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War and Terror: Fallujah: Fiction meets Reality
Posted on Saturday, November 13 @ 01:51:52 UTC by admin

Bombing By Jutta Schmitt

With one of the first strategic military targets being a hospital so as to avoid pictures of civilians reduced to bits and pieces reaching the world and negatively impacting on Operation "Bomb 'em all into Oblivion," the razing to the ground of Fallujah ... the city of the "die-hard insurgents" and "home to absolute evil" ... has taken its course.

In a truly asymmetric "war," the American military has been using novel and devastating methods to clear Fallujah's streets. It has adapted a mine-clearing system, based on a rocket-propelled hose with explosives attached, used for the first time on D-Day on the fortified beaches of Normandy", as we learn from Times Defense editor, Michael Evans.

Marveling at the wonders of modern technology at the disposal of the American aggressor and the seamless transition from bomb-blasted streets to reality TV, war reporter James Hider describes how "the green video screen in the back of a Bradley fighting vehicle is the ultimate in reality television, and that is how we watched the battle of Fallujah unfold as our 30-tonne steel beast advanced into the district of Jolan, the rebels' bastion, in the small hours of yesterday morning ... on a screen accurate enough to show rats scavenging on the rubbish piles."

And as nothing but scavenging rats, indeed, are considered Iraqis who have never accepted the invasion and occupation of their country by a foreign aggressor and who keep fighting against their "liberation" with whatever means they can, determined but chanceless in the face of the aggressor's technological superiority and artificially boosted "morale." By means of "the US Army's psychological warfare team, playing Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers" the reality of war blends into the war of realities, making American troops feel like war-hero movie stars. And this is how we see suicidal vocation meet the pavlov conditioned mind in the streets of Fallujah, the two sides of our perverted world that reduces the human being to absolute nothingness.

On the one hand, the despair of defense turns human beings into bombs. On the other hand, Pavlov training is required to send an army to raze a city to the ground and "combat" against its besieged population. The carnage has to be put into proper scenery so the American troops' minds can switch to cinema reality, where they morph into Colonel Kilgore of Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam film, Apocalypse Now:

"Some scenes are memorable, notably the spectacular attack on a village by 9th Air Cavalry helicopter gunships, complete with loudspeakers playing Richard Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries." After the attack, the deranged Colonel Kilgore, wearing a Stetson, dismounts from his command helicopter, which is emblazoned with the insignia "Death From Above," surveys the carnage his attack has caused, and pronounces, "I love the smell of napalm . . . it smells like victory."

* The American Bush electorate, far from the smell of the phosphor-melted flesh of TV screens. After all, it's just "reality TV".

Hopefully, modern technology will soon revolutionize television broadcasting. Because I sincerely think it IS a shame that "you can't show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could fire real shots over the audience's head every night, you know, and have actual casualties in the theater" (or in the TV room for that matter), as a D-Day veteran dryly suggests.

'Cause that may be the only way the American public thinks twice before their next election.

JUTTA SCHMITT, M.A., Political Science, Philosophy & Sociology is an Assistant Lecturer (ad honorem) in Political Science at the University de Los Andes (ULA) in Merida.

 
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Die, then vote. This is Falluja (Score: 1)
by Ayinde on Saturday, November 13 @ 12:17:34 UTC
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Iraqi elections were postponed to save Bush. That led to today's carnage

by Naomi Klein, The Guardian UK [www.guardian.co.uk]

The hip-hop mogul P Diddy announced at the weekend that his "Vote or Die" campaign will live on. The voter registration drive during the US presidential elections was, he said, merely "phase one, step one for us to get people engaged". Fantastic. I have a suggestion for phase two: P Diddy, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the self-described "coalition of the willing" should take their chartered jet and fly to Falluja, where their efforts are desperately needed. But first they are going to need to flip the slogan from "Vote or Die!" to "Die, then Vote!"

Because that is what is happening there. Escape routes have been sealed off, homes are being demolished, and an emergency health clinic has been razed - all in the name of preparing the city for January elections. In a letter to United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, the US-appointed Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi explained that the all-out attack was required "to safeguard lives, elections and democracy in Iraq."

With all the millions spent on "democracy-building" and "civil society" in Iraq, it has come to this: if you can survive attack by the world's only superpower, you get to cast a ballot. Fallujans are going to vote, goddammit, even if they all have to die first.

And make no mistake: it is Fallujans who are under the gun. "The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Falluja," marine Lt Col Gareth Brandl told the BBC. Well, at least he admitted that some of the fighters actually live in Falluja, unlike Donald Rumsfeld, who would have us believe that they are all from Syria and Jordan. And since US army vehicles are blaring recordings forbidding all men between the ages of 15 and 50 from leaving the city, it would suggest that there are at least a few Iraqis among what CNN now obediently describes as the "anti-Iraqi forces".

Elections in Iraq were never going to be peaceful, but they did not need to be an all-out war on voters either. Mr Allawi's Rocket the Vote campaign is the direct result of a disastrous decision made one year ago. On November 11 2003, Paul Bremer, then chief US envoy to Iraq, flew to Washington to meet George Bush. The two men were concerned that if they kept their promise to hold elections in Iraq within the coming months, the country would fall into the hands of insufficiently pro-American forces.

That would defeat the purpose of the invasion, and it would threaten President Bush's re-election chances. At that meeting, a revised plan was hatched: elections would be delayed for more than a year, and in the meantime, Iraq's first "sovereign" government would be hand-picked by Washington. The plan would allow Mr Bush to claim progress on the campaign trail, while keeping Iraq safely under US control.

In the US, Mr Bush's claim that "freedom is on the march" served its purpose, but in Iraq, the plan led directly to the carnage we see today.

Mr Bush likes to paint the forces opposed to the US presence in Iraq as enemies of democracy. In fact, much of the uprising can be traced directly to decisions made in Washington to stifle, repress, delay, manipulate and otherwise thwart the democratic aspirations of the Iraqi people.

Yes, democracy has genuine opponents in Iraq, but before George Bush and Paul Bremer decided to break their central promise to hand over power to an elected Iraqi government, these forces were isolated and contained. That changed when Mr Bremer returned to Baghdad and tried to convince Iraqis that they weren't yet ready for democracy.

Mr Bremer argued that the country was too insecure to hold elections, and besides, there were no voter rolls. Few were convinced. In January 2004, 100,000 Iraqis peacefully took to

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War Crimes in Fallujah (Score: 1)
by Ayinde on Saturday, November 13 @ 17:54:20 UTC
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A Gutsy Campaign Against Lantos

counterpunch.org [www.counterpunch.org]

The United States is bringing "democracy" to Iraq on the same terms that the Russians imposed its federal mandate on Chechnya, a region which has Iraq's future written in its rubble. The advocates of intervention in Iraq, the epigones of Wolfowitz , should take a walk through Grozny, and measure against its ruins the fate of their proclaimed ambition to bring democracy to Fallujah and other cities in Iraq.

In the waning weeks of the US election campaign the antiwar movement here in the US, was largely corralled into the Kerry campaign and strangled by the bizarre contradiction of supporting a candidate whose "peace plank" was continuing war. Will it now turn out that for many Kerry supporters their interest in the US war on Iraq was in fact mostly its utility as a rationale for attacking Bush? Now that the race is over, will they forget the war along with Kerry's disastrous campaign?

If there is anything that should fuel the outrage of the antiwar movement, it is surely the destruction of Fallujah and the war crimes being inflicted by US commanders on its civilian population, who are now being denied the most basic and essential source of life, water.
Full Article : counterpunch.org [www.counterpunch.org]



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