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2003-06-11

As Attacks on US Soldiers Continue in Iraq We Talk to Robert Fisk who Just Returned from Fallujah

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Britain Independent’s chief foreign correspondent discusses the growing revolt among Iraqis, the so-called road map to peace in the Middle East and on his meeting with Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantissi.

An article in the Independent of London on June 6 begins like this:

“From high over Iraq yesterday, President George Bush cast his Olympian eye over ancient Mesopotamia after praising the Americans in Qatar who had "managed" the war against Saddam Hussein. But far below him, on a dirty street corner in a dirty town called Fallujah that Mr Bush would prefer not to hear about, was a story of American blood and American power and American boots smashing down the front gates of Iraqi homes.

" "She’s got a gun," an American soldier shouted when he caught sight of a woman in her backyard holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle. "Put it down! Put the gun down!" he screamed at her. The soldiers were hot and tired and angry. They’d been up since 3am, ever since someone fired a grenade at a lorry-load of troops from the 101st Airborne. You could see why Mr Bush chose to avoid any triumphal visits to Iraq.

“Survivors of the ambush were among the soldiers yesterday, remembering the early hours as only soldiers can. "They fired a grenade at a two-and- a-half ton truck full of the 101st Airborne and then straffed it with AK fire and then just disappeared into the night," one of them told me. "The guys were in a terrible state. One of our soldiers was dead with his brains hanging out of his head and his stomach hanging out, and there were eight others in the back shouting and pulling bits of shrapnel out of their legs."

"Before dawn, the Americans came back to wash their comrades’ blood off the street. Then they returned once more to deal with the people who live in this scruffy corner of the old Baathist city of Fallujah."

  • Robert Fisk, Independent reporter, recently back from Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Read transcript

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