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Story from Fallujah

Paul O'Hanlon | 14.01.2006 18:18 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Repression | London | World

This is a 500 word article about the awful civilian suffering in Iraq, especially in the city of Fallujah.

Story from Fallujah

The destruction of the Iraqi city of Fallujah was a `grim necessity` according to journalist David Aaronovitch when he appeared on Radio 4’s `Any Questions` on Friday November 12th 2004. This `grim necessity` resulted in over a thousand deaths.

Some background information on the city of Fallujah from `Wikipedia`

Fallujah (Arabic: ÇáÝáæÌÉ; sometimes transliterated as Fallujah or Fallouja) is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly 69km (43 miles) west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries. The city grew from an unimportant town in 1947 to a pre-war population of about 350,000 inhabitants in 2003. The current population is unknown but estimated at less than 200,000. Within Iraq, it is known as the "city of mosques" for the more than 200 mosques found in the city and surrounding villages. It is one of the most important places to Sunni Islam in the region. The war has reportedly damaged 60% of the city's buildings, with 20% totally destroyed including 60 of the city's mosques

Fallujah is thus a city of some 350,000 people - roughly the same size as Cardiff or Coventry or intermediate in size between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. It had to be destroyed to save it or rather to save the elections. Imagine a city the size of Cardiff being destroyed so that elections could be held – what would the term be - canvassing?

Why was it necessary to bomb the city so ruthlessly? The Guardian’s Madeleine Bunting put it well when she said: “Assaults on cities serve symbolic purposes: they are set showpieces to demonstrate resolve and inculcate fear. To that end, large numbers of casualties are required: they are not an accidental by product but the aim. That was the thinking behind 9/11, and Fallujah risks becoming a horrible mirror image of that atrocity. Only by the shores of that dusty lake in Dreamland would it be possible to believe that the ruination of this city will do anything to enhance the legitimacy of the Iraqi government it appointed.”

Death tolls are always rationalised as unintentional and unnecessary - `collateral damage` when in fact the real objective in bombing countries is to kill and maim as many people as possible.

Some of the surviving victims of George Bush’s `compassionate conservatism` from Iraq include a three year old girl called Alaa from Al Qaim (near the Syrian/Iraq border) who lost 9 members of her family. She lost two brothers, two uncles, and other relations.

Fallujah produced many tragic stories and in Amman I met Abdoalhakim, a small boy of 7 and his father Ismail who were both victims of violence in Fallujah and photos of them and little Alaa are enclosed. Little Abdoalhakim’s home was hit by a mortar, which also seriously injured his mother causing her to abort.

Sadly, the violence in Iraq goes on. “The oil is our curse” as the Iraqi people say.

14 labelled photos are attached

Paul O'Hanlon
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Display the following 4 comments

  1. When Blair murdered the City of Fallujah, WE were the target — twilight
  2. No criticism intended — Danny
  3. Dear Danny — Paul O'Hanlon
  4. Buggles — Danny