Sarajevo on the Euphrates

Sarajevo on the Euphrates: An Eyewitness Account From Inside the US siege of Falluja
by Dahr Jamail

My friends made several trips in and out of no man’s land, and even spoke to the Marines. But on the last trip US sharpshooters blew out the vehicle’s tires. My friends were forced to retreat, leaving a pregnant woman trapped in her house.

Falluja, Iraq, a low-rise, mostly Sunni city of about 200,000, has become this war’s Sarajevo. I was there on Saturday and Sunday during what was supposed to be a cease-fire. Instead of calm, I found a city under siege from American artillery and snipers.

At one of the city’s clinics I saw dozens of freshly wounded women and children, victims of US Marine Corps munitions. Hospital officials report that more than 600 Iraqis have now been killed, most of them civilians. Two soccer fields in Falluja have been converted to graveyards….

…The Americans have bombed one hospital, and were sniping at people who attempted to enter and exit the other major medical facility. So there were effectively only two small clinics that were safe to care for the hundreds of wounded. (Along with the one we visited, there is one set up in a mechanic’s garage.)….

…The ambulance–the only one left in this part of town, all the others having been destroyed by the Marines–already had three bullet holes from a US sniper through the front windshield on the driver’s side. The previous driver was out of action; a US sniper’s bullets had grazed his head not long ago. The clinic staff hoped that having English-speaking Westerners on board would allow the vehicle to retrieve more wounded…..

…My friends made several trips in and out of no man’s land, and even spoke to the Marines. But on the last trip US sharpshooters blew out the vehicle’s tires. My friends were forced to retreat, leaving a pregnant woman trapped in her house…..

This article is an edited excerpt from Jamail’s weblog for the New Standard News.

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