70 % of freedom is on the march..
Optimistic reports from the U.S. military says they now have 70% of Falluja under control. Control of what is the question. Seems to be pretty much a big pile of rubble.Reuters
Briefing reporters in Washington by video teleconference from Iraq, (General) Metz said the 2,000-3,000 rebels in Falluja were putting up scattered resistance with "little coherence".
Rebel casualties were higher than expected and civilian losses were low, Metz said, without giving details. [Details, we don't need no stinkin' details. You'll eat your tripe and like it.]
While General Metz replays "all quiet on the western front" an actual participant of the grand battle says:
"There are lots of them. We took heavy fire," Gunnery Sergeant Ishmail Castillo told Reuters.
"They opened up on my tank. They don't look like they are going to cave in."
Castillo said his tank had killed six fighters and that two marines were wounded in fighting. "One of the marines was hit in the head by RPG shrapnel," he said.
"They hit us from one area and then another right afterwords. There is in-depth organization. There were small-arms attacks all night," he said.
and the BBC
local reporter Al-Badrani said...
US forces had taken some casualties. "Two US military tanks have been so far destroyed in Julan neighbourhood, where the most violent clashes are taking place," he said.
"Three US armoured vehicles have been also destroyed in other parts of the city. The clashes are very violent. Fighters have showed up from other neighbourhoods and streets the US forces are unfamiliar with.
"US forces entered central Falluja city at around 12:00 (Iraqi local time) but were fiercely attacked by the fighters," al-Badrani said.
"They withdrew from the area after half an hour, heading for their positions in the northern parts of the city," he added.
Residents told al-Badrani the crews of two US tanks deserted their vehicles in Julan, leaving them to be seized by fighters.70% of what?
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. The rest of Iraq is naturally at peace due to the Falluja attacks.:
[It seems most of the insurgents just picked up and left...Why won't they just stay and be killed?]
Iraqi rebels seized the centre of the city of Ramadi and attacked police stations elsewhere as US-led troops continued their Falluja assault.
Armed insurgents in Ramadi moved in when US troops withdrew from the Sunni city, a former rebel stronghold.
On Tuesday, rebels also targeted several police stations in and around Baquba, about 60km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said.
A number of police officers were injured in the attacks and at least one attacker killed, reports say.
In the oil-rich Kurdish town of Kirkuk - about 250km (155 miles) north of Baghdad - a suspected car bomb outside an Iraqi national guard based killed at least two people, officials said.
In a separate incident, a group of armed men attacked a police station in south-western Doura neighbourhood in Baghdad, police said.
?Mlitants abduct a first cousin of Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and two of his family members in Baghdad, reportedly threatening to kill them unless the Falluja siege is lifted
?The governor in Mosul imposes an indefinite curfew after militants kill four members of the Iraqi security forces and a foreign contractor
?Attacks at Balad, Baiji, Karbala and Tuz leave 12 members of the Iraqi security forces and one US soldier dead. The Civilians:
Al-Badrani said many civilians had died in indiscriminate bombing of the city and people had resorted to burying their dead in gardens. Many houses have been destroyed.
Allawi, who on Tuesday imposed a night curfew on Baghdad for an indefinite period, got a personal taste of Sunni anger at a Ramadan Iftar meal the same day.
"You have to stop fighting for four or five hours," Adnan al-Dulaimi, a Sunni official in the Religious Affairs Ministry, urged Allawi before the evening meal, a pool reporter said.
"Give them time to rescue the injured. There are civilians getting killed in Falluja. You are responsible for their lives in front of God," Dulaimi declared.
Allawi said he had tried all options before using force. "We have nothing against the civilians of Falluja," he added.
Aid agencies have highlighted the plight of civilians in Falluja where up to 50,000 people remain out of a pre-war population of 300,000.
Paul Wood (Of the BBC} notes that despite efforts by US forces to select targets carefully, their use of heavy artillery and tanks is bound to lead to civilian casualties.What is this all for? Operation Pyhrric victory...
According to the Asia Times
Like the United States' original sin of the invasion of Iraq of last year, the current Fallujah operation is based on a mix of deliberate disinformation, illusions, wishful-thinking and inept psywar. What has been the outcome of this?
?The perception that Fallujah is the source of all the evils confronting the US in Iraq. This is similar to the perception created before the invasion last year that Iraq was the source of all the evils confronting the US in West Asia.
The occupation of Iraq did not lead to peace and the end of terrorism in West Asia. It only made them even more elusive. Similarly, the occupation of Fallujah, which should not pose a major military problem for the US, is unlikely to lead to peace and an end to anti-US resistance and terrorism in Iraq.
The occupation of Fallujah will lead to more Fallujahs, and not to peace.
The perception that there is a central command and control guiding all acts of violence and terrorism in Iraq and that its general headquarters is located in Fallujah. There is as yet no credible evidence of any such central command and control operating from Fallujah.
Most of the resistance and terrorist operations all over Iraq seem to be autonomous and not subject to centralized control...
There need be no doubt about the US ability to reoccupy Fallujah. But that will be neither a beginning nor the end. It will be only a continuation of the bleeding of Iraq and the bleeding of the US.
Posted by bushmeister0
at 11:42 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 10 November 2004 11:45 AM EST