"The Marines that have been killed over the
last five months have been killed by a faceless enemy. The enemy there has a
face, and it's called Satan, and it lives in Fallujah."
are the words of U.S. Marine Colonel Gary Brandl as he speaks of the imminent
attack on Fallujah. Who says this isn't a holy war?
This is a longer article, but stay with it – I am giving quick run down of
the major events of each of the past three days here; some of this I imagine
most folks in the U.S. don't know about if they don't read past the headlines.
I'll end this with real time events.
At the closest U.S. base to Fallujah, the combat hospital has set up a morgue
and doubled the medical staff in anticipation of large numbers of U.S. military
casualties. This augments the fact that doctors there report that casualties
have already been averaging 20 per day. Just on Friday a soldier was killed
and several wounded at a base near the city.
Also on Friday, a gas pipeline near Kirkuk was blown up, cutting electricity
to homes and businesses. In Baquba, attacks from resistance fighters claimed
the lives of two civilians when a mortar landed on their house near a police
On Saturday, four car bombs killed 40 people, 10 of whom were Iraqi police,
and wounded at least 62 in the city of Samarra, which was supposedly taken under
U.S. control at the beginning of October.
An Iraqi health official said that 23 people, including nine policemen, were
killed and 40 wounded in the first of three bomb explosions against Iraqi police.
The second car bomb detonated while rescue workers were assisting victims of
the first blast. A third bomb struck a U.S. patrol while it was attempting to
reach the scene of the first two blasts, but there has been no word yet on U.S.
The fourth blast occurred at 12:30 p.m. local time when a suicide bomber rammed
his car into a police station in the city 60 miles north of Baghdad, which,
according to Iraqi police, killed several policemen and wounded five others.
Witnesses claimed that U.S. troops opened fire sporadically in the city center
after they were attacked, injuring civilians and destroying cars.
Resistance fighters in Samarra also handed out leaflets pledging solidarity
with their brothers in Fallujah.
The U.S. and British governments, along with the U.S.-installed Iraqi interim
government, have rejected an appeal made by Kofi Annan, the secretary general
of the UN, who warned that attacking Fallujah would jeopardize the elections
slated for January in Iraq.
Ignoring his warning, U.S. warplanes, AC-130 gunships and artillery continued
to pound Fallujah Saturday.
One of the targets that was razed to the ground was Nazzal Emergency Hospital
in the city center. Having been at a clinic in Fallujah during the April siege,
I can tell you that the targeting by the U.S. military is anything but precise
Over in Ramadi, 20 U.S. soldiers were injured in an attack on their convoy.
Also in Ramadi, a suicide car bomb detonated outside a U.S. military base in
the al-Fujariyah district near the entrance of the city. The lifeless bodies
of Iraqis caught in the attack were scattered about on the road outside the
Here in Baghdad on the airport road, a car bomber killed an Iraqi civilian
and wounded three U.S. soldiers while attempting to kill members of the U.S.
Before I get to the carnage of today, let me interject something.
The Japanese man who was beheaded a couple of weeks ago, whose body was found
wrapped in an American flag … turns out that while he was portrayed as
a "backpacker" in the mainstream media, he was actually a freelance
videographer. I spoke with a friend in Jordan who stayed at the same hotel in
Baghdad as the Japanese man did just before he was abducted and killed.
Gunfire is a daily reality here in Baghdad, as sporadic fighting simmers around
the capital. From Friday night to today, the sound of U.S. fighter jets roaring
over the capital en route to Fallujah is ever present. Last night there were
several huge explosions not far from my hotel, followed of course by the usual
Which brings us to today.
Fifty people today have already been killed in Iraq. My friend Salam says to
me while we are watching the news, "What is keeping us from being one of
them? Our day is coming dude."
Out in Haditha, 200 resistance fighters using RPGs and mortars stormed a police
station, killing 23 IPs execution style – they took them out of station
and shot them after they tied their hands behind their backs. There were three
simultaneous attacks on police stations there and Haqlaniyah.
A suicide car bomber has killed three Americans on the deadly airport road,
which is also referred to as "RPG alley."
Folks in Baghdad are talking of how people are still entering Fallujah through
various ways … the sealing by the Americans is once again flawed.
Of course, there are the usual pounding explosions of bombs throughout the
day, and loads of Apaches flying low overhead about the city.
Keep in mind, all of the aforementioned has occurred, and the U.S. military
hasn't even entered Fallujah yet. And there are hundreds of other smaller events
that none of us will ever hear about going on here every single day.
Here's some more news for you. Amid all of the bloodshed, the Iraqi government
announced martial law for all of Iraq (excluding Kurdistan) for two months.
I see that this is already being reported as a "State of Emergency."
It's martial law.
Abu Talat called because he was supposed to meet me tonight, but he can't get
out of al-Adhamiya because it has been sealed by the military and Humvees are
in the main square and roaming the streets.
"I cannot reach you tonight Dahr, we are under martial law," he says
on the phone, "Like that means anything … the invaders have always
done whatever they wish to us. But now we are all trapped. This is the justice
My friend Salam, while visiting me today, says of the martial law, "So,
now any policeman can shoot me anytime he wants. This happened before, but now
it is even more legal. But this won't give the government any power. They were
already powerless. Let them put on any law they want, it doesn't matter."
I ask him how he can live like this. He says, "The hard part is living
like this everyday. You don't go near the windows, don't do what you want, don't
go anywhere unless you have good reason, be careful driving, watch the roads,
it's very tense all the time now. And there is no hope of it getting better.
I want to get married, but I think I better wait. But wait for what?"
"My mom tells me to save money for the future, and I keep telling her
that I'm a dead man. I'm going to die here, so what's the use? I try to get
her ready for it … but she can't get used to the thought."