[Marxism] Fallujah eyewitness account

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 10 18:29:34 MST 2004


BBC News, Wednesday, 10 November, 2004

Eyewitness: Defiance amid carnage

As US forces battle insurgents in streets strewn with rubble and 
corpses, Iraqi sources question the claims that the US controls much of 
Falluja. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, a 
journalist in the city who reports for the BBC World Service in Arabic.

The heaviest fighting has been in the north of Falluja

I went for a walk around the city last night after the Americans pulled 
back.

It was very quiet - often the only sounds coming from the movement of 
fighters along streets and rooftops.

In places, it was also very dark, with only the occasional rocket or 
flare lighting the way.

Wherever I went, I found broken buildings and bodies - local people and 
fighters killed on the streets.

Clutching weapons

I also saw four crippled US tanks and three abandoned Humvees.

In the Hasbiyyah area, I counted the bodies of at least six US soldiers 
lying on the ground.

Some of them were badly mangled with various bits blown off. Others were 
in better condition, as if they had taken small-arms fire.

I noticed two of the US soldiers were still clutching their guns tightly 
across their chests. But most of their weapons were missing.

Some of the dead are beginning to rot in the streets.

But the living do not exactly smell great either - I have not had a bath 
for a week. Nor have I shaved.

There is no real rest here, day or night.

Jolan flashpoint

The US brought in a very big force on Wednesday morning.

The mosques no longer broadcast the daily call to prayer but nor are 
they silent.

Every time a big bomb lands nearby, the cry rises from the minarets: 
"Allahu Akbar" [God is great].

The worst fighting is to the north of the city, in the Jolan district.

This is where a lot of the fighters have been based.

Incidentally, it is also where US security guards were ambushed in 
April, leading to the first siege of Falluja.

I think it is misleading to say the US controls 70% of the city because 
the fighters are constantly on the move.

They go from street to street, attacking the army in some places, 
letting them through elsewhere so that they can attack them later.

The fighters have told me they are prepared to resist the Americans 
until the death.

They say they are fighting not just for Falluja, but for all Iraq.

They express confidence that they will win in the end.

They say the idea is to inflict enough casualties on the American troops 
to force them to reconsider their mission.

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