November 13, 2005

Fallujah, Lies, and Banned Weapons

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It was just over a year ago - November 7, 2004 - when I wrote Pray for Falluja. U.S. troops had cordoned off the city preparing for an all out attack. How many were left in the city? How many escaped? How many died? A year later, the numbers are still not available. Falluja had been ordered to turn over al-Zarqawi. However, it was reported that he was not in the city, and there was a strong possibility he had never been. With no Zarqawi to turn over, the bombs dropped, mortars raged, all of Falluja declared a kill zone.

It had been reported before the invasion of Falluja that it was a city of 500,000. It was then decreased to 300,000; then to 250,000. It was reported that all but 50-60,000 had left the city.(see Shifting Realities in Fallujah). It was reported at that time that the U.S. was using prohibited weapons in Falluja (and elsewhere). Those reports were denied by the U.S. military.

In June of 2005, it was revealed that the U.S. had indeed used a "napalm-like" substance in Iraq. In fact, the British House of Commons demanded a full statement, and demanded to know why this information had been withheld.

Now, the use of napalm (or its siblings) and white phosphorus are back in the news. Largely due to a film "Fallujah, the hidden massacre" by Sigfrido Ranucci. This film is available on line. You may download it in WMV format or as a bittorrent file. The film is illuminating in a variety of regards, but it seems to clearly document the use of both chemical weapons and white phosphorus against the remaining population of Fallujah.

The only people still denying the use of these weapons is the U.S. military.

There was a media blackout of the invasion of Falluja - typical of most engagements since the original "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq. There have been consistent reports of the use of prohibited weapons and attacks on civilian populations. The response from the U.S. is also monotonously the same - only insurgents are killed (with a few accidents), the incident is under investigation, we don't use prohibited weapons. LIES!

Over and over again we hear lies: from the original case for war, to the pursuit of that war, to the use of torture and violations of the Geneva conventions, to the use of prohibited weapons. How many lies must we hear to know that everything is a lie?

I am a citizen of the United States. The government acts in my name, if not with my permission. The blood and lies stain me, and every citizen of the United States. Today, the atrocities and the lies continue - in our names. How long can this be allowed to continue?

Will it continue until the United States gets the Iraq it wants with Chalabi at the helm and permanent U.S. bases to launch on the Middle East and Southern Asia? Will it continue for the launching of yet another regime change, followed by another, followed by another until all the land lies in ruin and chaos? How many lies and how many dead?

Even as I write this Bush denies torture is a policy while Cheney pressures Congress to allow secret facilities that utilize torture to be written into law. Is this the democracy we bring? Is this really what we want the government to do in our name?

As questions slowly bubble to the surface about events that were available up to four years ago, we hear them as if they just were discovered yesterday. Bush claims that the "new" information is creating a "revisionist history" of the knowledge going into the invasion of Iraq. What a claim from an administration that consistently revises history. The only problem is that the information we have is not new. The story of Fallujah is only one example of that.

It is easy for some to quibble about agendas and the necessities of war. It is easy for the corporate media to not cover or to disinform. It is easy to keep the question marks hanging and the news blackouts in place. It is being perfected into a fine art in Iraq. Do you think that art would not be practiced in the United States.

Recommended Reading
Fallujah:The Flame of Atrocity by Chris Floyd of Empire Burlesque.

US Army Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon at the Daily Kos.

US Forces 'Used Chemical Weapons' During Assault on City of Fallujah, Popham, Independent, 11/09/05

BBC and Fallujah: War Crimes and Media Lies Media coverup on the use of White Phosphorous bombs. Zamparini, CRG, 11/10/05.

Iraq: Italian TV Alleges U.S. Used Chemical Weapons in Fallujah. AKI, 11/13/05.

Posted by rowan at November 13, 2005 11:48 AM | Printable Version | [eMail this article!] |
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Crd Lorraine Denicourt