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Old Nov 09, 2004, 04:23 PM
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Views on the “Battle for Fallujah” from around the world

Eyewitness Report From Fallujah: 'Watching tragedy engulf my city' : The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, a journalist in Falluja who reports for the BBC World Service in Arabic.

US air raid on Fallujah clinic kills dozens: witnesses : Dozens of Iraqi people,including at least 20 medics, were killed in a US air raid on a government clinic in the center of Iraq's western city of Fallujah overnight, witnesses said Tuesday.

US forces consolidate positions in Falluja : "There is not a single surgeon in Falluja. We had one ambulance hit by US fire and a doctor wounded," he told Reuters. "There are scores of injured civilians in their homes whom we can't move. A 13-year-old child just died in my hands."

********************************

Sun Tzu wrote in the "Art Of War" that the winning army must feel it has the moral law on their side.

In this case, it appears that the people of Iraq feel the moral law is on their side. They believe they are fighting for their homes and for the lives of loved ones within immediate sight.

Video: Mission Accomplished
BBC TV documentary
Seven months after the end of the war, Sean Langan, armed with just a camera, takes a brave and eventful trip through Iraq, seeking to shed light on what life is like in this newly occupied territory


More to come

HH
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 04:40 PM
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http://www.mnf-iraq.com/media-inform...er/041109f.htm


Quote:
Humanitarian assistance critical part of MNF-I operations

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The Iraq Security Forces and Multi-National Forces-Iraq supported military assaults against terrorists and foreign fighters in Fallujah, dubbed “Operation al-Fajr,” are removing the threat of terrorism, and restoring the rule of law in Fallujah.

Military operations are being conducted in support of and in full partnership with the Iraqi government, as declared by Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi on Nov. 8.

Multi-National Forces also continue to conduct humanitarian and civil military operations to help improve Iraqi lives, as well as the infrastructure, in many cities and regions across Iraq.

The Iraqi government, in coordination with MNF-I, stands ready to coordinate and resolve any large-scale humanitarian issues that might arise during and after operations in Fallujah and other locations.

Officials emphasize, however, that there is no humanitarian crisis at this time.

“The Iraqi government (specifically, the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industry and Minerals), MNF-I, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, the First Marine Expeditionary Force and the international community are working together, and are prepared in the event it becomes necessary,” said a MNF civil military operations official.

Multi-National Forces-Iraq is also prepared to coordinate Non-Governmental Organization movement into the operating environment should it be required.

Besides the resources available in Iraq, humanitarian assistance centers in bordering Jordan and Kuwait are also staffed, equipped and poised to respond and assist in any humanitarian situation.

“Coordination and communication with all parties is on-going,” the MNF official said.

Already demonstrating their commitment to providing medical care for the Iraqi people, Iraq’s 36th Commando Battalion successfully secured the Fallujah General Hospital on Nov. 7, freeing it from terrorist control and ensuring its availability to all citizens.

Out of a population of nearly 300,000, officials are tracking an estimated 150,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around Fallujah.

The United Nations defines IDPs as persons who have been forced to flee their homes suddenly or unexpectedly in large numbers as a result of armed conflict, and who are within the territory of their own country.

Initial reports indicate that these individuals are doing well, and are either staying with relatives, or making use of public buildings or shelters until operations are complete.

The international community continues to assess the situation in Fallujah and across the country, looking for indications of problems, and stands ready to implement the necessary measures to help the people of Fallujah, and other stressed areas.

Although the worldwide media focus is on current Fallujah military operations, MNF-I continues to conduct stability and security operations throughout Iraq, and remains prepared to provide timely, large-scale humanitarian assistance when and if it becomes necessary.

Lastly, Iraqi government and MNF-I sponsored reconstruction work began in the northern part of Thawra, where more than 8,000 Iraqi citizens went back to work on Nov. 6.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 06:37 PM
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"Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict." -- Geneva Conventions IV Article 18

In a series of actions over the weekend, the United States military and Iraqi government destroyed a civilian hospital in a massive air raid, captured the main hospital and prohibited the use of ambulances in the besieged city of Fallujah….”

**************

Aggressive War: Supreme International Crime

The Americans destroyed the Nazzal Emergency Hospital in the center of town. They stormed and occupied the Fallujah General Hospital, and have not agreed to allow doctors and ambulances go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions.

*****************

The U.S. assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah has entered its second day. Thousands of U.S. forces inside the Sunni city are engaged in some of the fiercest urban warfare seen to date in Iraq. We go to Baghdad to speak with Dahr Jamail, one of the few independent reporters in Iraq and we speak with California State University professor As'ad AbuKhalil.

“…Meanwhile, the U.S. continued its targeting of medical facilities in the city. A makeshift clinic that is serving as the main first-aid facility was bombed this morning after U.S. and Iraqi forces took over Fallujah General Hospital early Monday. Doctors inside the besieged city painted a grim picture amid a chronic lack of medical equipment, trained staff, water and electricity.

Hundreds of homes have already been destroyed. The US troops have cut electricity to the center and most houses are without running water. Food shortages are already emerging because stores have been closed for days….”

******************

This is a siege and morally unsupportable IMHO.

HH
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 06:56 PM
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Those sure are independant unbiased sources there HH.


http://www.thetruthaboutiraq.org/media.htm

Quote:
Why don't you get the full story from the media?

The vast majority of the journalists in Iraq are courageous professionals working hard to do their job in extremely adverse circumstances. I know - I lived in a hotel with journalists from a major news network, several nationwide major newspapers, radio networks, newspapers from major cities and numerous freelancers.

But lets face it, nobody ever got a Pulitzer prize for the headline "Things are Going Well."

There are at least four reasons the situation in Iraq gets reported more negatively than is the case:

* The insurgents are very media savvy. They blow something up every day, and that is what makes the news. The journalists have a term for it - the "daily bang-bang." Even if they wanted to report on something else, they still would have to report on the explosion of the day first.
* Western reporters operate under severe restrictions. Beginning in February of this year, after two members of a CNN crew were killed on the way back from covering a story in Hillah, most security organizations recommended to their media clients to stay locked down in their hotels and let Iraqis gather the footage and do the reporting. You'll notice that it is rare to see a Western reporter on the scene of a story. Most do stand-ups - NBC always has the roughly pyramid shaped Babylon Hotel in the background, while CNN uses a blue mosque.

I was in Hillah the day the crew was killed, and it was an awful day. All of us felt terrible and I certainly can't fault anyone for increasing security after that tragedy. However, while they are working very hard, no Iraqi has been a journalist for much more than a year. And prior to May 2003, there were severe penalties for speaking freely, so Iraqis don't even have the advantages of a cub reporter in the USA.
* While Iraq is improving for Iraqis, it is an extremely unpleasant place for Westerners. I've traveled in about thirty countries, and Iraq is about as tough as it gets for a Westerner. Everyday food is pretty bad, and the bad food is awful. It is difficult to get exercise. You are being targeted for death by the insurgents by virtue of where you are born. Social lives, aside from hanging around with your immediate neighbors, are virtually non-existent. Telephone calls to your family are tough to make. I'm not a journalist, but I can see where it doesn't take too long to lose your perspective on the good side of things.
* A small percentage of reporters are actively slanting the story. I don't want to take anything away from the majority of journalists who, as I have said, are extremely brave and doing work under extremely adverse circumstances. However, some percentage - ten percent, twenty percent, thirty percent€ it is difficult to say - is actively slanting their coverage.

For instance, I was at a party one night, chatting with a producer from one of the major networks who I had just met. After about five minutes of normal, mundane conversation, it came out that I am a Republican. She said "You Nazi!" and proceeded to go off on me for about twenty minutes.

Of course, this doesn't color her reporting.

Another woman at that same party, a freelancer for several major magazines, said "The entire goal of my reporting here is to make sure George W. Bush is not re-elected."

Which is not to say that everything is going spectacularly in Iraq and the news media is ignoring it. Taking a country from a totalitarian system to a democracy is a tricky business. It is easy not to get it right, especially not quickly. Germany didn't have elections until four years after WW II ended.

But for every tragic car bomb that kills a dozen Iraqis (and every death is a horrible tragedy), there are 24,999,995 Iraqis who are having a relatively good day - getting married, starting new, higher paying jobs, getting information from outside their country for the first time, buying appliances they could not afford previously, traveling to visit relatives outside their hometown for the first time, practicing their religion as they chose rather than how Saddam decrees.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:11 PM
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Lightning, I would certainly take the sources posted so far over the two sources you posted.

You are joking when stating those sources as un-biased, I am sure.

Note the thread title, I am looking for those who are on the ground or sources other than typical mainstream American corporate news sources.

The most moderate Sunni political group is now calling for an elections boycott due to the siege of Fallujah.

Here is an American news source

Sunni Clerics Call for Elections Boycott

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A powerful group of Sunni Muslim clerics called Tuesday for a boycott of national elections set for late January to protest the U.S.-led attack against the Sunni insurgent stronghold Fallujah…

The association is influential among Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority, and U.S. and Iraqi officials have expressed concern that a lack of Sunni participation would raise question about the legitimacy of the vote….”

HH
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:16 PM
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The Sunni minority (the group that most profited under Saddam) protests the attack on the SUNNI stronghold. Well, imagine that. The group responsible for 90% of the civilian (and virtually 100% of the combat-related Coalition) deaths in Iraq doesn't like being attacked, and has decided to protest. Gonna boycot the elections, huh? Sounds like a good move for a segment of the population that already faced an uphill battle in being represented in the national government.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:21 PM
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'This is now the battle for Iraq'

The rationale for the attack on Falluja seems to be that, with so many rebel fighters holed up in the city, an all-out assault can effectively wipe them out at a stroke. When the rebel leaders are dead, the insurgency in the rest of the country will wither away. But this is a dangerous assumption.

History has shown that it is rarely possible to destroy an insurgency in one decisive military operation. The US argument that the insurgency is being led by foreign mercenaries and a hard core of Ba'athist thugs is not plausible ..."

HH
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge
Well, imagine that. The group responsible for 90% of the civilian (and virtually 100% of the combat-related Coalition) deaths in Iraq doesn't like being attacked, and has decided to protest.
Can you actually back that opinion up?

I sure would like to see/review your sources.

HH
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:36 PM
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http://www.thetruthaboutiraq.org/myths_03.htm
Myths and Facts about Iraq

Iraq myth
Iraqis want the Coalition Forces to leave immediately.

Iraq facts
This one breaks down about half and half - 40% of Iraqis polled want the Coalition Forces to leave immediately, and 45% want the Coalition Forces to stay until an Iraqi government is electediv.iii When looking at this statistic, keep in mind that the population of Iraq is 30% Sunni, and many Sunnis benefited from Saddam's regime.

When the question is poised with competing issues in order of importance, only 6.2% of Iraqis polled list "departure of coalition forces" as their most pressing issue.

iv. Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies poll D9 of Hillah, Diwaniah, Mosul, Basrah, Baghdad and Baquba, May 2004
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:38 PM
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Iraq myth
The insurgency in Iraq is a popular uprising.

Iraq facts
The vast majority of Iraqis want the same thing everyone wants - peace, stability, a say in their government and a better life for their children.

* 60% of Iraqis surveyed believe that the attacks are caused by people from outside Iraq to destabilize their country.
* 86% of Iraqis surveyed say that the attacks are an attempt to divide Iraq and incite civil warxi.
* Democracy offers Iraq the hope of peace, stability and a better life, while the people attacking the coalition forces offer only chaos and prolong internal troubles in Iraqxii.
- 72% of Iraqis agree with this
- 19% disagree
* 61% of Baghdadis say that ousting Saddam Hussein is worth whatever hardship they are enduringxiii.
* This increases to 74% among the Shi'ia, who were most oppressed by Saddamxiv.
* Between April and June, public support for radical Shi°ia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr dropped from 80% to 50%.iii.

A very tiny group of people - some of them Iraqis, many of them foreigners - are working hard to deny the vast majority of Iraqis their right and their desire to a representative government.

xi. Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies poll D6 of Baghdad, Musul, Basrah, Hilla, Karbala, and Ramady conducted from 20th February to the 1st of March. 1340 sample, ± 4 % margin of error.
xii. Independent Institute for Administrative and Civil Society Studies, fieldwork conducted December 11 and December 17, 2003. Sample size 1531 in six cities: Baghdad, Basrah, Mosul, Hillah, Diwania and Ramadi.
xiii. Gallup poll of Baghdad, September 2003
xiv. Gallup poll of Baghdad, September 2003
xv. Independent Institute for Administrative and Civil Society Studies D8, fieldwork conducted May 27th through June 11, 2004; Sample 1920 interviews in 18 governorates; margin of error of +/- 2.4% & Independent Institute for Administrative and Civil Society Studies, fieldwork conducted April 21 and May 1 in Baquba, Hilla, Diwaniyah, Mosul, Basrah, Baghdad.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 07:44 PM
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http://www.messopotamian.blogspot.com/



Monday, November 08, 2004
Hi,

And you know why it is the IP who are the most favorite targets. It is because they are soft targets, easier than the better armed ING for instance. The whole concept of the police must be changed in these times of emergency

# posted by Alaa : 10:52 PM
Comments (28)
Hi,

The killers who are loose in Dialla province this morning have murdered policemen in cold blood and distributed leaflets warning the population to stay away from government offices and schools; imagine this: schools! So what do they want: to stop life altogether? Their spite is driving them berserk. They want to murder everybody and everything. What do they mean: schools? That is very significant in understanding the psychology of these creatures, who by the way are the very same people of the old security forces of Saddam; the perpetrators of the mass graves.

I want to draw the attention of all the people of the world to the mentality of these, our home grown monsters. What they mean by “schools” is a direct threat against children, Iraqi children; because, children are the dearest things in the world; because if one can withstand all sorts of tortures and even death, still the thought of harm to one’s children is something unbearable. That, they know very well and therefore they want to use it and it is typical of these animals. That’s how they used to twist our arms before, for so many years, and they are at it again. It is not fear of death that used keep us subjugated. In fact we learnt something terrible and very real. Death is not the worst thing that could happen to you; it is not even in the “top league” of “worst things”. And they have hurt children before, and have tortured children before, and killed children before. The spite, hatred and cruelty of this race is something beyond the comprehension of normal human beings. And it is clear that the existence of the normal Iraqi human being and these is mutually exclusive. It is either “them or us”, as you say.

For the valiant soldiers doing battle in Falujah today: like the medieval knights, you have engraved on your shields severed heads of kidnapped victims, murdered children, the hundreds of thousands of the dwellers of mass graves. You are the instruments of the Lord’s retribution. Have no mercy on this vermin, they do not deserve any.

God bless you and protect you for you are doing his work.

Salaam


# posted by Alaa : 10:52 PM
Comments (35)
Hi,

Of course the terrorists have to be dealt with in this way. They are heartless murderers and their hatred of the people is attested for by their behavior during the past and by their actions after the fall of their regime; the beheadings, the cold blooded murder of policemen and children etc. etc. Anybody who thinks that a soft approach can succeed with these zombies does not know anything. The only problem is how to protect your back when you are attacking. They are hitting hard in other areas. The notion that you can put poor policemen in normal police stations or have them standing in the streets as in normal times is quite irresponsible and very cruel to these poor youth, when these callous gangs are out to murder and hunt them like lame ducks. The police must be heavily armed and heavily defended. Police stations have to be guarded as military garrisons, since they are the target of large scale attacks, especially in the hotspots, including Baghdad. To continue exposing the IP to these daily pogroms will soon lead to the disintegration of this force. The Government and the MNF must listen and act before it is too late.

Salaam


# posted by Alaa : 10:52 PM
Comments (6)
Hi,

I am afraid if these massacres against the poorly armed policemen continue at the same rate in the Sunni areas including Baghdad, then we may see the disintegration of this force in these areas, this would be desastrous especially in Baghdad.



# posted by Alaa : 10:52 PM
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Head
Lightning, I would certainly take the sources posted so far over the two sources you posted.
Heh heh. BBC, China.com, Rueters, Democracy Now!, The NewStandard, and... The Guardian?!

Isn't The Guardian the newspaper that talked their readers into sending the anti-Bush letters to the voters in Ohio?

These aren't exactly unbiased sources.

Daren
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Head
Can you actually back that opinion up?

I sure would like to see/review your sources.

HH
You probably should've checked out Sarge's occupation before coming off with so much bluster.

I've spoken to Marines who had just returned from Iraq. Don't believe everything you read.

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Old Nov 09, 2004, 08:51 PM
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If a military force occupies for military purposes (resupply, storing arms, command and control) and mosque, church, school, hospital etc. then THEY have broken the Geneva Convention and that place is consider to be a legal target by the same.
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Old Nov 09, 2004, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Head
Can you actually back that opinion up?

I sure would like to see/review your sources.

HH
What I suspect you actually mean is that you'd like to have me post a source that you could then attack as unreliable, as it would not support your version of events.

In order to see/review my sources, do as I did. Spend 3 months in a former eastern block country training the Free Iraqi Forces. Spend 1 week in Habaniya (forgive spelling errors, as I'm not going to spend the time looking up a map of Iraq - I've been to them, just didn't see any english language street signs). Participate in the assault on A Sammawah. Spend 3 weeks in Karbala (including the week of the big pilgrimage to the mosque where Mohammad's Bro-in-law is buried) Spend two weeks subdueing Fullugia (it was damned quiet when me and my paratrooper brothers left it). Move to Al Hillah for 5 days. Spend a week (maybe 10 days) in An Najaf. Go to Diwaniya. Relax for a few days. Move to Baghdad. Spend 6 months. Come home, high-five the wife for 6 days. Drive her to the departure airfield, so she can do her 7 months in Iraq (An Najaf, DiWaniya).

I confirmed my impressions with her. There you go, two sources. Amazing how different the soldiers on the ground (nearly universally) see the same events reported by the strictly un-biased, non-left-leaning media. Some on this forum remind me of all those early-twenty-something couples that have all those great child-rearing theories, but no actual children yet.
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