It’s now obvious: the United States will continue to use Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—dead, alive, or fictional—as a pretext to bomb Fallujah and punish its citizens for the crime of resisting Allawi’s puppet government (called the “interim” government by the corporate press) and the U.S. occupation, even though a U.S. military intelligence report issued last week revealed that al-Zarqawi is not nor has he ever been in Fallujah.
“Fallujah residents have taken control of their own town, but the U.S. keeps saying that ‘terrorists’ have control of the town,” writes Sam Hamod for Today’s Alternative News. “And no less than the U.S. puppet, Allawi has demanded that the Fallujah leaders to hand over Zarqawi or the town will face major offensive. How would they turn over Al Zarqawi while they don’t even know where he is? This is a double negative for the people, you can’t prove that which is not true. But, this will give Allawi’s cronies and the U.S. military to keep a foot in Fallujah and kill as many people as they wish.”
Double negatives aside, Bush and Allawi are determined to punish Fallujah. “The town had been pounded nightly for three weeks, with the Americans insisting that those killed and maimed were insurgents mainly from Zarqawi’s Tawhid and Jihad group,” writes Kim Sengupta for the Independent.
Repeated protests by doctors in local hospitals that the vast majority of the casualties are civilians have been dismissed as rebel propaganda. Now the town is waiting for an imminent ground and air assault, amid fears of a bloodbath. Among the dead in the al-Jabouri family were 26-year-old Atika, who was six months pregnant, her three-year-old son Omar, her husband Thamir, 28, her sister Athra and her mother. Atika’s prematurely born baby lived for a few hours after her, but they were buried in the same grave.
The only member of the family to come out alive was Atika’s five-year-old daughter, Ayisha. She was asleep, hugging her grandmother, who was killed instantly. Miraculously the little girl survived, but she was badly injured, burnt and lacerated by shrapnel and flying glass. Ahmed Fawzi, Ayisha’s uncle, recalled: “I live nearby and ran over after hearing the explosions. There was nothing left. We had to bring out the bodies one by one.” Ayisha, with injuries to her shoulder, arms, back and legs, was taken to a hospital in nearby Ramadi for treatment.
Mazin Younis, an Iraqi -born human rights activist from Manchester who visited Fallujah to investigate the damage, found that the overwhelming number of attacks have been on civilian targets, the Independent reports. “People in Fallujah say they are being punished,” said Mr Younis. “Ordinary people are being killed. I had a meal in a kebab restaurant called Hajji Hussain. It was full of families. Two days later it was bombed by the Americans.”
So what is the point of blowing up children? “The United States says the strikes are aimed at disrupting guerrilla bands planning car bombings and other attacks and have damaged the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group,” reports the Chicago Tribune, even though the Pentagon’s own investigators say al-Zarqawi is not in Fallujah.
But never mind. Here in America the complicit corporate media will continue to report Pentagon press releases verbatim and insist that the evil and omnipresent al-Zarqawi is in Fallujah. Curiously, for the Pentagon, a whole lot of Fallujahans, including three year old Omar al-Jabouri, look a lot like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Zarqawi Does Not Exist