Sunday, November 28, 2004

Fallujah, the 21st Century Guernica

This from Counter Punch. Click title to link


On November 12, as US jets bombed Fallujah for the ninth straight day, a Redwood City California jury found Scott Peterson guilty of murdering his wife and unborn child. That macabre theme captured the headlines and dominated conversation throughout workplaces and homes.

Indeed, Peterson "news" all but drowned out the US military's claim that successful bombing and shelling of a city of 300 thousand residents had struck only sites where "insurgents," had holed up. On November 15, the BBC embedded newsman with a marine detachment claimed that the unofficial death toll estimate had risen to well over 2000, many of them civilians.

As Iraqi eye witnesses told BBC reporters he had seen bombs hitting residential targets, Americans exchanged viewpoints and kinky jokes about Peterson. One photographer captured a Fallujah man holding his dead son, one of two kids he lost to US bombers. He could not get medical help to stop the bleeding. . .


At November 28, 2004 at 5:42 AM, Blogger jean-pierre said...

To use Guernika as a metaphor is both misleading and shows ignorance about what was Guernika. This place held the ancient oak which was a meeting place for swearing in the leader of the Basque assembly. For the fledgling Basque autonomy movement, this was highly symbolic.
There was no great concentration of resistance fighters in Guernika as in Fallujah. Also, Guernika was an atrocity which ocurred during the Spanish Civil War. Franco's allies the Germans did the bombing, but the Germans did not initiate this war.
In the case of Iraq, the Anglo-American alliance invaded Iraq, using the rationalizations that Iraq was complicit in the Islamic terrorism against America and the Europe, and that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any justification for the US, the UK, and its allies to have invaded and occupied Iraq. However, the comparison to Guernika is a stretch, seeming more like an anti-American propaganda ploy.
Funny that you mention the Scott Peterson case. Some of us US soldiers in Baghdad were highly irritated at not being able to learn more about different events in the US. Seemed too much attention was on the Peterson case. Fox News was the only US source we had, and I did not like it.

At November 28, 2004 at 11:16 AM, Blogger Owen said...

Jeane-Pierre. Thanks for your comments. I think no analogy can be perfect but there is possibly enough here to make this one legitimate. Fallujah was symbolic for the Iraqi interim govt. and it was prepared to `invite' US forces to bomb the crap out of a major city without any concern for civilian casualties amongst its `own' citizens in order to teach an unconvinced minority people a lesson. Further, it was a massive shock to established standards of international behaviour as was Guernika which itself pressaged much worse to come. I feel there is much worse to come after Fallujah too. The biggest part of the shock is that it was the Fascists that bombed Guernika whilst it is the mighty democratic US that is behind the butchery in Fallujah which just shows that abroad imperialism acts the same whatever it looks like at home though I would suggest that democracy at home cannot long escape the logic of these types of actions abroad.

It must have been very frustrating to be stuck with the limited delights of Fox News whilst in Iraq but you certainly seem to be looking for alternative sources of news and information now. Good luck and keep safe.


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