From the November 2004 Idaho Observer:

Lame ducks declare open season on Fallujah

The first clue that the Bush administration's siege on Fallujah is political and not directly associated with national security is how it publicly announced that it waited until after the election was over to begin an assault that had been telegraphed for months in advance. It is difficult to report what is actually happening in Fallujah, particularly because the information coming out of the region is so tightly controlled.

We do know that thousands of people are without food, water and electricity. We know that civilian casualties are extremely high and that the town is littered with the bodies of dead men, women and children non-combatants and that the "insurgents" are mostly men from Fallujah who are doing everything in their power to protect their homes, their families and their city from an invading army.

Americans who support the mass murder of Iraqis, armed and defenseless alike, must understand that the world is becoming very angry at the Bush administration for its continued aggression in the Middle East.

Why? Because nearly everyone on the planet (except for a few million Americans) seem to understand a few key points: 1) 9/11 was an inside job. 2) No evidence links Osama bin Laden to the tragic events of that day. 3) There is no "terror" connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

On that information alone, U.S. military operations in Afghanistan are illegal and U.S. military operations in Iraq are illegal. Further, the Bush administration's fallback position to justify an invasion of Iraq was in response to "intelligence" that said Saddam had been stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction"-which turned out to be a lie.

So, what do the handful of compassionate, independent thinkers in America do during a time when the leaders of their nation are going around the world mass-murdering innocent civilians while mocking the men nobly attempting to defend their homes and families by calling them "insurgents"?

We keep doing what we are doing: We state our opinions publicly, we pass out literature and we work toward and pray for the day to come when the men and women of this country who took up arms against these people will lay them down and return home where they belong.

compiled by The Idaho Observer

There is no reason for The IO to give column inches to Pentagon-approved news coming out of besieged Fallujah. Except for a couple of stories from the BBC that paint a slightly bloodier picture, the U.S.-filtered news out of Fallujah would have us believe that "coalition" soldiers are liberating the Iraqi people from "insurgents" who are akin to armed gangs of roving street criminals.

From approved reports, we are to believe that civilian casualties, while inevitable, are minimal due to the careful manner in which the U.S. is proceeding to liberate the people of Fallujah.

On Nov. 13, the U.S. directed an airstrike on a hospital. It was totally destroyed. No casualty reports are available at this time.

Since the siege began at least 400 Iraqi civilians have been killed. The numbers of wounded are in the thousands and even the most basic of medical supplies are reportedly nonexistent.

In the absence of medical supplies, one local doctor reportedly sterilized surgical instruments in boiling water to remove a bullet from the back of a 12-year-old girl.

Other common non combat-related injuries, broken bones and snake bites, for instance, are proving fatal as no doctors or supplies are available to city residents.

Fallujah is a town of approximately 300,000. All Fallujans who were able left the city before the siege began Nov. 6. Estimates on numbers of Fallujans who remain range from 60,000 to 150,000. U.S. marines, who have taken fire from carefully-positioned snipers or have been surprised by "insurgents" lying in wait, have altered their combat tactics.

According to Marine Corporal Will Porter, "I'm supposed to shoot into the houses before our troops go in," Porter told a reporter for Agence France-Presse.

As far as U.S. invaders are concerned, all remaining Fallujans-women and children included-are the enemy. House-to-house operations no longer give any consideration to whether or not civilians are in harm's way.

Former Marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey's comments indicate that the U.S. military's disregard for the safety of civilian non-combatants is not new. Massey claims that as early as March, 2003, he witnessed (and in some cases participated in) the killing of innocent civilians. "During a single 48-hour period, he [Massey] says he saw as many as 30 civilians killed by U.S. gunfire at highway checkpoints," reported Jeff Riedel.

Massey is one of a growing number of Americans returning from Iraq who are becoming outspoken critics of the ongoing U.S. military occupation of Iraq.

U.S. deems Arab press a military target

Prior to commencing the attack, Fox News' Brit Hume reported that the well-respected Arab news agency al Jazeera would be targeted. In an interview with a retired general, a satellite image of Fallujah was shown. According to reporter Jeff Hook, the general pointed at a specific point on the image while describing al Jazeera as a "dirty little propaganda machine for the insurgents."

He added that "last time they showed pictures of civilian casualties; that's not going to happen this time."

The "last time" to which the general referred was last April. The U.S. was internationally exposed by al Jazeera for its illegal behavior. So upset by unauthorized real images coming out of their theatre of operations that a condition of cease fire was the removal of al Jazeera reporters from the area.

"American forces declared al-Jazeera must leave before any progress is made to settle the Fallujah stand-off," al-Jazeera director general Wadah Khanfar told April 9, 2004, citing sources close to the Iraqi Governing Council.

Hook commented that Hume showed no emotion or concern that the U.S. fully intended to execute fellow journalists who have a history of reporting facts from the field that contradict those coming from reporters "embedded" by the military.

It seems ironic that the U.S. claims to be liberating Fallujah so that a "democratic" form of government can be established there and the first casualty of its "democratic" regime is freedom of the press.

When al Jazeera is prevented from reporting news from Fallujah from the inside, there will be virtually no independent reporting of the events taking place there. All information coming out of Fallujah will essentially be censored by the U.S. military before reaching the public.

U.S. blocks humanitarian aid to besieged city

Iraq's Red Crescent, an offshoot of the International Red Cross, claims in reports as recent as Nov. 12 that virtually no humanitarian aid has been allowed into Fallujah since the U.S. assault began shortly after the U.S. elections.

Reporter Steve Negus commented that "the Red Crescent had assembled stocks of food and medical supplies, but has not yet been able to get a convoy through the tight U.S. cordon around the city.

"The Muslim Scholars' Board also organised a convoy [Nov. 11] but representatives of the organisation were uncertain whether it had arrived."

A foundation of lies

The Bush administration reports that the assault began after interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi gave the "OK" for a U.S.-led assault to clear the city of "insurgents."

First of all, Allawi is a puppet of the U.S. and has no political power in Iraq beyond what is given to him by the U.S. military. To believe otherwise is hopelessly naive and not even worthy of consideration.

That means the publicly stated justification for the assault, a request from a statesman representing the interests of Iraq, is a thinly veiled lie-like all other Bush administration justifications for our presence in the Arab nation.

Allawi's 75-year-old cousin Ghazi was reportedly kidnapped in Baghdad with his wife and daughter Nov. 9. Ansar al-Jihad, a militant Islamic group, threatened to kill them within 48 hours unless Allawi called off the assault on Fallujah.

As of Nov. 15, the two women have been released but Ghazi's fate is unknown at this time.

Hundreds of Arabs who have been working with the U.S. in the occupation of Iraq have been kidnapped. Some have been held for ransom, others are just being held and others have been publicly executed.

The real agenda

If we can believe that the current assault on Fallujah was not initiated at the request of Allawi; if we can believe that the U.S. is not "liberating" the Fallujans they view as enemies, then we must suspect that the true intent of this siege has not been publicly disclosed.

The words of Massey give us insight into the real U.S. agenda in Fallujah. He describes the initial March, 2003 invasion as a one-sided slaughter-the world's strongest military confronting a disarmed and comparatively defenseless country that had been devastated by a decade of sanctions.

"You have to look at what was the overall goal of the mission," said Massey. "That was pretty evident when eight months before we left to go to Kuwait, the Marines were training to shut down and take over the Ar Rumaylah oil fields. We had detailed schematics and terrain models of all the oil fields outside Basra, and once we took care of those, all that was left was the ride into Baghdad."

Americans may still be fooled by Bush administration propaganda, but the Iraqi people are not. "They were witnessing their loved ones being murdered by U.S. Marines. It's kind of hard to tell someone they are being liberated when they just saw their child shot or lost their husband or grandmother," Massey observed.

Massey commented that the lack of compassion and humanitarian aid military commanders have afforded the Iraqi people really illustrate the true purpose of the war.

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