'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Fallujah, Day 4 

Well, the Pentagon spokespeople over the past several days have sketched a vague but generally rosy picture of the Fallujah operation, stating that the resistance is less intense than they had anticipated and generally the Western press has regurgitated that assessment. Today, however there was a slight modulation of the standard line; there's a creeping thread of skepticism. The AP reports that "the large number of wounded sent to Germany suggests that fighting may be more intense, at least in some areas, than the military had initially indicated" and the BBC tells us that US marines are facing "strong resistance" and have come under "heavy and sustained fire" on Day 4, citing BBC Correspondent, Quil Lawrence, who claims that US forces have "pulled back" from the hospital that was taken on Sunday.

Also the BBC News site has posted another firsthand account translated from Arabic of life within Fallujah:
A row of palm trees used to run along the street outside my house - now only the trunks are left. The upper half of each tree has vanished, blown away by mortar fire. From my window, I can also make out that the minarets of several mosques have been toppled.

There are more and more dead bodies on the streets and the stench is unbearable. Smoke is everywhere.

A house some doors from mine was hit during the bombardment on Wednesday night. A 13-year-old boy was killed. His name was Ghazi.

I tried to flee the city last night but I could not get very far. It was too dangerous. I am getting used to the bombardment. I have learnt to sleep through the noise - the smaller bombs no longer bother me.

Without water and electricity, we feel completely cut off from everyone else. I only found out Yasser Arafat had died because the BBC rang me.

It is hard to know how much people outside Falluja are aware of what is going on here. I want them to know about conditions inside this city - there are dead women and children lying on the streets. People are getting weaker from hunger. Many are dying from their injuries because there is no medical help left in the city whatsoever. Some families have started burying their dead in their gardens.

US forces claim 70% of Fallujah has been taken, while Australia's ABC cites Fallujan residents who say it's more like 40%.

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