Saturday, November 13, 2004
No one reads us, we don't care
Despite the Pentagon's largely successful attempts to stem the flow of news from Iraq, there is a growing mass of apparently credible evidence of deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure and collective punishment in Falluja. The following is a sample of what a few minutes on Google yielded.
Last week the BBC reported that US air strikes
"reduced the Nazzal hospital, run by a Saudi Arabian Islamic charity, to rubble."
This place is referred to in The Guardian on Wednesday as a "clinic", although the same piece reports that
"US bombardments hit a clinic inside the Sunni Muslim city, killing staff and patients, residents said. US military officials denied the claims."
On Monday Reuters quoted Dr. Ahmed Ghanem of the Central Clinic, which had replaced Falluja Hospital as the main treatment centre thus:
"Falluja Hospital and its medical team are now under American control. We cannot use their services. There is a health crisis in Falluja. We are only a few doctors with moderate means offering our services to casualties."
And The Guardian, quotes Sami al-Jumaili, "a doctor at the main Falluja hospital seized by US troops on Sunday night", telling Reuters:
"There is not a single surgeon in Falluja. We had one ambulance hit by US fire and a doctor wounded".
A report posted on the United Nations Intergrated Regional Information Networks website on Wednesday quotes the spokesman for the Iraq Red Crescent Society, Firdoos al-Abadi, on the carnage in Falluja:
"We have supplies and people who want to help. People are dying due to the shortage of medical materials and other needing food and water, but you have to watch them die because US troops do not let you go in".
The Guardian also quotes al-Abadi--to whom it refers as "head of the Red Crescent's emergency committee"--as follows:
"There is no water, no electricity, no food. They are forbidding doctors from helping the people."
No response that I can detect from Human Rights Watch or Amnesty yet, but if any of this reaches sufficient volume in the public arena, it will no doubt be angrily denied or blamed on the insurgents. Best to keep banging away though.