PDA

View Full Version : The Truth About Fallujah


wantafanta
19-02-05, 15:56
A long read, but interesting and informative. It was too good to edit down. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

Living Under the Bombs
by Dahr Jamail

February 3, 2005

One of the least reported aspects of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is the oftentimes indiscriminate use of air power by the American military. The Western mainstream media has generally failed to attend to the F-16 warplanes dropping their payloads of 500-, 1,000-, and 2,000-pound bombs on Iraqi cities – or to the results of these attacks. While some of the bombs and missiles fall on resistance fighters, the majority of the casualties are civilian – mothers, children, the elderly, and other unarmed civilians.

"Coalition troops and Iraqi security forces may be responsible for up to 60 percent of conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq – far more than are killed by insurgents, confidential records obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme reveal." As the BBC reported recently, these numbers were compiled by Iraq's Ministry of Health, in part because of the refusal of the Bush and Blair administrations to do so. In the case of Fallujah, where the U.S. military estimated 2,000 people were killed during the recent assault on the city, at least 1,200 of the dead are believed to have been noncombatant civilians.

"Some of my friends in Fallujah, their homes were attacked by airplanes so they left, and nobody's found them since," said Mehdi Abdulla in a refugee camp in Baghdad. His own home was bombed to rubble by American warplanes during the assault on Fallujah in November – and in Iraq today, his experience is far from unique.

All any reporter has to do is **** an ear or look up to catch the planes roaring over Baghdad en route to bombing missions over Mosul, Fallujah, and other trouble spots on a weekly – sometimes even a daily – basis. It is simply impossible to travel the streets of Baghdad without seeing several Apache or Blackhawk helicopters buzzing the rooftops. Their rumbling blades are so close to the ground and so powerful that they leave wailing car alarms in their wake as they pass over any neighborhood.

With its ground troops stretched thin and growing haggard – 30 percent of them, after all, are already on their second tour of duty in the brutal occupation of Iraq – U.S. military commanders appear to be relying more than ever on airpower to give themselves an edge. The November assault on Fallujah did not even begin until warplanes had, on a near-daily basis, dropped 500-1,000-pound bombs on suspected resistance targets in the besieged city. During that period, fighter jets ripped through the air over Baghdad for nights on end, heading out on mission after mission to drop their payloads on Fallujah.

"Airpower remains the single greatest asymmetrical advantage the United States has over its foes," writes Thomas Searle, a military defense analyst with the Airpower Research Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. "To make airpower truly effective against guerrillas in that war, we cannot wait for the joint force commander or the ground component commander to tell us what to do. Rather, we must aggressively develop and employ airpower's counterguerrilla capabilities."

"Aggressively employ airpower's capabilities" – indeed they have.

"Even the Chickens and Sheep Are Frightened"

"The first day of Ramadan we went to the prayers and, just as the Imam said 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great], the jets began to arrive." Abu Hammad was remembering the early stages of the November Fallujah campaign. "They came continuously through the night and bombed everywhere in Fallujah. It did not stop even for a moment."

The 35-year-old merchant is now a refugee living in a tent on the campus of the University of Baghdad along with over 900 other homeless Fallujans. "If the American forces did not find a target to bomb," he said, "they used sound bombs just to terrorize the people and children. The city stayed in fear; I cannot give you a picture of how panicked everyone was." As he spoke in a strained voice, his body began to tremble with the memories, "In the morning, I found Fallujah empty, as if nobody lived in it. It felt as though Fallujah had already been bombed to the ground. As if nothing were left."

When Abu Hammad says "nothing," he means it. It is now estimated that 75 percent of the homes and buildings in the city were destroyed either by warplanes, helicopters, or artillery barrages; most of the remaining 25 percent sustained at least some damage.

"Even the telephone exchange in Fallujah has been flattened," he added between quickening breaths because, as he remembers, as he makes the effort to explain, his rage grows. "Nothing works in Fallujah now!"

Several men standing with us, all of whom are refugees like Hammad, nod in agreement while staring off toward the setting sun to the west, the direction where their city once stood.

Throughout much of urban Iraq, people tell stories of being terrorized by American airpower, which is often loosed on heavily populated neighborhoods that have, in effect, been declared the bombing equivalents of free-fire zones.

"There is no limit to the American aggression," comments a sheikh from Baquba, a city 30 miles northeast of the capital. He agreed to discuss the subject of air power only on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from the U.S. military.

"The fighter jets regularly fly so low over our city that you can see the pilots sitting in the ****pit," he tells me, using his hand to measure the skyline and indicate just how low he means. "The helicopters fly even lower, so low, and aim their guns at the people and this terrifies everyone. How can humans live like this? Even our animals, the chickens and sheep are frightened by this. We don't know why they do this to us."

"My Whole House Was Shaking"

The terror from the air began on the first day of the invasion in March 2003. "On March 19 at 2 a.m., we were sleeping," Abdulla Mohammed, father of four children, says softly as we sit in his modest home in Baghdad. "I woke up with a start to the enormous blasts of the bombs. All I could do was watch the television and see that everything was being bombed in Baghdad."

Near his home, a pile of concrete blocks and twisted support beams that once was a telephone exchange remains as an ugly reminder of how the war started for Baghdadis. "I was so terrified. My whole house was shaking," he continues, "and the windows were breaking. I was frightened that the ceiling would fall on us because of the bombs."

Nearly two years later, he still becomes visibly upset while describing what it felt like to live through that first horrific "shock and awe" onslaught from the air. "It was unbelievable to see things in my house jump into the air when the bombs landed. They were just so powerful." He pauses and holds his hands up in a gesture of helplessness before he says, "Nowhere felt safe and there was nothing we could do. People were looking for bread and vegetables so they could survive in their homes, but they didn't know where to go because nowhere was safe."

He lives with his wife and sons in central Baghdad, but at a location several miles from where the heaviest bombings in the Bush administration's shock-and-awe campaign hit. Nevertheless, even at that distance in the heavily populated capital, it was a nightmare. "Everyone was so terrified. Even the guards who were on the streets left for their homes because everything was being destroyed," he says. "The roads were closed because there were so many explosions."

"My family was shivering with fear," he adds, staring at the floor. "Everyone was praying for God to keep the Americans from bombing them. There was no water, no electricity, and all we had were the extra supplies that we had bought before."

Like the sheikh from Baquba, he and his family continue to live in fear of what American warplanes and helicopters might at any moment unleash. "Now, there are always helicopters hovering over my neighborhood. They are so loud and fly so close. My sons are afraid of them. I hear the fighter jets so often."

He suddenly raises his hushed voice and you can hear the note of panic deep within it. "Even last night the fighter jets were so low over my home. We never know if they will bomb." After pausing, he concludes modestly, "We can only hope that they won't."

"Even the Mosques Quit Announcing Evening Prayers…"

There is no way to discuss American reliance on air power in a war now largely being fought inside heavily populated cities without coming back to Fallujah. While an estimated 200,000 refugees from that city continue to live in refugee tent camps or crowded into houses (with up to 25 families crammed under a single roof), horrendous tales of what it was like to live under the bombs in the besieged city are only now beginning to emerge.

Ahmed Abdulla, a gaunt 21-year-old Fallujan, accompanied most of his family on their flight from the city, navigating the perilous neighborhoods nearest the cordon the American military had thrown around their besieged city. On Nov. 8, he made it to Baghdad with his mother, his three sisters (aged 26, 20, and 18), and two younger brothers (10 and 12). His father, however, was not permitted to leave Fallujah by the U.S. military because he was of "fighting age." Ahmed was only allowed to exit the besieged city because his mother managed to convince an American soldier that, without him, his sisters and younger brothers would be at great risk traveling alone. Fortunately, the soldier understood her plea and let him through.

Ahmed's father told the family that he would instead stay to watch over their house. "The house is all we have, nothing else," commented Ahmed despondently. "We have no land, no livestock, nothing."

Recounting an odyssey of flight typical of those of many Fallujans, Ahmed told me his father had driven them in the family car across winding, desert roads out the eastern side of the city, considered the quietest area when it came to the fighting. They stopped the car a kilometer before the American checkpoints and walked the rest of the way, holding up white "flags" so the soldiers wouldn't mistake them for insurgents. "We walked with our hands up, expecting them to shoot at us anytime," said Ahmed softly. "It was so bad for us at that time, and there were so many families trying to get out."

Those inhabitants still trapped in the city had only two hours each day to emerge and try to find food. Most of the time their electricity was cut and water ran in the faucets only intermittently. "Every night we told each other goodbye because we expected to die," he said. "Every night there was extremely heavy bombing from the jets. My house shook when bombs hit the city, and the women were crying all of the time." In his mind he still couldn't shake the buzzing sound of unmanned surveillance drone aircraft passing overhead, and the constant explosions of the "concussion bombs" (or so he called them) that he claimed the Americans fired just to keep people awake.

"I saw a dead man near our home," he explained, "but I could barely see his face because there were so many flies on him. The flies were so thick and I couldn't bear the smell. All around his body, his blood had turned the ground black. I don't know how he died."

The sighting of such bodies, often shot by American snipers, was a commonplace around the city. They lay unburied in part because many families dared not venture out to one of the two football stadiums that had been converted into "Martyr Cemeteries." Instead, they buried their own dead in their gardens and left the other bodies where they lay.

"So we stayed inside most of the time and prayed. The more the bombs exploded the more we prayed and cried." So Ahmed described life inside Fallujah as it was being destroyed. Each night in the besieged city seemed, as he put it, to oscillate between an eerie quiet and sudden bursts of heavy fighting. "Even the mosques quit announcing evening prayers at times," he said. "And then it would be so quiet – except for the military drones buzzing overhead and the planes of the Americans which dropped flares."

It was impossible, he claimed, to sleep at night because any sound – an approaching fighter jet or helicopter – and immediately everyone would be awake. "We would begin praying together loudly and strongly. For God to protect us and to take the fighting away from our city and our home."

Any semblance of normalcy had, of course, long since left the environs of Fallujah; schools had been closed for weeks; there were dire shortages of medicine and medical equipment; and civilians still trapped in the city had a single job – somehow to stay alive. When you emerged, however briefly, nothing was recognizable. "You could see areas where all the houses were flattened. There was just nothing left," he explained. "We could get water at times, but there was no electricity, ever."

His family used a small generator that they ran sparingly because they could not get more fuel. "We ran out of food after the Americans started to invade the city, so we ate flour, and then all we had was dirty water … so eventually, what choice did we have but to try to get out?"

"Why do the Americans bomb all of us in our homes?" asked Ahmed as our interview was ending. And you could feel his puzzlement. "Even those of us who do not fight, we are suffering so much because of the U.S. bombs and tanks. Can't they see this is turning so many people against them?"

"I Saw Cluster Bombs Everywhere"

Fifty-three year-old Mohammad Ali, who is living in a tent city in Baghdad, was one of those willing to address the suffering he experienced as a result of the November bombings. Mohammad is a bear of a man, his kind face belying his deep despair as he leans on a worn, wooden cane. He summed up his experience this way: "We did not feel that there was an Eid [the traditional feasting time that follows Ramadan] after Ramadan this year because our situation was so bad. All we had was more fasting. I asked God to save us but our house was bombed and I lost everything."

Refugees aren't the only people ready to describe what occurred in Fallujah as a result of the loosing of jets, bombers, and helicopters on the city. Burhan Fasa'a, a gaunt 33-year-old journalist, is a cameraman for the Lebanese Broadcasting Company. He was inside the city during the first eight days of the November assault. "I saw at least 200 families whose homes had collapsed on them, thanks to American bombs," he said. "I saw a huge number of people killed in the northern part of the city, and most of them were civilians."

Like so many others I've talked with who made it out of Fallujah, he described scenes of widespread death and desolation in what had not so long before been a modest-sized city. Most of these resulted from bombings that – despite official announcements emphasizing how "targeted" and "precise" they were – seemed to those on the receiving end unbearably indiscriminate.

"There were so many people wounded, and with no medical supplies, people died from their wounds," he said. He also spoke of cluster bombs, which, he – and many other Fallujan witnesses – claim, were used by the military in November as well as during the earlier failed Marine siege of the city in April. The dropping of cluster bombs in areas where civilians live is a direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions.

"I saw cluster bombs everywhere," he said calmly, "and so many bodies that were burned – dead with no bullets in them."

A doctor, who fled Fallujah after the attacks began and is now working in a hospital in a small village outside the city, spoke in a similar vein (though she requested that her name not be used): "They shot all the sheep. Any animals people owned were shot," she said. "Helicopters shot all the animals and anything that moved in the villages surrounding Fallujah."

"I saw one dead body I remember all too well. There were bubbles on the skin, and abnormal coloring, and burn holes in his clothing." She also described treating patients who, she felt certain, had been struck by chemical and white-phosphorous-type weapons. "And I saw so many bodies with these strange signs, and none of them with bullet holes or obvious injuries, just dead with discoloring and that bubbled skin, dark blue skin with bubbles on it, and burned clothing. I saw this with my own eyes. These bodies were in the center of Fallujah, in old Fallujah."

Like Burhan, while in the city she too witnessed many civilian buildings bombed to the ground. "I saw two schools bombed, and all the houses around them too."

"Why Was Our Family Bombed?"

I was offered another glimpse of what it's like to live in a city under attack from the air by two sisters, Muna and Selma Salim, also refugees from Fallujah and the only survivors of a family of 10, the rest of whom were killed when two rockets fired from a U.S. fighter jet hit their home. Their mother, Hadima, 65 years old, died in the attack along with her son Khalid, an Iraqi police captain, his sister Ka'ahla and her 22-year-old son, their pregnant 45-year-old sister Adhra'a, her husband Samr, who had a doctorate in religious studies, and their 4-year-old son Amorad.

Muna, still exhausted from her ordeal, wept almost constantly while telling her story. Even her abaya, which fully covers her, could not hide her shaking body as waves of grief rolled through her tiredness. She was speaking of her dead sister Artica. "I can't get the image out of my mind of her fetus being blown out of her body," said Muna. Artica was seven months pregnant when, on Nov. 10, the rockets struck. "My sister Selma and I survived only because we were staying at our neighbor's house that night," she said, sobbing, still unable to reconcile her survival with the death of most of the rest of her family in the fierce pre-assault bombing of the city.

"There were no fighters in our area, so I don't know why they bombed our home," cried Muna. "When this happened there were ongoing full-scale assaults from the air and tanks were attacking our city, so we slipped out of the eastern side of Fallujah and came to Baghdad."

Selma, Muna's 41-year-old sister, recounted scenes of destruction in the city – houses that had been razed by countless air strikes and the stench of decaying bodies that swirled through the air borne on the area's dry, dusty winds.

"The rubble from the bombed houses covered up the bodies, and nobody could get to them because people were too afraid even to drive a bulldozer!" She held out her hands as she spoke, as if to ask her God how such things could happen. "Even walking out of your house was just about impossible because of the snipers."

Both sisters described their last months in Fallujah as a nightmarish existence. It was a city where fighters controlled the area, medicine and food were often in short supply, and the thumping concussions of U.S. bombs had become a daily reality. Rocket-armed attack helicopters rattled low over the desert as they approached the city only adding to the nightmarish landscape.

"Even when the bombs were far away, glasses would fall off our shelves and break," exclaimed Muna. Going to market, as they had to, in the middle of the day to buy food for their family, both sisters felt constant fear of warplanes roaring over the sprawling city. "The jets flew over so often," said Selma, "but we never knew when they would drop their bombs."

They described a desolate city of closed shops and mostly empty streets on which infrequent terrorized residents could be spotted simply wandering around not knowing what to do. "Fallujah was like a ghost town most of the time," was the way Muna put it. "Most families stayed inside their houses all the time, only going out for food when they had to." Like many others, their family soon found that it needed to ration increasingly scarce food and water. "Usually we were very hungry because we didn't want to eat our food, or drink all of the water." She paused, took a deep breath undoubtedly thinking of her dead parents and siblings, and added, "We never knew if we would be able to get more, so we tried to be careful."

I met the two sisters in the Baghdad home of their uncle. During the interview, both of them often stared at the ground silently until another detail would come to mind to be added to their story. Unlike Muna, who was visibly emotional, Selma generally spoke in a flat voice without affect that might indeed have emerged from some dead zone. "Our situation then was like that of so many from Fallujah," she told me. "None of us could leave because we had nowhere to go and no money."

"Why was our family bombed?" pleaded Muna, tears streaming down her cheeks, "There were never any fighters in our area!"

Today fighting continues on nearly a daily basis around Fallujah, as well as in many other cities throughout Iraq; and for reporters as well as residents of Baghdad, the air war is an omnipresent reality. Helicopters buzz the tops of buildings and hover over neighborhoods in the capital all the time, while fighter jets often scorch the skies.

Below them, traumatized civilians await the next onslaught, never knowing when it may occur.

tlr online
19-02-05, 16:17
Wantafanta. Thank you for posting this, and also for your contribution on the U.S. ignoring the threat to global warming. Both make interesting - if somewhat tragic - reading.

wantafanta
19-02-05, 18:23
Thank you tlr. That means a lot to me. Here in the US we see very little on the news about what is happening in Iraq. We hear good things about the election, but the cameras never go into the streets. Criticizing my government to me is a valuable freedom.

nikos
20-02-05, 17:02
when this bloody war will have an end[not soon unfortunately] we will learn many things that are very well hidden now!
there are many strange thing happened during falluja's battle, and we need some answers!
how a big city with almost 300000 citisens became a ghost city?where all these people go?
red cross leader said that 35-40000 citisens went to camps around the city but where are the rest people?did they vanished or dissapeared?
how every day us officers announced the death of thousans of partizans[in the begining they was only 4000 only the first days us anounced the death of 2000!!]and after the battle most of them and their leader zarkawi escaped?
are the thousands of dead iraqis partizans, terrorists, or just innocent victims that us troops killed blindly?
hah!truth is well hidden until now,and when we will learn it,it will be very ugly! :mad:

Cato
20-02-05, 20:26
*Pats WantaFanta on the back.* I may be repeating what Tlr online had said but Thank you, again. ^^

[ 20. February 2005, 21:26: Message edited by: Cato ]

Draco
20-02-05, 22:25
I'll read it later. But I still want to comment that the US using bombs/cruise missiles on people is not a new thing, infact Clinton used that strategy quite often, even against Iraq.

Flipper1987
21-02-05, 01:19
Originally posted by wantafanta:
Here in the US we see very little on the news about what is happening in Iraq. We hear good things about the election, but the cameras never go into the streets.wantafanta, what in the world are you talking about? What do you mean that "we (in the US) see very little on the news about what is happening in Iraq?" My goodness, that is all the mainstream media has talked about since the invasion.

In fact many of the news outlets in the U.S. have gone out of their way to show ONLY the bad stuff that has occurred in Iraq (i.e. terrorist & insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians), and have largely ignored the good things that have occurred (except the democratic elections last month...they had to cover that).

You apparently have not been watching a lot of newscasts over the last 2 years.

FLIPPER

wantafanta
21-02-05, 02:29
Nikos makes a good point. What happened to all those civilians in Fallujah? I would like to know and I hope that we see the truth someday. It certainly won't happen on FOX News. Perhaps the BBC or Al Jazeera or some other organization that did not dump cash into the Bush re-election fund.

Have you seen this story on the network news? I never see footage of what US bombing raids have done to Iraqi civilians. I just posted a first hand account of what went on in Fallujah. No such story ever made the US networks. I had to get this story from the Web. Where is the compassionate conservatism I have been hearing about?

Do you honestly think that this war was conducted in an antiseptic manner and that the US military went out of its way to spare civilians? I'm sorry, but cluster bombs, helicopter gunships and firebombing are not precision instruments of war, and have no place being used in an urban envrironment.

I noticed you mentioned the word "terrorists". There is only one terrorist in Iraq right now that I know of, and he was not there before the war, and that is Zarqawi. I cannot name a 2nd terrorist in Iraq.

[ 21. February 2005, 03:35: Message edited by: wantafanta ]

Flipper1987
21-02-05, 03:28
Originally posted by wantafanta:
Nikos makes a good point. What happened to all those civilians in Fallujah? I would like to know and I hope that we see the truth someday. It certainly won't happen on FOX News. Perhaps the BBC or Al Jazeera or some other organization that did not dump cash into the Bush re-election fund.Well any reporter can go into Fallujah and interview practically anyone they want. Apparently that has not happened yet or there wasn't a gory-enough story there. Instead of assuming that all the civilians are dead and that everyone in the US military is evil, let's wait until the real facts come out.

Do you honestly think that this war was conducted in an antiseptic manner and that the US military went out of its way to spare civilians?Antiseptic? No.
Going out of there way to spare civilians? For the most part, yes.
Have civilians died? Yes. It is war. All civilian deaths are regrettable. What is even more regrettable is that terrorists & insurgents know about the US military's policy to spare civilians & holy places. Thus mosques have been used as ammo dumps and women & children are used as human shields.

I'm sorry, but cluster bombs, helicopter gunships and firebombing are not precision instruments of war, and have no place being used in an urban envrironment.And pray tell what weapons would be acceptable to be used in urban warfare? Are bazookas acceptable? How about car bombs that are placed near schools or other places where children gather? Do the terrorists & insurgents care what weapons they use?

If those weapons that you mention above give the tactical advantage to coalition forces, then you can bet your boots that they'll be used. By the way, those weapons you mentioned are used selectively in urban environments.

I noticed you mentioned the word "terrorists". There is only one terrorist in Iraq right now that I know of, and he was not there before the war, and that is Zarqawi. I cannot name a 2nd terrorist in Iraq.Well you simply aren't trying hard enough.

FLIPPER

wantafanta
21-02-05, 04:11
Originally posted by Flipper1987:

If those weapons that you mention above give the tactical advantage to coalition forces, then you can bet your boots that they'll be used. By the way, those weapons you mentioned are used selectively in urban environments.
They cannot be used with precision. The use of cluster bombs is illegal in urban warfare. The bomblets have a high dud percentage rate and present a hazard to civilians for years. Our own soldiers in Iraq have been killed by them. Likewise, napalm is illegal, though we are still using it there. The birth defects in Iraqi fetuses soared after our use of depleted Uranium in Gulf War I, and we are still using DU warheads.


All civilian deaths are regrettable.
Ah, compassionate conservatism. Such concern makes me proud to be American. :rolleyes:

Originally posted by Flipper1987:
Well you simply aren't trying hard enough.If you know who the terrorists are, I'm willing to listen http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

[ 21. February 2005, 05:17: Message edited by: wantafanta ]

Draco
21-02-05, 04:16
Do you care that much about the orphans in Chicago?

wantafanta
21-02-05, 04:23
The difference is, the killing in Iraq is being financed with my tax money, without my permission. I do not want my money to be used to destroy cities in a country that never attacked me.

Draco
21-02-05, 04:27
True enough.

I spose there is no way to justify war anyhow.

wantafanta
21-02-05, 04:36
Well, if some country attacks the US, then I would see a good reason for attacking them back. But that didn't happen with Iraq. Freedom is great and so are elections, but there have been thousands of innocent lives lost there who won't get to see any of it. The sooner it stops the better. I don't care who runs that country.

nikos
21-02-05, 16:35
my friend wantafanta,when i was refering to terrorists i am not refering only for people like zarkawi but i was talking for all the people who resist to the invaders and people in us goverment and mass media call them terrorist even if they are not!
i dont care about how anyone is "baptize" his opponent because "names" and "characterizations" means nothing to me!
you know in every historical period the invaders call the resistant army as terrorist or whatever because they want it so!in greece in 1821 when we desided to start a revolution against turkish empire[we were under pressure for almost 400 years],they call the partizan as "thieves"!
so i dont give a dime for the "names" that someone can give,but in the facts, so if cnn,fox sky bbc or whatever call the iraqi people as "terrorists'',its their problem not mine because i understand very well what happens there!
anyone who is against us politics rong or write is "baptised" as a terrorist so "shoot him",as the nice us officer said "i like to shoot these terrorists because i know they tortured their wives"!
to my friend flipper!
yes i agree we have to wait for the real truth, BECAUSE is difficult to be found now, but if we wait for a long time we will loose the most importand thing!people's life!every day many people are dying and this must be stopped!
no my good friend i disagree with you for the term "democratic elections",because there is not democracy without freedom!and freedom is still missing from iraq!
elections were welcome by me but not like this!they way elections took place in iraq is totaly uselles and dangerous!
btw FLIPPER are you happy now ,that iran is celebrating for ITS "victory" in iraqi elections?do you realise now, how right i was, when i said that terrorist and talibans are the really winners after your blind attack in iraq?do you see clearly ,i hope, that people turn to fanatics instead of logical and sobering people?
i hope i am rong but the worst is not coming yet!

Lemmie
21-02-05, 19:00
Evidently Flipper has vast sources of information about Fallujah. Certainly we don't have that much knowledge in the UK.

I'm beginning to wonder how much of your arguments are based on conjecture rather than plain fact.

wantafanta
21-02-05, 22:26
Nikos, you misunderstood me. I was answering a statement that Flipper made that terrorists were in Iraq. Sorry about that.

nikos
22-02-05, 15:03
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif i am sorry i dont get it!btw i am not answering exactly to you!
as you can see my answer is in general terms against people who use words and characterizations very easy against anyone!
i understand completely what is your opinion about all this so there is no problem with misunderstandings,i mostly agree with you http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif

Draco
22-02-05, 16:19
Originally posted by wantafanta:
The use of cluster bombs is illegal in urban warfare. Our own soldiers in Iraq have been killed by them.Our own soldiers killed by illegal bomb. Roight.

Likewise, napalm is illegal, though we are still using it there.Uh no. It's illegal.

The birth defects in Iraqi fetuses soared after our use of depleted Uranium in Gulf War I, and we are still using DU warheads.
Soared from what? Depleted Uranium is used to kill tanks. And Iraq certainly had a few to kill.

wantafanta
22-02-05, 21:42
Depleted Uranium shells disperse residue everywhere presenting a hazard for years. This article should explain why it should not be used.

Globalpolicy.org
DEPLETED URANIUM

Used in anti-tank shells since the first Gulf War, depleted uranium (DU) is uranium 238, the isotope remaining after uranium 235 has been enriched for use in nuclear weapons or reactors. When DU-tipped shells are fired at high speeds from tanks or planes, the radioactive material burns through tank armor, igniting the vehicle. After exploding, 70% of the shell is vaporized into tiny particles and can be carried by the wind for many miles. Although DU is only half as radioactive as uranium 235, the tiny particles can become trapped inside the human body for long periods of time, creating serious health problems.

During the first Gulf War, US tanks fired 14,000 DU shells, and anti-tank aircraft fired another 940,000 rounds, leaving a total of 564,000 pounds of DU either vaporized or unexploded on the desert floor. Iraqis have since experienced extremely abnormal rates of cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages in the areas where DU was used, particularly around Basra. The “Gulf War Syndrome” experienced by US veterans has also been widely blamed on depleted uranium.

The US and UK are unapologetic about DU, however, insisting that it poses no health risks and refusing to reduce DU usage in the current war on Iraq. DU will be used in most tank battles, and the amount and location of DU shells are impossible to judge at this point. DU shells are also being used against exposed troops as well as tanks, a tactic which may be used increasingly as tanks begin to wage urban warfare in Baghdad and Basra.

And from the same source on cluster munitions:

Cluster Munitions used against Iraq

Cluster munitions are similar to cluster bombs, but are fired from the ground and contained in artillery projectiles or rockets. When artillery or rockets fire cluster munitions, the result is the same as in cluster bombs: multiple bomblets scatter, many of which fail to explode. Human Rights Watch reported that more than 4,000 civilians were killed or injured by cluster munitions in Iraq after the end of the first Gulf War. The UK has admitted to firing cluster munitions around Basra. The US has yet to report that it is using cluster munitions, but numerous reports and videos from journalists embedded with US units show these munitions in use.

• Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which only use cluster munitions, have been used by artillery units of the US 3rd Infantry Division. The standard warhead for the MLRS contains 644 M77 individual submunitions, also known as dual-purpose grenades, which have a failure rate of 16%. The standard volley of 12 MLRS rockets would leave more than 1,200 unexploded grenades over an area of 120,000-240,000 meters.

• On March 28, while supporting the 101st Airborne Division, US MLRS fired 18 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) against suspected air defense sites. An ATACMS releases either 300 or 950 submunitions and has a 2% rate of failure.

• An embedded journalist reported “hundreds of grenades” being fired by the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion using 155mm artillery. Human Rights Watch believes these were M483A1 and M864 projectiles, which release 88 and 72 dual-purpose grenades respectively and have a 14% rate of failure.

• Two US Marines died after stepping on unexploded cluster munitions in southern Iraq on March 28 and March 29.

• The British Ministry of Defence says that it has fired cluster shells on Basra. L20 cluster shells have been shot from long-range (30km) howitzers at targets described as “in the open.” These Israeli-made shells contain 49 bomblets with a failure rate of 5%.


Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - Marine Corps fighter pilots and commanders say they dropped firebombs similar to napalm on Iraqi troops earlier this year, according to a report published Tuesday.

The Marines say that in March, U.S. warplanes dropped dozens of incendiary bombs near bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River in central Iraq to clear the way for troops headed to Baghdad.

"We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. Randolph Alles, commander of Marine Air Group 11, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (****pit) video.

"They were Iraqi soldiers there. It's no great way to die," Alles added.

He could not provide estimates of Iraqi casualties.

"The generals love napalm," said Alles. "It has a big psychological effect."

The firebombs were used again in April against Iraqis near a key Tigris River bridge, north of Numaniyah, the Marines said. There were reports of another attack on the first day of the war.

During the war, Pentagon officials denied napalm was being used, saying the Pentagon's stockpile had been destroyed two years ago. Napalm, a thick, burning combination of polystyrene, gasoline and benzene, was used against people and villages in Vietnam. Its use drew widespread criticism.

The newspaper said the spokesmen were apparently drawing a distinction between the terms firebomb and napalm.

Late Tuesday, Lt. Ryan Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., told The Associated Press napalm was not used. He declined to say whether firebombs were used.

"We did not use napalm in Iraq," he said. "Napalm is not a weapon that we keep in our operational arsenal anymore.

"The real issue that I think you're trying to get to is, `Are we using appropriate weapons?,'" Fitzgerald continued. "And yes. The answer is yes."

According to the Union-Tribune report, the Marines dropped "Mark 77 firebombs," which use kerosene-based jet fuel and a smaller concentration of benzene. Marine spokesman Col. Michael Daily acknowledged the incendiary devices were "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons, but have less impact on the environment.

"You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm," said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Jim Amos confirmed aircraft dropped what he and other Marines continue to call napalm on Iraqi troops on several occasions. He commanded Marine jet and helicopter units involved in the Iraq war and leads the Miramar-based 3rd Marine Air Wing.

Although many human rights groups consider incendiary bombs to be inhumane, international law does not prohibit their use against military forces. The United States has not agreed to a ban against possible civilian targets.

"Incendiaries create burns that are difficult to treat," said Robert Musil, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a Washington group that opposes the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Musil described the Pentagon's distinction between napalm and Mark 77 firebombs as "pretty outrageous."

Before March, the last time U.S. forces had used napalm in combat was the Persian Gulf War, again by Marines.

Draco
22-02-05, 22:23
Such is war.

Granted that it is easy to see two similar things and say they are the same.

Depleted Uranium sure is controversial. On one side you have people talking about how horribly effective it is, and on the other side, people talking about horribly effective it is.

All kidding aside, we are using modern weapons in modern war, and they are designed to kill.

wantafanta
22-02-05, 22:39
Our very reason for going into Iraq was to put a stop to the use or stockpiling of such "modern" weapons as you call them. I see a double standard here - one for the US - another for the rest of the world. Do as we say, not as we do.

The killing of civilians has never been condoned in any kind of warfare, and the use of cluster bombs and napalm has been condemned or banned. Would you buy a house contaminated with depleted Uranium? I wouldn't. How would you feel if years from now, your daughter in Iraq picked up an unexploded cluster bomb and was killed? Would you say "God bless America" or use another verb?

Draco
22-02-05, 22:53
Nice try.

We went into Iraq because the job wasn't finished a decade ago. It was just convenient that Saddam gave us (and the UN, but since when does the UN actually do anything it 'resolves' to do) plenty of good reasons to.

It's fine to hate war, that is a perfectly honorable position to take. But it has happened thoughout history, and will continue to happen in the future.

Besides, at least we don't go to war to conquer.

I suppose we could have just waited for Saddam to die, seemed to work with the Palestinians.

wantafanta
23-02-05, 00:23
That was never the stated reason for invading Iraq. The UN did not give the US permission to attack Iraq, and George Bush refused to let the UN inspectors finish their work. How can the UN operate if the US ignores it? Isn't that what Bush accused Saddam of doing?

No, we went to war because Colin Powell held up a little glass tube of fake bio-weapons at the UN, and because Bush used the words WMDs 10,000 times to scare the US voters into agreeing with his war.

We were lied to, my friend, plain and simple. I don't understand why nobody wants to admit that. It happened before Vietnam with the Tonkin Gulf story, and it has happened again.

I can see that no matter how much source material I supply to back up my statements, it will never be enough to change anyone's mind. People will believe what they want to believe.

Draco
23-02-05, 00:31
Waiting for the UN to do something about Saddam is the same as never doing it.

I am not ignoring your information, infact some of it is interesting. But your original post had much in the way of...extremely soft evidence.

Colin Powell is easily my favorite Washingtonian, I hope he runs for President.

As for the MWDs, I knew we would never find them, Saddam would have to be a buffoon to let that happen, esp after so much success at duping the UN. No Iraq may have had them, but anyone with any clue should have known we would never have found them.

They might still be there, or they might be in someone else's hands, but to think they dont exist at all is a very...unsafe thing to assume.

Iraq never really sponsored terrorism, not the same way Afghanistan did anyway, but Saddam was not someone who would have helped settle the dust in the desert.

[ 23. February 2005, 01:32: Message edited by: Draco ]

wantafanta
23-02-05, 00:45
Actually, the David Kay report found no evidence of WMDs. He had a hundred assistants working with him and was Bush's hand picked inspector. Later, Charles Duelfer concluded the same - no WMDs or serious programs since 1994. The latest report says there is no evidence that any WMDs were shipped out of Iraq to Syria or elsewhere.

The article I first posted was from an experienced, world journalist and gives first hand accounts from Iraqis. Not the kind of thing you will see on FOX news. It is not flimsy.

There was no compelling reason to go into Iraq. Iran was more dangerous, and so is North Korea. Just because Saddam was a nasty guy is not enough reason to justify a war - with the loss of 100,000 innocent civilians.

Colin Powell will have that little vial of fake bio-weapons to explain if he ever tries to run for president. He sold out. He even said "I'm not reading this ****-**** " when he looked over the speech he was given to read to the UN. But he finally caved in to the Bush team and that is the worst decision he could have made if he had any presidential plans.

Face it, we were robbed. Our seaports are not protected nor the shipping containers. Our airports are vulnerable to shoulder-fired missiles. Our nuclear power plants and chemical factories go poorly safeguarded. So do the nation's water supplies and bridges. All of that will take money that we don't have, because George Bush threw our tax money away in Iraq.

Draco
23-02-05, 00:59
Hehe if Bush can get elected Powell should be a shoe in http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

I'll be honest about this, I don't like George, it isn't his lack of eloquency or tact, or even his past. I just don't like the image he maintains, that of a spoiled brat.

But, Kerry had no way in hell of getting my vote. I would have voted for Badnirak first.

With all that said Bush isn't stupid, not a genius for sure, but not stupid as some seem to believe. He certainly has a past that is hard to ignore, and frankly not one I would be proud of.

I am a Republican and I have an extreme dislike for socialism. But even so the party and I aren't always congruent.

I personally don't think Bush should have gone into Iraq...Clinton should have or nobody should have. Afghanistan is undeniable however, it had to happen.

To be honest I'm actually surprised sometimes that Bush was re-elected.

I don't watch FOX News, so I tend to miss whatever it is the liberals are whining about in regards to it.

Anyway I'm sort of rambling now, but my take on this topic (original post) is that it is propoganda and doesn't include enough facts to qualify as informed.

Draco
23-02-05, 01:00
Originally posted by wantafanta:
with the loss of 100,000 innocent civilians.This is a flawed statement.

nikos
23-02-05, 17:07
sorry draco but wantafanta gave the minimum number a man can give!this war have cost the life of much more civilians, and the truth will be found many years after, when the number of dead people will be bigger and bigger,try to realise that casualties are not only the official dead persons!there are people one step of death after serious wounded,deseases impossible to be cure because in iraq medicines are not enough, and ofcource cancer after this amazing use of depleted uranium bombs from your army that cause also the health of your soldiers! and unfortunately many other reasons, that the officials of red cross in iraq mention, and its difficult for me to translate!

wantafanta
23-02-05, 22:55
Nikos is right. There are many civilians injured who will die eventually because they could not get adequate medical care. The 100,000 figure was derived from comparing the mortality rates of Iraqi citizens before the war, and again after the invasion. Multiply the new mortality rate by the population and you can attribute the difference to the war. Pure statistics. The figure appeared in the medical journal Lancet.

The lack of basic amentiies - water, refrigeration, sewage disposal also contributes to the mortality rate. Fallujah is now all but a desolate wasteland. Of course, you will be paying to clean up the mess for years.


Anyway I'm sort of rambling now, but my take on this topic (original post) is that it is propoganda and doesn't include enough facts to qualify as informed. That's not true. I go out of my way to find reliable sources for my topics. These are not made up and I can furnish more sources. On the contrary, the propaganda comes from Washington.

Draco
23-02-05, 23:32
Maybe, maybe not. But that reeks of being designed to make it sound like US Soldiers shoot anything that moves, bomb anything bigger than a brick still standing, and just generally spend all their time terrorizing the populace.

Which is simply not true. Jets make noise, hell you can hear them even here in Vegas because of Nellis AFB. But I can see how hearing them would make you think bombs will follow.

Another thing to note is that clusterbombs arent practical, except on the B-52 scale. And napalm (or the equivalent) is definately not used as widely or as wildly as some would like to make you believe.

I do not doubt that story is based in reality, but it is written by someone who does seem to only want to make the US look bad...thus propoganda.

wantafanta
24-02-05, 04:03
Your are right - cluster bombs are not practical - because they have a high failure rate and can kill civilians long after hostilities have ceased. There are tactical cluster bombs - fired from cannons - and aerial bombs. The "bomblets" are painted yellow so the duds can be located easily. Unfortunately, the yellow color attracts children.

The generals are the ones calling the shots in Iraq, and they are the ones who pick the targets. I have seen pictures of the civilian casualties and have the link, but posting it here might not be appropriate for this forum. The pics are quite graphic and disturbing. It is true that a picture is worth a 1000 words. If you want to PM me, I'll send you the link.

We know that an Iraqi wedding party was attacked by a helicopter gunship, killing 40 participants. The military said it was a terrorist hideout. Except later, a video camera with a tape of the wedding was found at the bomb site. This was the second time a wedding party was attacked. The first was in Afghanistan. Not to mention a Red Cross depot there, and 4 Canadian soldiers, which led to a courtmartial.

Draco
24-02-05, 09:02
Hmm...

nikos
24-02-05, 16:06
i think both of the weddings were in iraq!
ofcource is not so importand the place but the most importand is that war always cause the lives of many civilians sometimes statistics said that "inoccents" are 10 times more than "soldiers"!
espesially when a battle is inside a city the casualties between civilians are unbielievable high!
i reminds you that in yougoslavia [1999],a lot of times us-nato helicopters and planes were bombing civilians convoy even a blind could see!