Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

800 Civilians Feared Dead in Fallujah

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **

800 Civilians Feared Dead in Fallujah

*Dahr Jamail*

*BAGHDAD, Nov 16 (IPS) - At least 800 civilians have been killed during
the U.S. military siege of Fallujah, a Red Cross official estimates. *

Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of U.S. military reprisal, a
high-ranking official with the Red Cross in Baghdad told IPS that ”at
least 800 civilians” have been killed in Fallujah so far.

His estimate is based on reports from Red Crescent aid workers stationed
around the embattled city, from residents within the city and from
refugees, he said.

”Several of our Red Cross workers have just returned from Fallujah since
the Americans won't let them into the city,” he said. ”And they said the
people they are tending to in the refugee camps set up in the desert
outside the city are telling horrible stories of suffering and death
inside Fallujah.”

The official said that both Red Cross and Iraqi Red Crescent relief
teams had asked the U.S. military in Fallujah to take in medical
supplies to people trapped in the city, but their repeated requests had
been turned down.

A convoy of relief supplies from both relief organisations continues to
wait on the outskirts of the city for military permission to enter. They
have appealed to the United Nations to intervene on their behalf.

”The Americans close their ears, and that is it,” the Red Cross official
said. ”They won't even let us take supplies into Fallujah General

The official estimated that at least 50,000 residents remain trapped
within the city. They were too poor to leave, lacked friends or family
outside the city and therefore had nowhere to go, or they simply had not
had enough time to escape before the siege began, he said.

Aid workers in his organisation have reported that houses of civilians
in Kharma, a small city near Fallujah, had been bombed by U.S.
warplanes. In one instance a family of five was killed just two days
ago, they reported.

”I don't know why the American leaders did not approach the Red Cross
and ask us to deal with the families properly before the attacking
began,” said a Red Cross aid worker, who also spoke on condition of

”Suddenly they attacked and people were stuck with no help, no medicine,
no food, no supplies,” he said. ”So those who could, ran for the desert
while the rest were trapped in the city.”

If the U.S. forces would call a temporary cease-fire ”we could get our
trucks in and get the civilians left in Fallujah who need medical care,
we could get them out,” he said.

Mosques have organised massive collections of food and relief supplies
for Fallujah residents as they did last April when the city was under
attack, but these supplies have not been allowed into the city either.

The Red Cross official said they had received several reports from
refugees that the military had dropped cluster bombs in Fallujah, and
used a phosphorous weapon that caused severe burns.

The U.S. military claims to have killed 1,200 ”insurgents” in Fallujah.
Abdel Khader Janabi, a resistance leader from the city has said that
only about 100 among them were fighters.

”Both of them are lying,” the Red Cross official said. ”While they agree
on the 1,200 number, they are both lying about the number of dead
fighters.” He added that ”our estimate of 800 civilians is likely to be
too low.”

The situation within Fallujah is grim, he said. If help does not reach
people soon, ”the children who are trapped will most likely die.”

He said the Ministry of Health in the U.S.-backed interim Iraqi
government had stopped supplying hospitals and clinics in Fallujah two
months before the current siege.

”The hospitals do not even have aspirin,” he said. ”This shows, in my
opinion, that they've had a plan to attack for a long time and were
trying to weaken the people.”


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