
wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 

Note the clue that several of these are issued from "Camp Fallujah, Iraq."

This is hardly a complete list of US soldiers killed in Fallujah, and some of 
the aforementioned may not have actually been killed inside that city. However, 
military announcements of the deaths of soldiers in other places mention the 
name of specific cities, whether they occur in Samarra or Tal Afar or elsewhere.

Obviously the US military is being intentionally vague when it comes to their 
admittance of losing American soldiers within the city limits of Fallujah. An 
email I received Monday from one of my sources in Fallujah sheds much light as 
to why this is the case, not only in Fallujah, but throughout Iraq.

"Resistance [in Fallujah] is very active and all the destruction to the city by 
American soldiers did not succeed to stop them. You know the city was totally 
destroyed in the November attack and is still surrounded and closed for anyone 
other than citizens of the city. What is going on now is that the Americans are 
trying to conceal their failure here by not letting anybody in. There were at 
least five explosions today and more than one clash between resistance fighters 
and US soldiers. So all the military procedures, together with the thousands of 
casualties, were in vain. In short, the American Army seems to be losing control
in this country and God knows what they will do in revenge. I expect the worst 
to come."
This article originally posted on Truthout.
Posted by Dahr_Jamail at April 18, 2006 05:39 PM

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