5 December 2004
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
We are sending you yet another bulletin from the killing fields of Iraq:
Item A., from Dahr Jamail, are additional eye-witness accounts of the murderous activities of U.S. soldiers in Falllujah.
In item B. we have an account of the bureaucratic collaborators who, though they have no blood on their hands, are equally responsible for the mass murders in
The feelings of shame and outrage are being transformed into political action every day, and in every part of the world.
George W. Bush may turn out to be the "Pedagogical President", after all: a champion of education, despite his federal budget cuts for public schools. . . .
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Universié Grenoble 3
from Dahr Jamail :
Copyright December 3, 2004
Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone
by Dahr Jamail
[Journalists and residents
who have fled Fallujah share accounts of US troops
killing unarmed and wounded people; Dahr Jamail continues interviewing survivors as images of a city
under US assault further emerge.]
In an interview with The NewStandard, Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi journalist who works for the popular Lebanese satellite TV station, LBC, said he witnessed US crimes up close. Burhan Fasa’a, who was in Fallujah for nine days during the most intense combat, said Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English.
"Americans did not have interpreters with them," Fasa’a said, "so they entered houses and killed people because they didn’t speak English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and [they] shot people because [the people] didn’t obey [the soldiers’] orders, even just because the people couldn’t understand a word of English."
A man named Khalil, who asked The NewStandard not to use his last name for fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed the shooting of civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city.
Fasa’a further speculated, "Soldiers thought the people were rejecting their orders, so they shot them. But the people just couldn’t understand them."
Fasa’a says American troops detained him. They interrogated him specifically about working for the Arab media, he said, and held him for three days. Fasa’a and other prisoners slept on the ground with no blankets. He said prisoners were made to go to the bathroom in handcuffs, using one toilet in the middle of the camp.
"During the nine days I was in Fallujah, all of the wounded women, kids and old people, none of them were evacuated," Fasa’a said. "They either suffered to death, or somehow survived."
Many refugees tell stories of having witnessed US troops killing already injured people, including former fighters and noncombatants alike.
"I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks," said Kassem Mohammed Ahmed, a resident of Fallujah. "This happened so many times."
Other refugees recount similar stories. "I saw so many civilians killed there, and I
saw several tanks roll over the wounded in the streets," said Aziz Abdulla, 27 years old, who fled the fighting last month. Another resident, Abu Aziz, said he also witnessed American armored vehicles crushing people he believes were alive.
Abdul Razaq Ismail, another resident who fled Fallujah, said: "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could bury them because of the American snipers. The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the
A man called Abu Hammad said he witnessed US troops throwing Iraqi bodies into the
Believing that American and Iraqi forces were bent on killing anyone who stayed in Fallujah, Hammad said he watched people attempt to swim across the
Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein reported witnessing similar events. After running out of basic necessities and deciding to flee the city at the height of the US-led assault, Hussein ran to the
"I decided to swim," Hussein told colleagues at the AP, who wrote up the photographer’s harrowing story, "but I changed my mind after seeing US helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."
Hussein said he saw soldiers kill a family of five as they tried to traverse the
"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some
A man named Khalil, who asked The NewStandard not to use his last name for fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed the shooting of civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city. "They shot women and old men in the streets," he said. "Then they shot anyone who tried to get their bodies."
"There are bodies the Americans threw in the river," Khalil continued, noting that he personally witnessed US troops using the
US military commanders reported at least two incidents during which they say Iraqi resistance fighters used white flags to lure Marines into dangerous situations, including a well-orchestrated ambush.
Proponents of relaxed rules of engagement for
US and Iraqi officials have called the "pacification" of Fallujah a success and said that the action was necessary to stabilize
More writing, photos and commentary at http://dahrjamailiraq.com
from Kathy Kelly :
copyright December 1, 2004
The Real Crimes of the UN in
Looking the Other Way
by KATHY KELLY
Shortly before sunrise, this morning, a small band of us
gathered at a busy
Had Johan lived in a country that wasn't reeling from 13 years of economic sanctions, she might have survived childhood leukemia. She is one of hundreds of thousands of children who died while economic sanctions and war shattered
Writing my mental letter, I thought of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's words of comfort to bereaved parents of four little girls who were murdered when the Birmingham Baptist church was bombed on September 18, 1963. A former member of the Ku Klux Klan was convicted of the crime. Addie, Carol, Cynthia and Carole had been praying inside the church.
"These children-unoffending, innocent, and beautiful-were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity." Dr. King said. But he offered comfort. "In a real sense," he continued, "they have something to say to each of us in their death. . .they did not die in vain. . .Indeed, this tragic event may cause the white South to come to terms with its conscience."
This morning, columnists in major
In fact, many UN officials tried valiantly to put an end to the economic sanctions. Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday resigned their posts and crisscrossed the globe educating people about the effects of the economic sanctions which Halliday termed "genocidal." UNICEF's Executive Director, Carole Bellamy, held a 1999 press conference to announce the release of a "Situation Analysis of Women in Children in
The sanctions punished children while Saddam's regime profited through smuggling: Many Westerners who traveled to
The children were punished. When the pictures of those little ones, writhing in pain, wrinkled with wasting, desperate and bewildered, ...held by equally despairing and tortured parents...when those pictures were held up, sometimes as we fasted, sometimes while we were being led off in plastic handcuffs, sometimes at press conferences in front of the UN in Baghdad, sometimes in the middle of Basra cesspools and cemeteries...when those pictures were held up, many people looked the other way.
When I try to understand why columnists in far away places wouldn't take on the story of these worthy victims, I try to remember that there are many worthy victims and one person can't undertake care and concern for every devastating, brutal injustice. Pick your battles. But I can't for the life of me understand how a steady stream of columns have appeared on op-ed pages, in the NYT and other papers, alerting us to possible crimes committed by UN officials in the course of the "oil for food" program while there has been no mention of the crime of child sacrifice in Iraq.
The concern generating reams of verbiage at this point is that UN officials may have looked the other way as Saddam Hussein and a number of collaborators pocketed rake-offs in underhanded dealings using profits from Iraqi oil sales. I'm not equipped to comment on those charges. But is there no columnist who will remind us that 500,000 children under age five died as the
Let's consider the UN workers who stood a chance of getting food and medicine into
They looked the other way. I looked the other way myself. We in our delegations looked the other way even as we knew that normally we'd be hopping mad and demonstrating in front of any government bastion that inflicted so much fear on its people...but that would have been the wrap-up for our entry into neighborhoods, families, hospitals, schools, ... it was a trade-off.
King said, "And so I stand here to say this afternoon to all assembled here that in spite of the darkness of this hour, we must not despair. We must not become bitter . . . Somehow we must believe that the most misguided among them can learn to respect the dignity and the worth of all human personality." But this said, what words of comfort can I offer to Johan's brother Laith? I can tell him where we stood this morning, and whose picture I held. People looked.
Kathy Kelly is a co-coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to nonviolently resist