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December 01, 2004

Letter from Fallujah.

This is a letter that could have been written from the ETO (European Theater of Operations) in WWII. Posted as received.

Subject: From a buddy in Iraq

Hi everyone,

I just spent about 24 hours up in Falluja taking a look at where we will be working. When we leave here, email will come to a halt, and we probably won't get much mail. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little...

Two words about Falluja. Completely devestated. In fact, I think they should have just gone a head and leveled the town, WWII-style. That way they could just start over from scratch AND send a very powerful message to the Sunnis. However, now the government will have to rebuild houses, and neighborhoods. Waste of money. There were few if any "innocents" in that town.

The Battle. We got a pretty good briefing on the battle before going up. Basically, the days prior, a propaganda campaign was conducted. Leaflets were dropped which read, "when the lights go out, its time for you to leave." The night before the battle, we took out the power plant. The next day the city was empty except for a few old folks who refused to leave and a lot of foreign terrorists. (mostly Syrian and a few others including some from Sudan) The terrorists plan was for us to come in and fight house to house, thus creating huge casualties. They were expecting us to come in from the east, and spent the last year building up their defenses (in civilian houses). Our forces acted in ways that would reinforce this belief. However, all the while the Marines and Army were massing to attack from the North and surrounding the south and west of the city. (Falluja is small, but very dense. About 4km x 6km)

Once the attack began, the insurgents got a big surprise. Rather than fight house to house, the Americans just blew up the house. They went in with tanks and other armored vehicles. Thus, the battle was relatively short. Now, both the US and Iraqi forces are moping up the remaining insurgents. This is a difficult process, as they had a year to prepare their defenses. Our guys are finding HUGE caches of weapons and munitions of all kinds indicating they were prepared for a long fight. Again, if the cache is too big to move, they simply blow up the house. (and because of the urban density, it takes a few others with it) Every house has a stock pile of food, too. So, the few remaining, hardcore insurgents have been able to move from house to house, get a little chow, stock up on ammo, and take shots at our guys. Our guys are trying to either use or destroy the food to deny the bad guys resources. They still won't fight us in the street. They make our guys go in after them. That can get dicey. Our mission, once we get our guys up there, will be more of this and then to maintain order once the residents are allowed back into town. Needless to say, the locals will
not be happy. TOUGH. That is what you get for supporting terror and oppressing others.

We know that this defeat hurt them. The Sunnis are now trying to get into the political process. Only problem is, negotiation is considered to be weakness. That is how Falluja got so out of hand in the first place. So whether PM Allawi gives them any quarter now is anyone's guess.

Cats and Dogs. As most of you know, I am a pretty much a pet guy, especially cats. In this regard, Falluja was a tough place to visit. Homeless/ownerless dogs and cats are everywhere. The house I slept in had several dogs and cats hanging around. I think the cats have is the worst. In fact, I wound up having one curled up next to my feet all night on the couch I slept on. I didn't mind. I couldn't help but wonder if I was on "his" or "her" couch and they were just trying to sleep where they normally sleep. Poor things. Out of desparation, the dogs have begun to pack-up and hunt at night. The big ones prey on the small ones. Its not a pretty sound. There is a puppy living next door to the house I stayed in. He had a little buddy who was carried off during an attack by bigger dogs. He was pretty traumatized by that. Now if you walk by the house at night, you can hear him growling from his hiding place. Tough little guy... I hope he makes it. I have way more sympathy for them than I do for their owners.

Apparently, some of the Iraqi soldiers who are up there now uncovered a location used to behead hostages. Lots of pictures of the proud terrorists and their evil work. These people know nothing of the God they aledge to fight for.

Falluja is not a nice place. Again, we should have just leveled it, and the rest of Iraq would not have so much as batted an eyelash. Most would have been happy to be rid of it.

I hope to be able to check email about once a week up there, but I doubt it. I may be heading up sometime next week as part of our advance group, but no later than the 10th. I will let everyone know what our new mailing address is if and when we get one.

Until next time,


John | Permalink | Comments (0) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
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