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Monday, February 21, 2005

War crimes alert

John Burns, the NYT reporter who is to the American army what the legendary guinea pig is to the legendary S.F. polysexual, breathlessly informs us that the same tactics that were used against Falluja are now being turned against Ramadi.

“Between August and November, the strategy drove Shiite rebels out of the holy city of Najaf, forced a standdown by the same group in Baghdad's Sadr City district, and ended Sunni insurgents' stranglehold on Falluja, a major staging post for attacks.
The Falluja offensive ended with much of the city reduced to rubble, and insurgent groups still capable, weeks later, of mounting attacks from isolated pockets of resistance.

But American commanders acknowledged a more compelling reason that the offensive had proved less decisive than they had hoped. Many rebels fled ahead of the offensive, some north to Mosul, some southeast toward Sunni strongholds south of Baghdad, and others to Ramadi, 40 miles to the west, where insurgents last year took a measure of control almost on a par with their takeover of Falluja.”

Hey, how’s this for a compelling counter-narrative: a foreign army comes in, destroys hospitals, the majority of houses and small businesses, commits acts of terrorism both from the air and on the ground against a civilian population, and disperses it with maximum cruelty across the countryside – and population retaliates? Of course, I’m merely joking: surely the civilian population rejoiced at having its children shot at, its homes leveled, its religion desecrated, and it refugees treated to repeated humiliation by the Americans, because they knew that really, in our hearts, we are freedom lovin’ band. Rat Pack nation under God, just swingin’ in old Mesopotamia.

So, in the hall of shame, where the Sand Creek massacre stands next to My Lae and Falluja, we will soon be inscribe the name Ramadi. We can look forward to a lot of pics of kids burned to the gills, young men gutted, and the like, in the next few weeks. Discomforting, but just think what it feels like to the Iraqis.

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