[Marxism] "The Killing Zone: Moving Wounded in Fallujah"

Juan Fajardo fajardos at ix.netcom.com
Sun Apr 18 21:08:25 MDT 2004

"The Killing Zone: Moving Wounded in Fallujah"
by David Martinez Friday, Apr. 16, 2004 at 12:10 AM

The first thing you notice is the silence. An unnerving, horrible quiet 
without the sound of voices, car engines, children playing, or 
televisions. Even the birds are wise enough to have gone elsewhere. And 
yet we are in a small city in the middle of the day.

We passed the last mujaheedin patrol two blocks ago, and they waved us 
through when our escort told them what we were there for. To evacuate 
wounded, and to collect the dead.

We drop out of the truck and start walking, our passports held high in 
our otherwise empty hands. We leave our Iraqi driver and guide and enter 
the crushing quiet of the Kill Zone, the no man’s land between the 
rebels and the American forces, somewhere inside the town of Fallujah.

The team is made up of myself, a British woman, and an Iraqi woman. On 
the way in, I grab the Brit’s hand and squeeze it. “For luck,” I say, 
and I think I will remember the wink she gives me for the rest of my life.

No one, and I mean no one, is on the empty streets. We advance 
cautiously for about fifty yards, and then someone opens the door of a 
house, gesturing frantically around a corner with wild eyes. We can see 
what he is pointing at:
a man lies in the street, covered in blood, a Kalashnikov still slung 
around his body. To retrieve him, however, will mean walking into 
American sniper fire.

If we carefully look through cracks in the brick wall that leads to the 
street, we can see them. Three soldiers in shooting positions, aiming 
straight down the way toward the victim. The situation is further 
complicated by a car that stands abandoned behind the prone man, all 
four doors hanging open as if the occupants have suddenly fled. Around 
it are scattered several RPG’s and rockets. So if we attempt to do 
anything, the Americans will assume we are enemy fighters.

The Brit tries first. “HELLO!”, she yells. “Can you hear me?”
No response. I give it a try. “We are a medical emergency team! We want 
to retrieve this man in the street!”

Full story: http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/04/1677595.php

Note by www.indybay.org:

"Bay Area-based independent journalist and filmmaker, David Martinez was 
taken prisoner by the resistance fighters in Fallujah over the weekend, 
and then was released unharmed. Martinez returned to Falluja to help 
evacuate civilians and wounded people in the "kill zone". Martinez, 
along with several other internationals, was held in a resistance safe 
house while being questioned. He reports being treated respectfully. 
Once the resistence fighters were convinced the internationals were in 
Fallujah doing humanitarian work, they were released unharmed. Martinez 
reports that the fighters in Fallujah were mostly young men, all natives 
of Fallujah that have lost friends and relatives in the occupation. He 
characterizes the Fallujah resistance a "grassroots response to the 
invasion of their town." Martinez estimates the death toll at being 
close to 1200 in Fallujah so far."

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