"The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from
which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked
into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués
are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have
been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows.
… We are today not far from a disaster."
- T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), The Sunday Times, August
On Monday, April 17, my sources in Baghdad reported
fierce fighting in the al-Adhamiya neighborhood of the capital city, as well
as fighting in the al-Dora neighborhood. One source, who lives in the predominantly
Sunni area of Adhamiya, had been telling me the situation was disintegrating
for days leading up to this. There had been clashes every day for four days
leading up to yesterday's huge clash there, with sporadic fighting between Sunni
resistance fighters and members of the two largest Shia militias. The armed
wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Badr Organization,
and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army have been launching ongoing attacks against
fighters in the neighborhood. There is a shorter version of this description.
Yet we don't hear it described as such in the corporate media, nor from the
Cheney administration. Their propaganda insists that Iraq is not yet in a civil
But in Adhamiya, every night now for several weeks roads have been closed with
tires, trunks of date palm trees, and other objects to prevent "kidnappers and
Shia death squads" from entering the area, according to one source, whom I'm
keeping anonymous for security reasons.
His description of the fierce fighting in his neighborhood is quite different
from the reporting of it in mainstream outlets.
"Sunday night at 12:30 a.m. clashes started just like on the four previous
nights, but it was very heavy and from different directions. It was different
from the other nights in quantity and quality; it was truly like the hell which
I haven't seen even in the battles of the war between Iraq and Iran during the
eighties," wrote my source. He added that mortars and rocket-propelled grenades
were used, and so much ammunition that the sky was "glowing red." The situation
went on until Monday morning. He said, "I usually have my cup of coffee in my
small backyard to drink it in a good atmosphere, but the minute I opened the
door someone from the interior ministry commandos shouted at me, telling me
to get inside or he'd shoot me. Of course I stayed inside and the shooting continued
in a very heavy way until 12:30 p.m., when the American forces came to start
helping the militia's attack on al-Adhamiya after they were watching the scene
from their helicopters."
He went on to state very clearly that "these were members of the Badr militia
and Sadr's Mehdi Army who were raiding the neighborhood."
Another witness at the scene wrote, "Men in police uniforms attacked the neighborhood.
The Ministry of Interior claimed the uniformed men don't belong to the puppet
[Iraqi government] forces, but local residents are quite sure they are special-forces
from the Ministry of Interior, probably Badr brigades. The neighborhood was
sealed off and the mobile phone network was disconnected until 10:45 p.m. Electricity
was cut off from 10 a.m. on."
Meanwhile, Reuters obediently parroted
the U.S. military by reporting that "Insurgents mount bold attack in Baghdad,"
and saying, "About 50 insurgents mounted a brazen attack on Iraqi forces in
Baghdad on Monday, prompting U.S. troops to provide support in a battle that
lasted seven hours, a U.S. military spokesman said. The guerrillas attacked
Iraqi forces in the mostly Sunni Arab district of Adhamiya in northern Baghdad
overnight. Five rebels were killed and one member of the Iraqi forces was wounded.
There were no U.S. casualties, said the spokesman."
While this press report quoted an Iraqi police official as saying, "Adhamiya
residents have taken up arms to prevent the Shi'ite militia from entering,"
and "Adhamiya residents said Shi'ite militiamen accompanied the Iraqi forces,"
it added that this could not be confirmed.
An Iraqi in Adhamiya confirmed this immediately after the clashes ended by
writing, "When the uniformed forces entered the neighborhood, the National Guards
that are usually patrolling the streets left. Young armed men from the neighborhood
fought side by side with mujahedin against the attacking forces to protect al-Adhamiya.
Several residents have been killed in the streets, but there are currently no
figures available. U.S. troops also entered the neighborhood At first, they
only stood by and watched; later on they, too, fired at the locals, who tried
to repel the attacks. Later in the day, rumors circulated that another fierce
attack of al-Adhamiya is planned on Wednesday, but … couldn't confirm this information."
Other news outlets directly contradict the aforementioned statement by the
U.S. military spokesman, when one reported
that "gunmen clashed with residents in Baghdad's Adhamiya district."
Of course, the military spokesman also failed to mention that on the same
gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque killing a guard in the Adhamiya district
of the capital."
Instead, we hear reporting that "[U.S.] Army officials said they had suffered
no casualties, and plan to raid
homes in search for the gunmen."
Disturbingly, this obvious U.S.-backed Shia militia invasion of a Sunni neighborhood
may well be a prelude to what the U.S. military is calling a "second liberation
of Baghdad," which they will carry out with the Iraqi army when a new government
The Sunday Times reports
that U.S. commanders both in Iraq and at an army base in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.,
are planning a "carrot-and-stick" approach by offering suffering populations
"protection" from sectarian violence in exchange for "rooting out insurgent
groups or al-Qaeda."
Sound like Mafia tactics to you?
The article states that "Sources close to the Pentagon said Iraqi forces would
take the lead, supported by American air power, special operations, intelligence,
embedded officers, and back-up troops. Helicopters suitable for urban warfare,
such as the maneuverable AH-6 'Little Birds' … are likely to complement the
This is disturbingly similar to what just occurred in al-Adhamiya.
Another glaring example of the Cheney administration/U.S. military's ongoing
war on truth in Iraq is the open wound that is Fallujah.
Heavy-handed assaults by the U.S. military continue in Fallujah, where as recently
as this Monday three Iraqi civilians were killed, along with 10 wounded in the
Jebail district of the city. Of the 10 wounded, three were women and two were
to Mustafa Karim, with an Iraqi security force in the city, "U.S. forces
fired on houses in the district following confrontations with armed groups in
the vicinity." Karim added that residents of Fallujah have been demanding an
easing of the tight security procedures imposed by Iraqi and U.S. armed forces
on the region since November 2004, which have obstructed the passage of civilians
into and out of the region, and "Fallujah has been recently witnessing a renewed
escalation of armed confrontations between U.S. forces and armed Iraqi groups."
In fact, fierce fighting in Fallujah has been ongoing since just a few months
after the November 2004 U.S. attack, which destroyed most buildings and homes
in the city of 350,000 people.
But the U.S. military doesn't want people to see that American soldiers are
dying there on nearly a daily basis as of late. Rather than calling it Fallujah
when soldiers die there, they prefer a sort of Bermuda Triangle approach and
use "al-Anbar province" for the location of these deaths.
Let's have a brief glance at some soldiers killed recently in "al-Anbar province":
- April 17, Department of Defense (DoD) announced
the death of a Marine who "died April 14 from a non-hostile motor vehicle
accident in al-Anbar province, Iraq."
- April 16, Centcom announced:
"Camp Fallujah, Iraq - A Marine … died due to enemy action while operating
in al-Anbar province April 15."
- April 16, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - Multinational Forces (MNF) Iraq announced:
"Three Marines … died due to enemy action while operating in al-Anbar province
- April 15, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced:
"Two Marines died and 22 were wounded due to enemy action while operating
in al-Anbar province April 13. … Ten wounded Marines … were evacuated to a
medical facility at Camp Fallujah."
- April 15, DoD announced:
"Four Marines died April 15 when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive
device during combat operations in al-Anbar province, Iraq."
- April 11, DoD announced:
"Lance Cpl. Juana Navarro-Arellano, 24 … died April 8 from wounds received
while supporting combat operations in al-Anbar province, Iraq."
- April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - Centcom announced:
"A soldier … died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating
in al-Anbar province April 8."
- April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - Centcom announced:
"Two soldiers … died due to enemy action while operating in al-Anbar province
- April 8, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced:
"A Marine … died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating
in al-Anbar province April 7."
Note the clue that several of these are issued from "Camp Fallujah, Iraq."
This is hardly a complete list of U.S. soldiers killed in Fallujah, and some
of the aforementioned may not have actually been killed inside that city. However,
military announcements of the deaths of soldiers in other places mention the
name of specific cities, whether they occur in Samarra
Afar or elsewhere.
Obviously the U.S. military is being intentionally vague when it comes to admitting
losing American soldiers within the city limits of Fallujah. An e-mail I received
Monday from one of my sources in Fallujah sheds much light as to why this is
the case, not only in Fallujah, but throughout Iraq.
"Resistance [in Fallujah] is very active and all the destruction to the
city by American soldiers did not succeed to stop them. You know the city was
totally destroyed in the November attack and is still surrounded and closed
for anyone other than citizens of the city. What is going on now is that the
Americans are trying to conceal their failure here by not letting anybody in.
There were at least five explosions today and more than one clash between resistance
fighters and U.S. soldiers. So all the military procedures, together with the
thousands of casualties, were in vain. In short, the American Army seems to
be losing control in this country and God knows what they will do in revenge.
I expect the worst to come."
This piece originally appeared on Truthout.org.