War : Iraq : Jamail : Fallujah Revisited


Richard Moore

From: •••@••.•••
Subject: Iraq Dispatches: Fallujah Revisited

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailiraq.com **
** Website by http://jeffpflueger.com **

    November 14, 2005

      Fallujah Revisited

Nearly a year after they occurred, a few of the war crimes
committed in Fallujah by members of the US military have
gained the attention of some major media outlets
(excluding, of course, any of the corporate media outlets
in the US).

Back on November 26, 2004, in a story I wrote for the
Inter Press Service titled 'Unusual Weapons' Used in
hard_news/000137.php>, refugees from that city described,
in detail, various odd weapons used in Fallujah. In
addition, they provided detailed descriptions such as
"pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that
burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns."

This was also mentioned in a web log I'd penned nine days
before, on November 17, 2004, named Slash and Burn
000122.php> where one of the descriptions of these same
weapons by the same refugee from Fallujah said, "These
exploded on the ground with large fires that burnt for
half an hour. They used these near the train tracks. You
could hear these dropped from a large airplane and the
bombs were the size of a tank. When anyone touched those
fires, their body burned for hours."

On December 9th of 2004 I posted a gallery of photos
set_albumName=album28>, many of which are included in the
new RAI television documentary about incendiary weapons
having been used in Fallujah.

Like the torture "scandal" of Abu Ghraib that for people
in the west didn't become "real" until late April of 2004,
Iraqis and journalists in Iraq who engaged in actual
reporting knew that US and British forces were torturing
Iraqis from nearly the beginning of the occupation, and
continue to do so to this day.

All of this makes me wonder how much longer it will take
for other atrocities to come to light. Even just
discussing Fallujah, there are many we can choose from.
While I'm not the only journalist to have reported on
these, let me draw your attention to just a few things
that I've recorded which took place in Fallujah during the
November, 2004 massacre.

In my story "Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in
the Kill Zone"
hard_news/000145.php> published on December 3, 2004 there
are many instances of war crimes which will, hopefully, be
granted the attention they deserve.

Burhan Fasa'a, an Iraqi journalist who worked for the
Lebanese satellite TV station, LBC and who was in Fallujah
for nine days during the most intense combat, said
Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not
speak English.

"Americans did not have interpreters with them," Fasa'a
said, "so they entered houses and killed people because
they didn't speak English. They entered the house where I
was with 26 people, and [they] shot people because [the
people] didn't obey [the soldiers'] orders, even just
because the people couldn't understand a word of English."
He also added, "Soldiers thought the people were rejecting
their orders, so they shot them. But the people just
couldn't understand them."

A man named Khalil, who asked not to use his last name for
fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed the shooting of
civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to
escape the city.

"I watched them roll over wounded people in the street
with tanks," said Kassem Mohammed Ahmed, a resident of
Fallujah. "This happened so many times."

Other refugees recounted similar stories. "I saw so many
civilians killed there, and I saw several tanks roll over
the wounded in the streets," said Aziz Abdulla, 27 years
old, who fled the fighting last November. Another
resident, Abu Aziz, said he also witnessed American
armored vehicles crushing people he believes were alive.

Abdul Razaq Ismail, another resident who fled Fallujah,
said: "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could
bury them because of the American snipers. The Americans
were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near

A man called Abu Hammad said he witnessed US troops
throwing Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates River. Abu Hammed
and others also said they saw Americans shooting unarmed
Iraqis who waved white flags.

Believing that American and Iraqi forces were bent on
killing anyone who stayed in Fallujah, Hammad said he
watched people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to
escape the siege. "Even then the Americans shot them with
rifles from the shore," he said. "Even if some of them
were holding a white flag or white clothes over their
heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot."

Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein reported
witnessing similar events. After running out of basic
necessities and deciding to flee the city at the height of
the US-led assault, Hussein ran to the Euphrates.

"I decided to swim," Hussein told colleagues at the AP,
who wrote up the photographer's harrowing story, "but I
changed my mind after seeing US helicopters firing on and
killing people who tried to cross the river."

Hussein said he saw soldiers kill a family of five as they
tried to traverse the Euphrates, before he buried a man by
the riverbank with his bare hands.

"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could
still see some US snipers ready to shoot anyone who might
swim," Hussein recounted. "I quit the idea of crossing the
river and walked for about five hours through orchards."

A man named Khalil, who asked not to use his last name for
fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed the shooting of
civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to
escape the city. "They shot women and old men in the
streets," he said. "Then they shot anyone who tried to get
their bodies."

"There are bodies the Americans threw in the river,"
Khalil continued, noting that he personally witnessed US
troops using the Euphrates to dispose of Iraqi dead. "And
anyone who stayed thought they would be killed by the
Americans, so they tried to swim across the river. Even
people who couldn't swim tried to cross the river. They
drowned rather than staying to be killed by the
Americans," said Khalil.

Why should blatant lying from the military come as a
surprise? Even back in November of 2003, I wrote about how
US forces claimed to have been attacked by, and then
killed 48 Fedayin Saddam in Samarra. Then magically,
overnight, they raised the number to 54. Upon
investigation of this, I found that 8 civilians had been
killed in the city, and wrote about it here
and posted photos of it here

However, why should any of us be surprised at this? When
we have an administration which led the country into an
illegal war of aggression and continues to lie about it,
events like torturing and the use of incendiary weapons on
civilians are small change.


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