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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 04:59 PM
Original message
Email from Baghdad, April 10th. Report this to everyone you know

The following series of emails came to me from eyewitnesses to the civilian
uprising against the occupation of Iraq. Paola Gaspiroli is an Italian woman
from Occupation Watch and Bridges to Baghdad whom I met in Baghdad in
January. She is devoted to humanitarian work and spreading the truth of her
experiences in Iraq. I trust Paola's words as she writes:

Dear All,
I want to stay in Iraq but I believe its best to leave. It's getting really
dangerous as Italians are being targeted. (Italy has a 2,500 plus force
including Carabinieri occupying Nassiriyah. The town has been subject to a
number of resistance attacks including a devastating attack on the police
station: four soldiers, one civilian, one documentary film maker, twelve
Carabinieri police and eight Iraqis were killed.)
An 'elastic' sheikh ('elastic' because his interpretations of Islam and
moral conduct is flexible) in Sadr City told me I should leave as even he
can't control his people. He says foreigners are targeted and already six
foreigners are hostage, four of whom are Italian security firm employees
kidnapped from their car.
Some Iraqis and NGO people are driving back and forth into Falluga to bring
people out. We've not been able to help as the situation is getting much
worse.

Below journalist Ewa Jasiewicz describes present events in Iraq where a
great many innocent people are dying yet only a small part is reported in
the media. Ewa worked with Voices in the Wilderness and Occupation Watch in
Iraq, lived in Basra and Baghdad for eight months as well as in Palestine's
Jenin camp for six months. She speaks Arabic, got back from Iraq two months
ago, and is in regular contact with friends in Basra and Baghdad. On Friday,
April 10, she spoke to friends in Baghdad who have been ferrying the injured
from Falluja to Baghdad for the past three days. They report ambulances have
been barred from entry into the blood-drenched city.
Please spread the information below as widely as possible, and act upon it.

Iraq Solidarity Action - Resist the Massacre in Falluga
Falluga is under siege. At least 470 people have been killed, and over 1,700
injured in the last few days. American military snipers are following and
discouraging ambulances by firing on them.
There has been no ceasefire. Instead, American forces told people they have
eight hours to leave. Many left but are now they're trapped and under attack
in the desert. Iraqi people are trying to bring them supplies as well as
support civilians in Falluga.
Baghdad was quiet today except for Abu Ghraib in west Baghdad, where a vast
prison is bursting at the seams with over 12,000 prisoners. An American
convoy was attacked there and nine soldiers injured and 27 kidnapped. No
newswires are reporting this incident.
My team, Bridges to Baghdad is leaving. We have flights booked from Amman
but, first, tomorrow a team will go to Sadr City -- fifty people have been
killed there -- to deliver medicines.
People were told to leave Falluga and now thousands are trapped in the
Desert. There is a 13 km long convoy of people trying to reach Baghdad.
The American military is dropping bombs -- everything, everything, they have
-- on families, children, old men and women in the dessert. Even after
agreeing there'd be a ceasefire I saw planes and helicopters fly over and
drop cluster bombs and new mortars that jump three to four meters. People
lie dead in the streets. Hospitals, too, are attacked.
Fallugans are fighting back but we're expecting the main attack in 24-48
hours when the military takes the town street by street.
Everyone here is going crazy. It's not safe for foreigners and a Sheikh from
Falluga says he can't guarantee my safety and that it will get more crazy. I
think foreigners will start getting killed soon as people get more
desperate. As their families, houses, pets, everything is bombed they'll
fight back ferociously.
The American military says this operation will last only five days and that
it's drawing to an end as they need troops on the fronts breaking out all
over the country. But no one is safe. We'll probably be killed tomorrow.

Falluga, a city with a population of 232,000), is now undergoing a trauma
similar to the massacre in Jenin but with a larger, more powerful, better
armed military that is carpet bombing the town. We have to do what we can in
solidarity with the dying, the bereaved, and those still struggling,
defending, and fighting back. There is honor and dignity in resisting and
the Iraqi intifada is raging. Iraq is on fire. We cannot be silent. Remember
the massacre in Jenin. Never Again. Stop the massacre in Falluga.
Please help, get people to protest, ask them to go to the Embassies, to the
streets, to do something. This is a massacre. We need world attention on
this. I have photos and film but I need to get it out of the country. Do
everything you can. Meanwhile, we're going back.
Here's what you can do:
Demonstrate, organize, protest, occupy; block roads to catch people's
attention; practice civil disobedience; stop working; prevent B52s from
taking off at Fairford Military base.
Resist! Take action in your neighborhoods; print leaflets; paint banners.
Take to the streets. Even small groups can change this situation.
Learn more:
Find addresses of US Embassies in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff and
complain (seven hundred more British troops have been flown in to quell the
uprising in the South.): http://www.usembassy.org.uk/ukaddres.html provides
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases:
http://cndyorks.gn.apc.org/caab / has a list of the locations of all the main
US air bases used in the UK.
Find a full list of arms companies, including BAE Systems, and Lockheed
Martin, that have been principal supplies of weapons of mass destruction for
the war on Iraq: http://www.caat.org.uk/links/companies.php
For tips on confronting arms companies see Campaign Against the Arms Trade:
http://www.caat.org.uk/support/confronting-companies.ph...

Read Al Jazeera for breaking news in Iraq that mainstream media won't
report: http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage

Create leaflets with the following text:
A massacre is taking place in Falluja, a town currently resisting the
occupation of Iraq and regularly pummeled by F16 fighter jets and Apache
Helicopter gun ships.
Well over 470 civilians have been killed this week, and over 1,700 injured.
This toll will rise as the military cordon closes around the town.
Eyewitnesses report that ambulances trying to enter the town are fired upon.
Bodies lie dead in the streets. Hospitals are attacked and medical supplies
and personnel are in short supply. People from all over the country are
attempting to get into Falluja to evacuate the injured with private cars.
People are donating food, medical supplies, and water to those fleeing.

At this time (10/04/04) a 13km column of Falluja residents, fleeing their
bomb-smashed town, is trapped in the desert and surrounded by US troops.
Eyewitnesses report firing upon elderly men, women and children.
US soldiers stationed near the town are in an impossible situation. Now that
the brewing discontent, frustration, humiliation, and mounting rage against
the occupation has exploded against the occupation, blood of American
soldiers is being shed for the market-profit-chasing corporate interests of
the US and UK governments.
The climate in Iraq has moved on from protest to resistance, and now to
insurgency. Demonstrations have been taking place every day all over the
country since the occupation began, with protestors ranging from students to
pensioners, unemployed, women, former soldiers and children.
Here is a brief list of Iraqi grievances and objections to the occupation:
* The Coalition Provisional Authority is re-writing Iraqi law. For example,
Order 30, Salaries and Employment Conditions for Civil Service Employees,
sets the minimum wage for Iraqi Public Sector workers at 69,000 ID ($40 per
month - less than half the recommended wage of a sweatshop worker in a free
trade zone neighboring Iran); Order 39, Foreign Investment, allows 100%
foreign ownership - privatization - and slashes the highest income tax rate
from 45% to 15%.
* There is a recycling and re-empowering of a neo-Baathist ruling elite
* There is a re-training and re-hiring of over 10,000 Baathist intelligence
agents.

Occupying forces label this revolt in support of the anti-occupation cleric
Muqtada al Sadr but it is a more widespread, uncontrollable, inchoate, and
varied than that. It is not just Islamic, not just nationalist, not just
Baathist. Instead, it is a general struggle against the Occupation.
Stand in solidarity with the people in Iraq. Join the protest against the
bloody massacre in Falluja, which will spread if the occupation armies
continue unchecked and without international challenge. Stop the ongoing war
on Iraq. Get troops out of Iraq; Bring 'em home now!

For views from the British military perspective see: "US tactics condemned
by British officers: Senior British commanders have condemned American
military tactics in Iraq as heavy-handed and disproportionate. By Sean
Rayment, Defense Correspondent (Filed: 11/04/2004)

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. it's almost too much
Edited on Sun Apr-11-04 05:11 PM by xchrom
but if that's true from this distance -- then what must the nightmare be like up close?
these e-mails give glimpses to what must be some very, very desperate times.
as always good luck mari
you are in all our thoughts
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Massacre in Jenin?
I'm sorry but a lot of what these reporters say is called into question with the references to the "Jenin massacre". In case they hadn't noticed, the UN comission which investigated the Jenin debacle found that only 57 people died, and also concluded that most of those people were armed. Even Saeb Erkat had to retract his comments about hundreds having been killed.

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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Just sending this out to the world, reporter in Baghdad
being told by the sheiks there to "get out, the worst is yet to come"
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Mari, check out Rahul Mahajan's blog from Iraq, he was in Fallujah today.
www.empirenotes.org

Glad to hear Michael is okay. Think positive, do not put negative energy into situation. Being prepared for worst is okay, I've always been taught though, that to imagine the worst is like bringing it on. Easy for me to say, so sorry you have to live through this.
Peace,
S
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I'm sure just like here
People in Iraq may or may not have heard the originial reports about what happened in Jenin, but very well may have never heard about the UN's findings.

You can remember that since Jenin, the US attacked Iraq and most Iraqis have been without cable since then.

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Must_B_Free Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. only 57 people died?
that sounds like joyride to me.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Right. The UN commission went into Jenin quite a few days after the...
...center of the city had been bulldozed by the Israeli Army and 95% of the massacre's evidence had been eradicated.

Only 57 people died in Jenin? Sure...and I've got a bridge to sell you in the Gulf of Mexico.

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1937048.st... >

<http://www.abc.net.au/correspondents/s639418.htm >

<http://www.nauseamanifesto.com/jenin />

<http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51a/index-d.html >


Fallujah is catching hell from all directions...how many innocent Iraqi women and children have been caught in the crossfire? Do you also believe that the U. S. has only lost 660+ troops in Iraq?
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. If the UN report is so non-credible
then why did Erkat retract his comments instead of criticizing the UN?
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Really? I thought it was clear that Sharon used gas in Jenin
You know, the kind of WMD that we hated Saddam for.
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sspiderjohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. A powerful report from the middle of the fighting -- a must read
I wish we could do more to help
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Racenut20 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. Am I to believe ???
Every news source in the World has missed or covered this up?

Next thing you know, I will be believing Condi is honest and straight forward.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It doesn't sound much different than what Flashpoints reported.
Edited on Sun Apr-11-04 05:52 PM by lostnfound
The description of what is going on in Fallujah on Flashpopints on Friday night is pretty similar to what I'm reading here.

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EDT Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. Ewa Jasiewicz is no friend of your stepson, or any American/
She has pooped at least three times out of her mouth in a short email.

Poop piece #1

"An American convoy was attacked there and nine soldiers injured and 27 kidnapped."

Let's wait and see how this one pans out. BS lie!

Poop piece #2

"The American military is dropping bombs -- everything, everything, they have -- on families, children, old men and women in the dessert."

I don't think so. There are enough foreign journalists that they wouldnt' do this, plus they are Americans, like your stepson, and 2 good friends of mine over there right now, and wouldn't do this.

Poop piece #3

"American military snipers are following and discouraging ambulances by firing on them."

Again, they are Americans, like your stepson, and two of my friends over there, and wouldn't do this.

There are enough real facts to get angry about, the above email diverts from the truth and paints our loved ones with lies. Whenever I read BS like this I get p'd off in a major way. There's enough real to be mad at, this is just disgracing those that had to go over there.



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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Read Rahul's blog. He was in Fallujah today (4/11)-He saw the
Edited on Sun Apr-11-04 06:25 PM by anarchy1999
ambulances.

I know Rahul and he is not exaggerating and is to be believed.

www.empirenotes.org
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. christ. its like a volcano waiting to explode n/t
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Agreed. That is why we all need to be on the phones and faxes tomorrow.
Bright and early, calling, sending articles, such as Rahul's blog. Adnan Panachi demanded we stop on Friday, said what our military is doing to Fallujah is illegal. It is a crime and only we the people of this country are going to be able to stop this and that is a really big if. Once again we are caught with the world waiting to see if we the citizens are going to rise up to stop this.

How many people do we have to kill, injure and disrupt the lives of before our leaders feel the 4 civilians have been avenged?
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supercrash Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I agree
Looks like a bunch of lies to me

A 13km convoy of people on foot stuck in the desert ?

Thats a easy picture to get, where is it ?
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Why don't you go there and get it for us?
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I know my stepson and your friends wouldnt
but there are many kids over there who are afraid, angry, and even my stepson says there are some guys in his unit who are complete assholes..also, war can make even the nicest kids, who are confused and afraid, into snipers and make them lose their minds.
Add to that the commanders telling them what to do, and making poor decisions, like Vietnam.
Time to come home bring them home now bring the troops home now
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Save your spin for...
...the Free Republic board. You won't find any takers here.

One more point...you're not there and I doubt seriously that you would have any clue as to what people are capable of doing in the middle of combat.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. people forget My Lai. people dont read in this country.
I remember the horror of Vietnam..the clusterF*ck of what can happen under stress..the horror of the stories kids brought home, the terror they felt, where there are no rules..the commanders who made bad decisions..the kids who followed the orders, made mistakes, and have to live with it the rest of their lives.
god, I pray that Michael makes the right decisions, keeps his head down, and they get him the hell out of there, and fast.
Bush admin can rot in HELL
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EDT Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. When I hear about the 27 hostages, I'll believe the rest of it.
I'm using that as my litmus test for the rest of the story.



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