IslamOnline.net & News Agencies / IndyMedia – 2004-11-11 09:09:22
FALLUJAH (November 10, 2004) — US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in their large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein’s alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988.
“The US occupation troops are gassing resistance fighters and confronting them with internationally-banned chemical weapons,” resistance sources told Al-Quds Press Wednesday, November 10.
The fatal weapons led to the deaths of tens of innocent civilians, whose bodies litter sidewalks and streets, they added.
“They use chemical weapons out of despair and helplessness in the face of the steadfast and fierce resistance put up by Fallujah people, who drove US troops out of several districts, hoisting proudly Iraqi flags on them. Resistance has also managed to destroy and set fire to a large number of US tanks and vehicles.
“The US troops have sprayed chemical and nerve gases on resistance fighters, turning them hysteric in a heartbreaking scene,” an Iraqi doctor, who requested anonymity, told Al-Quds Press. “Some Fallujah residents have been further burnt beyond treatment by poisonous gases,” added resistance fighters, who took part in Golan battles, northwest of Fallujah.
In August last year, the United States admitted dropping the internationally-banned incendiary weapon of napalm on Iraq, despite earlier denials by the Pentagon that the “horrible” weapon had not been used in the three-week invasion of Iraq. After the offensive on Iraq ended on April 9 last year, Iraqis began to complain about unexploded cluster bombs that still litter their cities.
The sources said that the media blackout, the banning of Al-Jazeera satellite channel and subjective embedded journalists played well into the hands of the US military.
“Therefore, US troops opted for using internationally banned weapons to soften the praiseworthy resistance of Fallujah people. More and more, the US military edits and censors reports sent by embedded journalists to their respective newspapers and news agencies,” the sources added.
Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Al-Shaalan had said Tuesday, November 9, would be decisive.”Al-Shaalan declaration meant nothing but the use of chemical weapons and poisonous gases to down Fallujah fighters,” observers told Al-Quds Press.
The reported gassing stands as a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein’s alleged gassing of the Kurdish community in the northern city of Halbja in 1988. While the West insisted that Saddam was the one behind the heinous attack, the ousted president pointed fingers at the then Iranian regime.
Marines and Tanks Confront Peace Protestors in US
LOS ANGELES (November 9, 2004) — Despite the one-day notice, about 400-500 people came to the Westwood Federal Building on Tuesday night to protest the start of the second U.S. attack on the people of Fallujah, which had been officially launched on the previous day. To my own recollection, this is a record number for a demonstration called on such short notice.
As usual for such short-notice demonstrations at this location, most of the group stood on the sidewalk along Wilshire Blvd. waving signs and shouting to oncoming commuters in cars and buses, who frequently expressed their support by shouting and blowing their horns, and (much, much less frequently) expressed opposition.
Smaller groups were stationed on each of the other three corners of the Wilshire and Veteran intersection, and as the lights changed some of these groups would parade across the intersection, making themselves still more visible to traffic.
About 7:30pm, two tanks barreled past going East on Wilshire, rounded the corner onto Veteran going South, and disappeared.
About ten or fifteen minutes later, two tanks (apparently the same ones) appeared again going East on Wilshire and stopped for the light there. Demonstrators immediately stepped in front of the lead tank, blocking its path, and started to chant “U.S. Out!” at the soldiers, whose heads and torsos were clearly visible and who evidently exchanged a few words with protestors.
The soldiers seemed amused and not really unfriendly. Unfortunately, a few of our protestors chanted “murderers!” at the soldiers, although in general I think we were more sophisticated than that, realizing that many soldiers are victims themselves who were recruited through propaganda, guile, and economic incentives that the very poor can find it difficult to refuse.
I have no idea why they were there, and neither did anyone else that I asked.
Both tanks were surrounded on three sides by protestors for about three or four minutes until the LAPD showed up and placed themselves between tanks and protestors, and cleared the protestors who were blocking the front tank out of the road. I did not witness any brutality as this occurred, nor am I aware of any arrests having been made.
The tanks then proceeded to turn right onto Veteran and disappeared from view.
Our protest continued following this incident. If sending tanks driving by was meant to intimidate us, it definitely did not succeed, and in fact had the opposite effect.
Thus, we citizens of conscience in Los Angeles have joined people around the world in expressing our public opposition to a U.S. policy of dealing death and mayhem to the citizens of Iraq in general and to those of Fallujah in particular.