It was a year before that on April 28th, 2003 when American soldiers fired on a peaceful demonstration killing 17 and wounding another 70.
That was the first time that I had ever read about Fallujah.
I remember wondering if the "j" was pronounced like a "j" or an "h."
The world was waiting to see if these soldiers would be peacekeepers or occupiers. Not the cynical of course, as they had known all along what these jokers were really about.
Then today I was looking through In These Times and I found an excellent article on Fallujah by Rashid Khalidi.
He says it's not the first time that Fallujah has been bombed. That would be the spring of 1920 when the British used "massive air power, bombing indiscriminately." The oldest folk in town have the distinction of having been the very first folks to be bombed out by White Meglomaniacal Control Freaks with no regard for human life. Now they are also the most recent examples of this sadistic form of control.
What a life.
The very oldest civilians bombed by the British in five different invasions over the last eighty-odd years? Then Saddam's state terror since 1978, a crippling US sponsored eight year war with Iran and not one, but two Gulf Wars sandwiched around a twelve year bombing mission.
And now the never ending occupation.
Should this be the price of sitting on so much oil?
Khalidi is fairly clear about this,
The United States has been a major Middle Eastern power since 1933, when a group of U.S. oil companies signed an exploration deal with Saudi Arabia. The United States has been dominant in the Middle East since 1942, when American troops first landed in North Africa and Iran. American troops have not left the region since. In other words, they have been in different parts of the Middle East for 62 years.
And fairly clear about America seen wearing white hats,
The United States was once celebrated as a non-colonial, sometimes anti-colonial, power in the Middle East, renowned for more than a century for its educational, medical and charity efforts. Since the Cold War, however, the United States has intervened increasingly in the regions internal affairs and conflicts.
Those Americans in the white hats were unfortunately from black and white movies, possibly even from silent films.
Those Americans are gone.