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  • Wednesday, October 19, 2005


    Censored 2006: Fallujah and the Civilian Death Toll

    I always look forward to the annual Censored volume. Despite reading a goodly number of dead tree magazines every month, I know things slip by me. So I am happily reading Censored 2006: The Top 25 Censored Stories by Peter Phillips and Project Censored.

    The stories aren't censored in the strictly traditional sense of the word. No government agency closed down a newspaper or mag, confiscated the documentation, threw the reporters in jail, etc. Yet they are stories which are important and, for whatever reason, they fell through the cracks. Mainstream news organizations ignored them.

    I intend this to be the first of an occasional series highlighting selected stories from the volume. My criteria for including any particular story is nonexistent; I am a haphazard fellow.

    Story #2 in the book is "Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Death Toll". Before the second siege of Fallujah, the US forces gave the city two choices: "...leave the city or risk dying as enemy insurgents." 250,000 people left the city but approx. 50,000 remained behind. "The United States military claimed that there were a few thousand enemy insurgents remaining among those who stayed in the city and conducted the invasion as if all the people remaining were enemy combatants."
    Preliminary estimates as of December of 2004 revealed that at least 6,000 Iraqi citizens in Fallujah had been killed, and one-third of the city had been destroyed. [...]

    Marjorie Cohn, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists, has noted that the U.S. invasion of Fallujah is a violation of international law that the U.S. had specifically ratified: "They [U.S. Forces] stormed and occupied the Fallujah General Hospital, and have not agreed to allow doctors and ambulances to go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions."
    There were also numerous reports of U.S. forces very deliberately targeting civilians with snipers.

    This isn't a pleasant story but I prefer knowing this shit than not. Because I just don't buy the "they hate us for our freedom" rationale.

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