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Bush gives the order to crush Falluja
Stop the slaughter!

November 12, 2004 | Page 1

"THE ENEMY there has a face, and it's called Satan, and it lives in Falluja." U.S. Marine Col. Gary Brandl used these words to rev up his troops for an all-out assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja.

And now the U.S. is turning Falluja into a living hell.

The skies above the city burned red as "Operation Phantom Fury" began with a devastating bombing campaign. Pentagon planners proudly hyped their assault as the U.S.'s largest urban battle since the Vietnam War, with some 10,000 Marines, Army soldiers and Iraqi forces storming the city.

The brass claim that they are after an estimated 3,000 Iraqi rebel fighters "holed up" in Falluja. But the real purpose of this assault is to crush the city that has come to symbolize Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation.

And like Vietnam, the Bush gang is ready to "destroy the city in order to save it." "It's kind of like the cancer of Iraq," Lt. Steven Berch told the New York Times. "Hopefully getting rid of them will help to stabilize the whole country." But what U.S. forces will be getting rid of are more Iraqi lives.

U.S. and Iraqi invaders struck first at Falluja General Hospital. Storming through the building, soldiers blasted open doors and handcuffed patients and hospital workers, forcing them to stand or lie spread-eagled as they searched for "insurgents."

But there was a more sinister motive for taking over the hospital first. "One main goal for taking the hospital first was likely to control information," reported Associated Press. "The facility was the main source of Iraqi death tolls during the first U.S. siege of Falluja in April, and U.S. commanders accused doctors there of exaggerating numbers."

In other words, the U.S. wants a tighter rein on reports of civilian casualties this time around--because they know their shock-and-awe assault will leave cause horrific "collateral damage."

As the attack began, the U.S. has reportedly blocked all routes leading out of Falluja--effectively trapping those who are too poor to leave as the Pentagon unleashed tanks, artillery and warplanes. For the rest of Iraq, as well, the invasion of Falluja has translated into even less freedom--because the Iraqi puppet regime of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi exploited the opportunity to impose a 60-day period of martial law that allows for curfews and wider powers of arrest.

George Bush and his fellow Washington warlords insist that Falluja must be brought under control if scheduled January elections are to take place. But the slaughter in Falluja has nothing to do with democracy or freedom.

The horror of this latest U.S. assault has rightly sparked outrage across the globe. Here in the U.S., the antiwar movement needs to take a stand--right now.

We need to demand an end to Bush's slaughter in Falluja--and his occupation for oil and empire.

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