Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Another Fallujah?

IslamOnline is reporting that aspects of the Tal Afar offensive resemble that of Fallujah No, they didn't use the word. What they said was: * 90 percent of the population (apparently 300,000 people) fled * the rest are trapped in their homes * there are power and phone outages (not acceptable if used as a military tactic) * troops made house-to-house searches * the city has faced "fierce US bombing and fire since Sunday" * "US helicopters dropped leaflets demanding locals to leave the city" (a suggestion of a possible Geneva Convention violation) * troops razor-wired entrances and exits closed. * F-16 jet fighters dropped two bombs Sure, it's an Arab/Islamic source. Don't trust it-- or any news source-- alone. But consider: We now know from New Orleans what displacement of hundreds of thosands of people means. Evicting entire populations from their homes is a form of genocide. It costs lives, even if they die from thirst or poor medical care rather than shrapnel or bullets. It is appropriate to be concerned. The one good thing is that there are *not* yet reports of carpet bombing or wide-spread leveling of buildings. I hope that the US Army learned that much from Fallujah. But we don't yet know. Watch this story.
And in other news:

Elsewhere, Iraqi officials said that al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters had taken control of large areas of a strategic city [Qaim] on the Syrian border after weeks of fighting between an Iraqi tribe that supports the insurgents and one that opposes them.

Now, I don't think Qaim is "strategic," and I have serious doubts about other aspects of this story. But it's clear that there's a lot of fighting:

The attacks in the Hit area began Sunday morning when two suicide car bombs exploded at security barricades on the northwest side of town, a Marine statement said.


In Doha, Qatar, the U.S. Central Command said U.S. jets launched airstrikes Sunday on insurgent positions near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, dropping two 500-pound bombs against an insurgent staging area.

not to mention

Insurgents launched a daring daylight assault Monday against the Interior Ministry in Baghdad, killing two police in a surge of attacks by al-Qaida's arm in Iraq. Two British soldiers died in a roadside bombing in the south.
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