Falluja's defiance of a new empire - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-11-2004, 03:24 PM
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this is an article i stumbled upon ..it isnt news its an opinion of someone..but i wanted to point out something in bold and see what others had to say



http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/st...347354,00.html



Falluja's defiance of a new empire



It is Bush and Blair, not the Iraqi resistance, who fear free elections



Sami Ramadani

Wednesday November 10, 2004

The Guardian



George Bush and Tony Blair have apparently concluded that they can crush the Iraqi people's will to resist occupation and legitimise a puppet regime next January by occupying Falluja. Maybe they imagine they can emulate the British forces that terrorised Iraqi Kurdistan in the 1920s by obliterating recalcitrant villages.



The US generals will no doubt deliver Falluja to Bush and Blair after bombarding its neighbourhoods with artillery and rockets. But they are doomed to deliver neither the Fallujans nor the people of Iraq. Perhaps they are unaware that Fallujans defied Saddam's rule during his last years in power. Falluja - known as the city of a thousand mosques - attracted Saddam's wrath in 1998 when its imams refused to hail the tyrant in their Friday sermons. Many were imprisoned, and the city punished as a result.



But the generals certainly do know how resistance began in Falluja. On April 28 2003 US soldiers opened fire on parents and children demonstrating against the continued military occupation of their primary school - killing 18 of them in cold blood and injuring about 60 others. Until the killing of those demonstrators, not a single bullet had been fired at US soldiers in Falluja or any of the cities north of Baghdad. But, remorselessly, little-known Falluja became a world-renowned centre of defiance, where a poor and poorly armed people has courageously faced the military wing of the new empire.



The way Falluja's 300,000 people reacted to the April 28 massacre has made them a prime target for savage bombardment and conquest. Najaf was bombed into a ceasefire in August. Samarra was conquered in September. Sadr City in Baghdad was bombarded and negotiated into temporary silence in October. Now they want to crush the symbol of Falluja, to teach the rest of Iraq a bloody lesson. Another pyrrhic victory is likely to be added to an already long list.







Blair once again misled parliament this week by branding the resistance in Falluja as Zarqawi-style terrorists out to destroy the prospects for democracy. It was he and Bush who last year rejected the calls for early free and fair elections from those who rejected the occupation, including Ayatollah Sistani, Moqtada al-Sadr, the resistance and the widely supported Iraqi National Foundation Congress. Bush and Blair are terrified of the Iraqi people voting for anti-occupation leaders. They will accept nothing short of the legitimisation, through sham elections supervised by the occupation authorities, of an Allawi-style puppet regime.



More than 100,000 Iraqis are estimated to have been been killed since the US-led invasion; the country's infrastructure has all but been destroyed; people are exposed to the danger of US and British depleted-uranium shells; hospitals have been reduced to impotence in the face of mounting injuries and disease; the centre of Najaf and entire neighbourhoods of several cities have been razed. How much more should the Iraqi people be subjected to for Bush and Blair to have their "democratically" chosen puppets installed in Baghdad?



These are war crimes of Saddamist proportions, and there is evidently more to come. Bush's latest pronouncements and Blair's declaration of a "second war" have made clear that the occupation governments are ready to kill (as "collateral damage", no doubt) even more Iraqis to enforce a pro-US order. Without a shred of evidence, Bush, Blair and Ayad Allawi's quisling regime shamelessly declare that they are only pursuing the Jordanian kidnapper Zarqawi and other "foreign terrorists". The people of Falluja, their leaders, negotiators and resistance fighters have always denounced Zarqawi and argued that such gangs have been encouraged to undermine the resistance.



The occupation forces have now reverted to their initial ploy of attacking cities north of Baghdad, while reaching ceasefires with some Baghdad districts and southern cities. Presumably, they see this as an effective divide-and-rule tactic, but it is likely to prove as futile as the rest of their plans for post-invasion Iraq. It is, in reality, merely a battle postponed. Iraq's history, reaffirmed by events since the US-led occupation, shows that its people's unity is stronger than differences based on religion, sect, ethnicity or national identity. That was demonstrated on Sunday when a senior Kurdish officer with the token US-commanded Iraqi force besieging Falluja deserted within half an hour of being shown the plans to occupy the city.



The US and British governments could do worse than digest the old Chinese proverb: "They lift a stone to drop it on their own feet." For they might have occupied Iraq and succeede in lifting some of its heavy stones, but the stones will inevitably come crashing down on their feet.



· Sami Ramadani was a political refugee from Saddam Hussein's regime and is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University



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#2 Old 11-11-2004, 03:42 PM
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Thank you for posting that article.
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#3 Old 11-11-2004, 03:46 PM
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They're boasting now that they have over 70% of the city.



Mmm, let them in, then kill them. Sound like a familiar strategy?
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#4 Old 11-11-2004, 04:03 PM
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What I find so sad about this is that, of a city of 400,000 people, most of them (er, except the men) have had to flee their homes.



I can't even begin to imagine how tragic that must be, most particularly for the young children who don't understand what is going on and why they have to leave their homes. I just hope that they can return quickly and safely ... It just completely breaks my heart.
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#5 Old 11-11-2004, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

What I find so sad about this is that, of a city of 400,000 people, most of them (er, except the men) have had to flee their homes.



I can't even begin to imagine how tragic that must be, most particularly for the young children who don't understand what is going on and why they have to leave their homes. I just hope that they can return quickly and safely ... It just completely breaks my heart.



Indeed. It reminds me of something that happened almost 56 years ago.
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#6 Old 11-11-2004, 04:09 PM
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But the generals certainly do know how resistance began in Falluja. On April 28 2003 US soldiers opened fire on parents and children demonstrating against the continued military occupation of their primary school - killing 18 of them in cold blood and injuring about 60 others. Until the killing of those demonstrators, not a single bullet had been fired at US soldiers in Falluja or any of the cities north of Baghdad



I suspect there is a LOT more behind this than just troops opening fire on demonstrators at a school.
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#7 Old 11-11-2004, 04:11 PM
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Indeed. It reminds me of something that happened almost 56 years ago.



Um. Except the refugees aren't being sent to extermination camps.
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#8 Old 11-11-2004, 04:17 PM
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Um. Except the refugees aren't being sent to extermination camps.







56 years ago was 1948. Is there something here I'm missing?
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#9 Old 11-11-2004, 04:38 PM
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sorry. you're right. I was lazy & didn't calculate - I thought you were referring to jewish populations being removed from their hometowns & sent off to camps.



ANYWAY... back on topic.
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#10 Old 11-11-2004, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by clickman View Post





56 years ago was 1948. Is there something here I'm missing?

creation of Pakistan? British firing at crowds of protesters? Jinnah&Gandhi? yeah I'm wondering how the Sunni boycott on the elections will play out but before I give this anymore thought please tell me what happened 56 years ago, i think 48 was a busy year.

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#11 Old 11-11-2004, 04:58 PM
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If you want to start another thread about 1948, please do. Let's keep this on the topic of Falujah, and my apologies for distracting this thread due to my misunderstanding of clickman's post.



Back on topic!
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#12 Old 11-11-2004, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

most of them (er, except the men)



I'm attending a protest regarding this (and the US refusal to allow internation health workers to go into the city) on saturday.
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#13 Old 11-11-2004, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by schu View Post

Iraq's history, reaffirmed by events since the US-led occupation, shows that its people's unity is stronger than differences based on religion, sect, ethnicity or national identity. That was demonstrated on Sunday when a senior Kurdish officer with the token US-commanded Iraqi force besieging Falluja deserted within half an hour of being shown the plans to occupy the city.

more on this kurdish officer

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...1/s1236326.htm

(can't find a major source for this story yet)

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#14 Old 11-11-2004, 09:29 PM
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He'd be shot on sight in prior times. If he divulges this info to the insurgents he should be shot on sight now . . . .
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#15 Old 11-11-2004, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

I suspect there is a LOT more behind this than just troops opening fire on demonstrators at a school.



yea...i also believe that the insurgency has changed from a local uprising to just about anyone who hates the US showing up to fight but i cant help but think that mistakes made by our government are what pulled more of the locals to the more extreme side...i hate to trivialize their lives by using the word mistakes but i am so overwhelemed with the world right now i dont know what else to say..



i think that the way they try to make it look like only terrorists (i don't doubt that many are involved as well though) are fighting back is a load of crap and that we have got to come up with a real exit strategy..but im afraid that the current group in charge has no plans of quitting..even if it was the best option
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#16 Old 11-12-2004, 06:54 AM
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FYI:

The year 1948 was the year the Nation of Israel was re-established. A date held in scorn by anti-semitics.
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#17 Old 11-12-2004, 09:31 AM
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I don't understand what attacking one city will do. Won't the insurgents just go to other cities? Isn't this like trying to stop drug dealing by focusing on one city? (I heard that they had so much warning, they had time to debate what percent would stay and how many would leave. They settled on 50/50.) I felt as if this tactic is a microcosm for Bush's whole philosophy of dealing with terrorism.



In grade school we were taught that part of why the Americans defeated the British was because we learned guerrilla warfare tactics from Native Americans while the British couldn't grow out of their old mold (or were slow to do so) of lining up, firing, and then rotating. (although, I've read that Americans fought this way, too, and it had to do with how their weapons worked--nevertheless, the idea stands)



I think the war on terror is the same idea. Fighting terror is vastly different from fighting an enemy state. While it might make sense to go after terrorist training camps or dissuade contries from harboring terrorists with old school invasions, focusing on military might within the limits of borders on a map against states that are deemed 'evil' is the modern equivalent of limiting your battles to the old line up, fire, and move to the back strategy. But of course adjusting a strategy when the original fails would be flip-flopping.



Terrorism is a war that will benefit from military might, but not as it foundation. Terror is primarly a war of intelligence, diplomacy in order to gain more intelligence, and common sense in protecting our borders, nuclear power plants, and other targets.

And if not "winning the hearts and minds" of foreigners, than by at least understanding what factors make them deside to joing terrorist groups and acting on those to the degree that it is in our national interest. (I am not advocating giving in to terrorist demands, but more subtle things like understanding and respecting the culture and values, and economic issues of these countries, and figuring out ways to help desperate people feel a sense of agency and feel respected by us.)



This article by Scott Ritter first published in AlJezeera speaks to some of the very things I was wondering about:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1110-28.htm



Quote:
American military planners expected to face thousands of Iraqi resistance fighters in the streets of Falluja, not the hundreds they are currently fighting. They expected to roll up the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his foreign Islamic militants, and yet to date have found no top-tier leaders from that organization. As American forces surge into Falluja, Iraqi fighters are mounting extensive attacks throughout the rest of Iraq.



Far from facing off in a decisive battle against the resistance fighters, it seems the more Americans squeeze Falluja, the more the violence explodes elsewhere. It is exercises in futility, akin to squeezing jello. The more you try to get a grasp on the problem, the more it slips through your fingers.



This kind of war, while frustrating for the American soldiers and marines who wage it, is exactly the struggle envisioned by the Iraqi resistance. They know they cannot stand toe-to-toe with the world's most powerful military and expect to win.



While the US military leadership struggles to get a grip on a situation in Iraq that deteriorates each and every day, the anti-US occupation fighters continue to execute a game plan that has been in position since day one.

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#18 Old 11-12-2004, 09:41 AM
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Won't the insurgents just go to other cities?



Yup. That is exactly what they did, especially those in the leadership roles. A few thousand stayed behind while the majority of them left ahead of time. This is evident by the large number of offensive measures they have taken in other parts of Iraq in the last few days.
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#19 Old 11-12-2004, 01:19 PM
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And if not "winning the hearts and minds" of foreigners, than by at least understanding what factors make them deside to joing terrorist groups and acting on those to the degree that it is in our national interest. (I am not advocating giving in to terrorist demands, but more subtle things like understanding and respecting the culture and values, and economic issues of these countries, and figuring out ways to help desperate people feel a sense of agency and feel respected by us.)



I agree with this point completely. I think you've hit on the biggest missing link. Fighting back to terrorists (whatever that means) is only dealing with the symptoms of terror and not the problem. I have often wondered when somebody will take a stand and actually try to figure out the motivations behind terrorist attacks, and try to come to some kind of peaceful resolutions of these matters. Seems like common sense to me.
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#20 Old 11-12-2004, 01:44 PM
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I don't understand what attacking one city will do. Won't the insurgents just go to other cities?



I think the idea is to kill them all so they can't go to another city.
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#21 Old 11-12-2004, 02:35 PM
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I think the idea is to kill them all so they can't go to another city.

I guess they assumed no one connected to them had cnn :

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html
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#22 Old 11-12-2004, 02:39 PM
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I guess they assumed no one connected to them had cnn :

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html



Or, maybe it's a dodge. I understand that there are singificant firefights in 4 different cities as we speak. Maybe they put Fallujia out there to draw attention away from the others.



Honestly, do you think that the generals in charge of this thing just have no clue about how to engage the enemy in combat? I've known some of them (generals) personally and they are rather bright folks; certainly much more skilled and trained in combat tactics than any of us . . . .
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#23 Old 11-12-2004, 03:44 PM
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The resistance is damn near everywhere in Iraq. From occupation troops loosing their lives outside of Fallujah, to occupation friendly police stations being overrun, Black Hawk's being shot down, etc.



http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html
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#24 Old 11-12-2004, 04:11 PM
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Honestly, do you think that the generals in charge of this thing just have no clue about how to engage the enemy in combat? I've known some of them (generals) personally and they are rather bright folks; certainly much more skilled and trained in combat tactics than any of us . . . .

Exactly. I agree they are probably very, very, smart. No doubt they thought the same thing many of us thought, that this wouldn't work. I don't think they said to themselves, "lets kill all the insurgents in Fallujuah, including their top people, by announcing we are going in a week in advance. Because of course, the insurgents are somehow bound by the city limits."



But Generals are also trained to take orders from above and not question them. And they have no control over not having enough people or equipment to do the things they are asked to do.
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#25 Old 11-13-2004, 03:35 AM
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Ugh, such an awful situation. I wish we'd just leave them alone.
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#26 Old 11-13-2004, 08:53 AM
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Ugh, such an awful situation. I wish we'd just leave them alone.

That's very Neville Chamberlain of you.
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#27 Old 11-13-2004, 09:14 AM
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That's very Neville Chamberlain of you.



so many historical comparisons on this thread

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#28 Old 11-13-2004, 05:00 PM
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Ugh, such an awful situation. I wish we'd just leave them alone.



Me too.
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#29 Old 11-13-2004, 05:05 PM
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That's very Neville Chamberlain of you.

Howso?
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#30 Old 11-13-2004, 05:11 PM
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Howso?

Appeasement

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By far the most well-known case of appeasement is one which ultimately failed - the appeasement of Adolf Hitler's Germany by United Kingdom Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain's government in the late 1930s.

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