Bring 'em on, eh?ABC News article
Anyone left in Falluja is now considered a "rebel", no doubt. If you were a Fallujan, after the past two weeks of seeing everyone shot on sight, and hearing how they also shoot and kill the wounded, I don't think you would wait for the the troops to open fire on you once they get inside your home either, not if you had a gun, and apparently every Fallujan home has at least one. The report says they have finished "clearing" half the city in their house-to-house operation. Mission Not-Quite-Accomplished.
And the Sunnis boycotting the elections - will they be considered insurgents as well?
Yes, after telling the civilians in Falluja to stay inside their houses and they would be safe.
Oh, you mean it isn't foreign fighters? You mean the very Iraqis we claim to be training to help us "stabilize" the country are fighting us? Oh, no, I'm sure you don't mean that.
Here's a look at it from Jamaica...
If fewer people made it out of the city than claimed, look at it this way....there will be less job competition for rebuilding. Continue reading 'The battle for Falluja' in the Jamaican Observer.
And, the related stories....
Elections may be held without certain problematic sectors voting, and more troops are going to be staying longer, and possibly more troops sent over.
Nicely done. Very nice indeed. Mission accomplished.
Most Americans don't know diddly squat about Falluja or Iraq. (And that includes me, although I have learned a lot.) All indicators are that more foreigners of nearly every country know more about Americans' own history than they do! Good thing we have heavy weaponry and nukes backing up our ignorance.
Courtesy In These Times
Star Tribune article
Of course it stands across the river and has been roadblocked from the city and used as a U.S. military base for a week, and the Iraqi Red Crescent (parallel to Red Cross) was (apparently) only allowed into the city with food, water and medicine yesterday. (Although the quoted Bloomberg report is still claiming they have no access. And this article as well says they were refused admittance and turned back Monday - which is today, so perhaps the city's inhabitants never did get any aid.)
"The final fight." And I suppose the Iraqi police, who have been deserting in droves and/or turning to fight with the resistance, are going to set up shop in Falluja after this final fight and maintain order? Or maybe it's going to be a unit from the Iraqi National Guard, which purportedly is mostly Kurds, who take up the job of keeping the peace there?
Well, whatever, once we leave off the daily airstrikes.....oh wait. Never mind.
Now there's an appropriate translation in names for an epicenter of war. However, I thought the masterminding was supposed to be coming from Falluja, which was supposedly why we have to flatten it. WTF?
Star Tribune article Star Tribune article
On to Mosul...Herald Sun - Australia - article MSNBC article
Well, it's early yet.
US doctors treat a blindfolded Iraqi prisoner's broken leg.
Yes, I think one of those tactics was to broadcast for weeks before the invasion that it was coming so that many of the leaders and other "bad guys" could get on out of the city, along with half the population. That was helpful. Another tactic of choking off food and water supplies and cutting off hospital access was helpful in that it debilitated many of the people still occupying the city. A third tactic of laying down daily airstrikes ahead of the ground forces' entry to bomb to rubble those who remained was also quite helpful. Goes a lot quicker if most of the people are gone.
Well, that's a rich admission. We're not after the guy we continue to insist is the mastermind of all the attacks across the whole of Iraq. Perhaps because he doesn't exist. And perhaps, if he does and he was in Falluja (something the Iraqis have been denying ever since they were first attacked), the previous weeks of warnings without blocking off the city made it a stroll in the park for him to get out. Eh? Do Americans never wise up to this military drivel? Do the military commanders and officers believe it themselves? I know some don't.
But that doesn't seem to prevent us from announcing "mission accomplished" and having all the "reporters" file stories that Falluja is a done deal.
Another "pocket" to be dealt with.
Score another one for Halliburton.
They may be a little "ahead of schedule" on picking leaders, too. (Something I'm sure is going to go over big with the Fallujans whose sole purpose since the U.S. invaded Iraq is to remain free of occupying leadership.) Because, rosy reports of "mission accomplished" notwithstanding, the fighting in Falluja is anything but over.Aljazeera article BBC article Aljazeera article
Keep in mind that the hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, is not the destination of lightly wounded soldiers.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Iraq...I Africa article NY Times article
Middle East expert Juan Cole has today's AP roundup....:
...and news from Mosul in yesterday's post:
Little Fallujan girls
Photo courtesy Aljazeera
Update 3:45pm:ABC is reporting today that the Red Crescent was permitted to go through.
Here's the Reuters report:
Iraq War vet speaks out
I'm sorry, but I have to stop right here and interrupt. That's not a cultural miscue. That's insane. Surely there are military policy makers and trainers in the Marines who are old enough to recognize the American Black Panthers' most famous gesture. Surely there are some who have seen this gesture used around the globe. How can the Marines encourage their troops to use such an obviously well-known gesture of solidarity for another purpose in communicating in a foreign land? What the hell is wrong with an open-faced palm? Now that's a universal gesture that means stop. Are the Marines so precious they think the world should know their own little club signals?
There is just so much wrong with that. The more I read about our military, the more amazed I am that they manage to survive.
Read the rest of this incredible interview yourself here.
...or do what you want...you will anyway.
Something tells me the "insurgents" are far more organized than the U.S. military would like to believe. Maybe the belief in Allah's rewards to martyrs makes it possible for the resistance to lead the Marines around by the nose, spreading out and slipping back in, spreading out again, each group waiting its turn to play its part, each member willing to wait patiently for the time to die in glory for country and Allah. Police volunteers patiently biding their time within the ranks of Allawi's U.S.-sponsored brigades and then "betraying" them when the time is ripe. On the other hand, maybe they just get scared when the fighting approaches. Yeah, that's probably it. After all, we know the insurgents don't stand and fight like real men.
Well, that is one bit of better, if not good, news.
And how handy for the possibly one-legged, possibly dead, possibly non-existent, but certainly U.S-assisted in that he was let go three previous times, Zarqawi that the U.S. announced its big attack on Falluja for days before moving in, permitting anyone who wanted to get out plenty of time to do so.
Update 11/14: The permission for Iraq's Red Crescent to deliver humanitarian aid may have been a premature report.
Two of three Fallujan clinics have been bombed, the brand new central hospital flattened, and the only remaining hospital taken over by the U.S. Marines at the outset of "Operation Phantom Fury".Asia Times articleOlympian article
Not a lot about that in the mainstream media. Or this, which comes from Occupation Watch (probably raghead propaganda, eh?):
Ooops. Should have never admitted it. Oh well, we don't care.