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.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Inside Fallujah: one family’s diary of terror

Sun, Nov 14, 2004 at 1:43AM

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **

Here is an account from two refugees from Fallujah that I wrote for the
Sunday Herald, Scotland's Independent Newspaper. Here is the link to the
story as it is posted on their website, followed by the full text.

Inside Fallujah: one family’s diary of terror

Last week the US launched a major offensive on Fallujah using heavy
artillery, bulldozers and tanks. The target was insurgents, but here one
family reveals the horror of being caught in the conflict
By Dahr Jamail in Baghdad

*She weeps *while telling the story. The abaya (tunic) she wears cannot
hide the shaking of her body as waves of grief roll through her. “I
cannot get the image out of my mind of her foetus being blown out of her

Muna Salim’s sister, Artica, was seven months’ pregnant when two rockets
from US warplanes struck her home in Fallujah on November 1. “My sister
Selma and I only survived because we were staying at our neighbours’
house that night,” Muna continued, unable to reconcile her survival
while eight members of her family perished during the pre-assault
bombing of Fallujah that had dragged on for weeks.

Khalid, one of their brothers who was also killed in the attack, has
left behind a wife and five young children.

“There were no fighters in our area, so I don’t know why they bombed our
home,” said Muna. “When it began there were full assaults from the air
and tanks attacking the city, so we left from the eastern side of
Fallujah and came to Baghdad.”

Selma, Muna’s 41-year-old sister, told of horrific scenes in the city
which has become the centre of resistance in Iraq over the last few
months. She described houses that had been razed by countless US air
strikes, where the stench of decaying bodies swirled around the city on
the dry, dusty winds.

“The bombed houses had collapsed and covered the bodies, and nobody
could get to them because people were too afraid to drive a bulldozer,”
she explained, throwing her hands into the air in despair.

“Even for people to walk out of their houses is impossible in Fallujah
because of the snipers.”

Both sisters described a nightmarish existence inside the city where
fighters controlled many areas, food and medicine were often in short
supply, and the thumping concussions of US bombs had become a daily reality.

Water also was often in short supply, and electricity a rarity. Like
many families cowered down inside Fallujah they ran a small generator
when they could afford the fuel.

“Even when the bombs were far away, glasses would fall off our shelves
and break,” said Muna. “None of us could sleep as during the night it
was worse.”

While going to the market in the middle of the day to find food, the
sisters said they felt terrorised by US warplanes, which often roared
over the sprawling city. “The jets flew over so much,” said Selma, “but
we never knew when they would strike the city.”

The women described a scene of closed shops, mostly empty streets, and
terrorised residents wandering around the city not knowing what to do.

“Fallujah was like a ghost town most of the time,” described Muna. “Most
families stayed inside their houses all the time, only going out for
food when they had to.”

Tanks often attacked the outskirts of the city in skirmishes with
resistance fighters, adding to the chaos and unrest. Attack helicopters
rattling low over the desert were especially terrifying, criss-crossing
over the city and firing rockets into the centre.

While recounting their family’s traumatic experiences over the last few
weeks, from their uncle’s home in Baghdad, each of the sisters often
paused, staring at the ground as if lost in the images before adding
more detail. Their 65-year-old mother, Hadima, was killed in the
bombing, as was their brother Khalid, who was an Iraqi police captain.
Their sister Ka’ahla and her 22-year-old son also died.

“Our situation was like so many in Fallujah,” said Selma, continuing,
her voice now almost emotionless and matter of fact. The months of
living in terror are etched on her face.

“So many people could not leave because they had nowhere to go, and no

Adhra’a, another of their sisters, and Samr, Artica’s husband, were also
among the victims. Samr had a PhD in religious studies. Artica and Samr
had a four-year-old son, Amorad, who died with his parents and his
unborn brother or sister.

The two sisters managed to flee the city from the eastern side,
carefully making their way through the US military cordon which, for the
most part, encircled the area. As they left, they witnessed a scene that
was full assaults on their city from US warplanes and tanks .

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

/14 November 2004/


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