From the January 2005 Idaho Observer:

U.S. claims victory in Fallujah

Hostilities persist, the city has been destroyed, 37,000 innocent civilians are dead, 2,000 "insurgents" are still at large, an indefinite police-state occupation is planned, survivors are outraged and the world is horrified.

by The Idaho Observer

The U.S. is not winning the war in Iraq. Soon after President Bush declared "Mission accomplished" May 1, 2003, military analysts began predicting that Iraqis and their allies allowed the U.S. and its overwhelming firepower to take Baghdad and waited to fight another day. The predictions were correct and now seasoned and innovative Iraqi fighters defending their homeland are picking off members of the primarily American occupational forces one at a time. The assault on Fallujah, a desperate attempt on the part of the White House to strike fear in the hearts of "insurgents," seems to have backfired: The deaths of an estimated 37,000 civilians and Dresden-type destruction of an entire city has increased opposition to U.S. occupation of Iraq among Iraqi combatants, and prompted soldiers from other Arab nations to join the Iraqi resistance. On top of all that, alliances are being formed among the nations of the world and their purpose is not difficult to discern: Putting an end to U.S. aggression.

If you have access to the Internet, just type "Fallujah destruction photos" into a search engine. Then prepare to see dozens of pictures of badly injured babies, toddlers, young children, old men and old women. The lucky ones are dead; the rest are suffering in refugee camps.

While you are looking at the pictures wondering "what these people did to deserve to have their homes and bodies destroyed," read the reports from journalists who witnessed the destruction happening in Fallujah since last Nov. 8.

Unless you seek to find what has been happening in Fallujah, you will never know. There is a virtual media blackout of the death and destruction there; curiously, you do not have to go out in search of tsunami-related death and destruction.

When the U.S. leaves and is unable to control the release of stories and images of what has been done to that city and its people, the world will be in for a shock.

Though the city has been reduced to rubble, the fighting continues. As best we can determine, the longer U.S. soldiers stay, the more resistance they face.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld intended to destroy Fallujah to break the spirit of Iraqi resistance throughout the country—like the Allies broke the spirit of Germany by firebombing Dresden and murdering some 300,000 refugees and non-combatants. It didn’t work this time so now he is planning to train "death squads"—bands of ruthless rovers who systematically murder everything that moves. U.S. advisors trained death squads in Central America during the 80s when the U.S. government was fueling revolution in Nicaragua as a cover for smuggling cocaine out of the region to make money to buy arms for Iran to remove the Ayatollah Khoemeni.

Following are U.S. plans for Fallujah at this time—as best as can be determined from reports:

* All but five roads to and from Fallujah will be blocked off; the five will be checkpoints and all movement in or out of the city will be restricted.

* All passers must have ID that is obtained after a retinal scan; U.S. soldiers will photograph and fingerprint passers who have proper ID—those without proper ID or who do not cooperate will be shot.

* Fallujans will wear their ID, complete with their address, in plain sight. Those who do not or cannot explain where they come from or where they are going will be detained and possibly executed on the spot.

* No private cars will be allowed in the city; Fallujans will park outside the city and buses will take them to their homes.

* Only those cleared through U.S. intelligence will be allowed to work construction/cleanup and they will work in brigades supervised by armed U.S. soldiers.

* No stories or images will be allowed out of the city unless approved by military command.

When the people begin to return, it will be six months to a year before basic utilities return to the city that not too long ago had modern amenities. That the U.S. would propose occupying the post-siege Fallujah in this fashion is an indication that no victory has been won here; that the U.S. will not allow the people to use cars and trucks to transport materials or haul rubble is a perfect example of the absurdity of the entire mission—and a window into how the Bush administration really feels about the people it claims to be liberating from a ruthless tyrant.

By its own numbers, Fallujah has not been "pacified." U.S. intelligence estimated their were 5,000 hostiles in the city; 1,200 have been reported killed and 2,000 captured. That means a couple thousand remain.

What the U.S. intends to administrate in Fallujah, when it begins allowing the people back into their destroyed city, is a total surveillance police state for the foreseeable future.

Pepe Escobar of Asia Times Online commented "…either ‘American gulag’ for those who enjoy Stalinist imagery or ‘concentration camp’ for those who prefer the Nazi version of the same. But maybe we should just call it a plain old police (city) state."

At this time there is no exit strategy. There is, however, a growing sentiment among citizens, scholars, editors, politicians and military personnel to withdraw our troops from Iraq now.

TV-watching Americans prefer suspending

Muslim civil liberties

Cornell University conducted a poll released Dec. 17, 2004, that found 44 percent of Americans believed the civil liberties of Muslim Americans should be restricted. The poll indicated that Republicans and devoutly religious people were more apt to restrict Muslim civil liberties than Democrats and non-religious people.

Also noted was that people who paid attention to TV news were more likely to fear terrorist attacks and, as a result, are more supportive of restricting Muslim civil liberties.

Twenty-two percent favored racial profiling to identify potential terrorist threats. And 29 percent thought undercover agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations to keep tabs on their activities and fund-raising.

Cornell student researchers questioned 715 people in the nationwide telephone poll conducted this fall. The margin of error was 3.6 percentage points.

James Shanahan, an associate professor of communications who helped organize the survey, said the results indicate "the need for continued dialogue about issues of civil liberties" in a time of war.

While researchers said they were not surprised by the overall level of support for curtailing civil liberties, they were startled by the correlation with religion and exposure to television news.

"We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding," Shanahan said.

Forty-eight percent of those polled believe that Muslim Americans should not have their civil liberties restricted in any way.

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