Sunday, 27 November 2011
The Under-Examined Story of Fallujah
An interesting report from Foreign Policy in Focus:
FPIF reports (November 23rd): Seven years after the
invasion of Fallujah, there are reports of an alarming rise in the rates of birth defects and cancer. But the crisis, and its possible connection to weapons deployed by the U.S. during the war, remains woefully under-examined. United States
Thirty to fifty thousand people were still inside the city when the
military launched a series of airstrikes, dropping incendiary bombs on suspected insurgent hideouts. Ground forces then combed through targeted neighborhoods house by house. Ross Caputi, who served as a first private Marine during the siege, has said that his squad and others employed “reconnaissance by fire,” firing into dwellings before entering to make sure nobody inside was still alive. U.S.
By the end of the campaign, Fallujah was a ghost town. Though the military did not tally civilian casualties, independent reports put the number somewhere between 800 and 6,000. As The Washington Post reported in April 2005, more than half of Fallujah’s 39,000 homes were damaged, of which 10,000 were no longer habitable.
Of the current problems in Fallujah, the most alarming is a mounting public health crisis. In the years since the invasion, doctors in Fallujah have reported drastic increases in the number of premature births, infant mortality, and birth defects—babies born without skulls, missing organs, or with stumps for arms and legs.
reported that, out of 170 babies born in September 2009, 24 percent died within the first seven days, of which 75 percent were deformed. Fallujah General Hospital