U. S. Attack on Fallujah
November 14, 2004
On November 7, over 15,000 U.S. troops, backed by fighter warplanes, helicopter gunships, and heavy armor, invaded the town of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
According to eyewitness reports, the U.S. offensive has resulted in widespread destruction and death. Prior to the invasion, the U.S. military sealed off the entire town before unleashing a crushing air and artillery bombardment. Warplanes dropped bombs around the clock and heavy artillery pounded the city every few minutes with high-explosive shells. Large sections of the city have been reduced to rubble by artillery fire and attacks by U.S. AC-130 gunships, and a number of hospitals and mosques have been destroyed. Although residents are without water, electricity, and food, U.S. troops are preventing relief workers and convoys from entering the city.
U. S. commanders are boasting that they have "liberated" the city by killing over 1,200 Iraqis during the past week. They are proclaiming that their military offensive is "complete" and that they now "occupy all of Fallujah."
But despite these claims, Fallujah has become a symbol of Iraqi resistance against the occupation, and the latest military offensive is proving to be a military and political defeat for U.S. imperialism.
Armed resistance against the U.S. occupation has escalated in numerous other Iraqi cities. In Mosul, an uprising occurred against U. S. forces and their puppet Iraqi army, forcing U.S. commanders to divert troops away from Fallujah. In cities such as Ramadi, Samarra, and other towns north of Baghdad, new fighting is breaking out, while U. S. bases in Baghdad and elsewhere are coming under increasing attack.
On November 9, the Association of Muslim Scholars, a group of 3,000 clerics, called for a nationwide election boycott to protest the assault on Fallujah. "The Iraqi clerics place on the government of Ayad Allawi the entire legal and historical responsibility for what Falluja is going through, which is genocide at the hands of the occupiers," said Harith al-Dhari, the association's leader. Other Iraqis have urged a campaign of civil disobedience in protest, and in recent days, four leading clerics and dozens of other Iraqis have been arrested for speaking out against the occupation.