EMAIL PAGE FIVE
COLUMN 105, MAY 1, 2004
(Copyright © 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist)
WAS FALLUJAH GOING TO BE ANOTHER LIDICE?
[To avenge the assassination of Nazi Chief SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinherd Heydrich during World War II, the Germans murdered the entire population of the the Czechoslovakian village of Lidice, including men, women, children and babies. The Germans then burned the village and razed it, leaving nothing but an empty field. Even the cemetery and its headstones were leveled. To avenge the murder and mutilation of four American contract workers in Iraq's Fallujah, were America's marines going to do the same with that town? We received the following email from Allan Winans.]
Subject: Fw: Re: Dispatches from Iraq...
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 16:28:42 -0700
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Brad=20Evans?= email@example.com
To: allan winans firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 23:24:46 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Despatches
Please find enclosed an
e-mail that I am receiving regularly from a freelance journalist who is
apparently visiting places in Iraq devastated by this occupation by the western
To join the mailing list,
the website address is shown at the bottom of the e-mail account written by Dahr.
--- The NewStandard
wrote: [Editor's note: We are collaborating with Dahr on a comprehensive,
hard news report about what is happening in Fallujah, and what Iraqis are saying
about it. That should be posted sometime Monday.]
Civilians in Falluja
Weblog Entry by Dahr Jamail, The NewStandard
I knew there was very
little media coverage in Falluja, and the entire city had been sealed and was
suffering from collective punishment in the form of no water or electricity for
several days now. With only two journalists there that I'd read and heard
reports from, I felt pulled to go and witness the atrocities that were surely
With the help of some
friends, we joined a small group of internationals to ride a large bus there
carrying a load of humanitarian supplies, and with the hopes of bringing some of
the wounded out prior to the next American onslaught, which was due to kick off
at any time now.
Even leaving Baghdad now is
dangerous. The military has shut down the main highway between here and Jordan.
The highway, even while just outside Baghdad, is desolate and littered with
destroyed fuel tanker trucks---their smoldering shells littered the highway. We
rolled past a large M-1 Tank that was still burning under an overpass which had
just been hit by the resistance.
At the first U.S.
checkpoint the soldiers said they'd been there for 30 hours straight. After
being searched, we continued along bumpy dirt roads, winding our way through
parts of Abu Ghraib, steadily but slowly making our way towards besieged Falluja.
While we were passing one of the small homes in Abu Ghraib, a small child yelled
at the bus, "We will be mujahedeen until we die!"
We slowly worked our way
back onto the highway. It was strewn with smoking fuel tankers, destroyed
military tanks and armored personnel carriers, and a lorry that had been hit
that was currently being looted by a nearby village, people running to and from
the highway carrying away boxes. It was a scene of pure devastation, with barely
anyother cars on the road.
Once we turned off the
highway, which the U.S. was perilously holding onto, there was no U.S. military
presence visible at all as we were in mujahedeen-controlled territory.
Our bus wound its way through farm roads, and each time we passed someone they
would yell, "God bless you for going to Falluja!" Everyone we passed
was flashing us the victory sign, waving, and giving the thumbs-up.
As we neared Falluja, there
were groups of children on the sides of the road handing out water and bread to
people coming into Falluja. They began literally throwing stacks of flat bread
into the bus. The fellowship and community spirit was unbelievable. Everyone was
yelling for us, cheering us on, groups speckled along the road.
As we neared Falluja a huge
mushroom caused by a large U.S. bomb rose from the city. So much for the
The closer we got to the
city, the more mujahedeen checkpoints we passed---at one, men with kefir
around their faces holding Kalashnikovs began shooting their guns in the air,
showing their eagerness to fight.
The city itself was virtually empty, aside from groups of mujahedeen standing on every other street corner. It
are shooting at anyone
moving through the city
was a city at war. We
rolled towards the one small clinic where we were to deliver our medical
supplies from INTERSOS, an Italian NGO. The small clinic is managed by Mr. Maki
Al-Nazzal, who was hired just 4 days ago to do so. He is not a doctor.
He hadn't slept much, along
with all of the doctors at the small clinic. It started with just three doctors,
but since the Americans bombed one of the hospitals, and were currently sniping
people as they attempted to enter/exit the main hospital, effectively there were
only 2 small clinics treating all of Falluja. The other has been set up in a car
As I was there, an endless
stream of women and children who'd been sniped by the Americans were being raced
into the dirty clinic, the cars speeding over the curb out front as their
wailing family members carried them in.
One woman and small child
had been shot through the neck---the woman was making breathy gurgling noises as
the doctors frantically worked on her amongst her muffled moaning.
The small child, his eyes
glazed and staring into space, continually vomited as the doctors raced to save
After 30 minutes, it
appeared as though neither of them would survive.
One victim of American
aggression after another was brought into the clinic, nearly all of them women
This scene continued, off
and on, into the night as the sniping continued. As evening approached the
nearby mosque loudspeaker announced that the mujehadeen had completely
destroyed a U.S. convoy. Gunfire filled the streets, along with jubilant
yelling. As the mosque began blaring prayers, the determination and confidence
of the area was palpable.
One small boy of 11, his
face covered by a kefir and toting around a Kalashnikov that was nearly as big
as he was, patrolled areas around the clinic, making sure they were secure. He
was confident and very eager for battle. I wondered how the U.S. soldiers would
feel about fighting an 11-year-old child? For the next day, on the way out of
Falluja, I saw several groups of children fighting as mujahedeen.
After we delivered the aid,
three of my friends agreed to ride out on the one functioning ambulance for the
clinic to retrieve the wounded. Although the ambulance already had three bullet
holes from a U.S. sniper through the front windshield on the driver's side,
having westerners on board was the only hope that soldiers would allow them to
retrieve more wounded Iraqis. The previous driver was wounded when one of the
sniper's shots grazed his head.
Bombs were heard
sporadically exploding around the city, along with random gunfire.
It grew dark, so we ended
up spending the night with one of the local men who had filmed the atrocities.
He showed us footage of a dead baby who he claimed was torn from his mother's
chest by Marines. Other horrendous footage of slain Iraqis was shown to us as
My entire time in Falluja
there was the constant buzzing of military drones. As we walked through the
empty streets towards the house where we would sleep, a plane flew over us and
dropped several flares. We ran for a nearby wall to hunker down, afraid it was
dropping cluster bombs. There had been reports of this, as two of the last
victims that arrived at the clinic were reported by the locals to have been hit
by cluster Bombs---they were horribly burned and their bodies shredded.
It was a long night-between
being sick from drinking unfiltered water and the nagging concern of the full
invasion beginning, I didn't sleep. Each time I would begin to slip into sleep,
a jet would fly over and I wondered if the full scale bombing would commence.
Meanwhile, the drones continued to buzz throughout Falluja.
The next morning we walked
back to the clinic, and the mujahedeen in the area were extremely edgy,
expecting the invasion anytime. They were taking up positions to fight. One of
my friends who'd done another ambulance run to collect two bodies said that a
Marine she encountered had told them to leave, because the military was about to
use air support to begin 'clearing the city.' One of the bodies they brought to
the clinic was that of an old man who was shot by a sniper outside of his home,
while his wife and children sat wailing inside.
The family couldn't reach
his body, for fear of being sniped by the Americans themselves. His stiff body
was carried into the clinic with flies swarming above it.
The already insane
situation continued to degrade, and by the time the wounded from the clinic were
loaded onto our bus and we prepared to leave, everyone felt the invasion was
looming near. American bombs continued to fall not far from us, and sporadic
gunfire continued. Jets were circling the outskirts of the city.
We drove out, past loads of
mujahedeen at their posts along the streets. In a long line of vehicles
loaded with families, we slowly crept out of the embattled city, passing several
military vehicles on the outskirts town. When we took a wrong turn at one point
and tried to go down a road controlled by a different group of mujahedeen,
we were promptly surrounded by men cocking their weapons and aiming them at us.
The doctors and patients on board explained to them we were coming from Falluja
and on a humanitarian aid mission, so they let us go.
The trip back to Baghdad
was slow, but relatively uneventful. We passed several more smoking shells of
vehicles destroyed by the freedom fighters; more fuel tankers, more military
What I can report from
Falluja is that there is no ceasefire, and apparently there never was. Iraqi
women and children are being shot by American snipers. Over 600 Iraqis have now
been killed by American aggression, and the residents have turned two football
fields into graveyards. Ambulances are being shot by the Americans. And now they
are preparing to launch a full-scale invasion of the city.
All of which is occurring
under the guise of catching the people who killed the four Blackwater Security
personnel and hung two of their bodies from a bridge.
[Dahr Jamail is Baghdad correspondent for The NewStandard. He is an Alaskan devoted to covering the untold stories from occupied Iraq. You can help Dahr continue his crucial work in Iraq by making donations. For more information or to donate to Dahr, visit
The Iraq Dispatches list exists to keep readers of The NewStandard updated on reports by Baghdad correspondent Dahr Jamail. To manage subscriptions, or for more information and an archive of Dahr's writings and photographs: http://newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches
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The above message is Copyright 2004 Dahr Jamail and The NewStandard. Reprinting for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. Permission is readily granted for nonprofit purposes as long as (1) adequate credit is provided, (2) a link back to http://newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches is prominently posted along with the text and (3) the journalist's bio at the end of the text is kept intact.] ##
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