Friday, February 18, 2005

Peace Tax, Falluja, and more from Nabil

Am trying to make this as regular as it was, and
failing to do so...

1) Refrain from paying war taxes. Unplug yourself
from the war economy -- thus reducing your personal
liability for US Government actions.

Contact: Ruth Benn, National War Tax Resistance
Coordinating Committee or 800-269-7464


Thousands of U.S. taxpayers opposed to the war in Iraq
are expected to use a new "Peace Tax Return" as a
means to protest-or even resist-the spending of their
federal tax dollars for the war.

The "Peace Tax Return 2004," produced by the
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
(NWTRCC), has two options, either of which would be
sent to the IRS or an elected official. The first
option (Part A) is for people who will be paying their
taxes but want to make a protest. For those who
willing to go further, the second option (Part B) is
for taxpayers who will be refusing to pay some or all
of their federal income taxes, despite possible
consequences from the IRS.

A third part of the peace tax form, which is to be
returned (anonymously if desired) to NWTRCC, will
allow the organization to track its use, thus
measuring the extent of the protest.

The Peace Tax Return is modeled on a return produced
by Conscience, The Peace Tax Campaign in Britain, one
of many groups around the world who are lobbying for
legislation that would allow conscientious objectors
to war to pay their taxes into a special fund that
would not be used by the military. Copies of the Peace
Tax Return can be obtained by downloading from the web


by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to
NWTRCC, PO Box 150553,
NY 11215.

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating
Committee is a 22-year-old coalition of groups who
provide information about war tax resistance and
support for those who refuse to pay some or all of
federal income and excise taxes because they help pay
for war.

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
PO Box 150553
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 768-3420 * (800) 269-7464
Fax: (718) 768-4388

2) Falluja Account:

Stories from Fallujah

These are the stories that will continue to emerge
from the rubble of Fallujah for years. No, for

By Dahr Jamail

02/08/05 -- Speaking on condition of anonymity, the
doctor sits with me in a hotel room in Amman, where he
is now a refugee. He’d spoken about what he saw in
Fallujah in the UK, and now is under threat by the US
military if he returns to Iraq.

“I started speaking about what happened in Fallujah
during both sieges in order to raise awareness, and
the Americans raided my house three times,” he says,
talking so fast I can barely keep up. He is driven to
tell what he’s witnessed, and as a doctor working
inside Fallujah, he has video and photographic proof
of all that he tells me.

“I entered Fallujah with a British medical and
humanitarian convoy at the end of December, and stayed
until the end of January,” he explains, “But I was in
Fallujah before that to work with people and see what
their needs were, so I was in there since the
beginning of December.”

When I ask him to explain what he saw when he first
entered Fallujah in December he says it was like a
tsunami struck the city.

“Fallujah is surrounded by refugee camps where people
are living in tents and old cars,” he explains, “It
reminded me of Palestinian refugees. I saw children
coughing because of the cold, and there are no
medicines. Most everyone left their houses with
nothing, and no money, so how can they live depending
only on humanitarian aid?”

The doctors says that in one refugee camp in the
northern area of Fallujah there were 1,200 students
living in seven tents.

“The disaster caused by this siege is so much worse
than the first one, which I witnessed first hand,” he
says, and then tells me he’ll use one story as an

“One story is of a young girl who is 16 years old,” he
says of one of the testimonies he video taped
recently, “She stayed for three days with the bodies
of her family who were killed in their home. When the
soldiers entered she was in her home with her father,
mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She
watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and
father directly, without saying anything.”

The girl managed to hide behind the refrigerator with
her brother and witnessed the war crimes first-hand.

“They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the
head,” he said. After this her brother was enraged and
ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they
shot him dead.

“She continued hiding after the soldiers left and
stayed with her sisters because they were bleeding,
but still alive. She was too afraid to call for help
because she feared the soldiers would come back and
kill her as well. She stayed for three days, with no
water and no food. Eventually one of the American
snipers saw her and took her to the hospital,” he
added before reminding me again that he had all of her
testimony documented on film.

He briefly told me of another story he documented of a
mother who was in her home during the siege. “On the
fifth day of the siege her home was bombed, and the
roof fell on her son, cutting his legs off,” he says
while using his hands to make cutting motions on his
legs, “For hours she couldn’t go outside because they
announced that anyone going in the street would be
shot. So all she could do was wrap his legs and watch
him die before her eyes.”

He pauses for a few deep breaths, then continues, “All
I can say is that Fallujah is like it was struck by a
tsunami. There weren’t many families in there after
the siege, but they had absolutely nothing. The
suffering was beyond what you can imagine. When the
Americans finally let us in people were fighting just
for a blanket.”

“One of my colleagues, Dr. Saleh Alsawi, he was
speaking so angrily about them. He was in the main
hospital when they raided it at the beginning of the
seige. They entered the theater room when they were
working on a patient…he was there because he’s an
anesthesiologist. They entered with their boots on,
beat the doctors and took them out, leaving the
patient on the table to die.”

This story has already been reported in the Arab

The doctor tells me of the bombing of the Hay Nazal
clinic during the first week of the siege.

“This contained all the foreign aid and medical
instruments we had. All the US military commanders
knew this, because we told them about it so they
wouldn’t bomb it. But this was one of the clinics
bombed, and in the first week of the siege they bombed
it two times.”

He then adds, “Of course they targeted all our
ambulances and doctors. Everyone knows this.”

The doctor tells me he and some other doctors are
trying to sue the US military for the following
incident, for which he has the testimonial evidence on

It is a story I was told by several refugees in
Baghdad as well…at the end of last November while the
siege was still in progress.

“During the second week of the siege they entered and
announced that all the families have to leave their
homes and meet at an intersection in the street while
carrying a white flag. They gave them 72 hours to
leave and after that they would be considered an
enemy,” he says.

“We documented this story with video-a family of 12,
including a relative and his oldest child who was 7
years old. They heard this instruction, so they left
with all their food and money they could carry, and
white flags. When they reached the intersection where
the families were accumulating, they heard someone
shouting ‘Now!’ in English, and shooting started

The family was all carrying white flags, as
instructed, according to the young man who gave his
testimony. Yet he watched his mother and father shot
by snipers-his mother in the head and his father shot
in the heart. His two aunts were shot, then his
brother was shot in the neck. The man stated that when
he raised himself from the ground to shout for help,
he was shot in the side.

“After some hours he raised his arm for help and they
shot his arm,” continues the doctor, “So after awhile
he raised his hand and they shot his hand.”

A six year-old boy of the family was standing over the
bodies of his parents, crying, and he too was then

“Anyone who raised up was shot,” adds the doctor, then
added again that he had photographs of the dead as
well as photos of the gunshot wounds of the survivors.

“Once it grew dark some of them along with this man
who spoke with me, with his child and sister-in-law
and sister managed to crawl away after it got dark.
They crawled to a building and stayed for 8 days. They
had one cup of water and gave it to the child. They
used cooking oil to put on their wounds which were of
course infected, and found some roots and dates to

He stops here. His eyes look around the room as cars
pass by outside on wet streets…water hissing under
their tires.

He left Fallujah at the end of January, so I ask him
what it was like when he left recently.

“Now maybe 25% of the people have returned, but there
are still no doctors. The hatred now of Fallujans
against every American is incredible, and you cannot
blame them. The humiliation at the checkpoints is only
making people even angrier,” he tells me.

“I’ve been there, and I saw that anyone who even turns
their head is threatened and hit by both American and
Iraqi soldiers alike…one man did this, and when the
Iraqi soldier tried to humiliate him, the man took a
gun of a nearby soldier and killed two ING, so then of
course he was shot.”

The doctor tells me they are keeping people in the
line for several hours at a time, in addition to the
US military making propaganda films of the situation.

“And I’ve seen them use the media-and on January 2nd
at the north checkpoint in the north part of Fallujah,
they were giving people $200 per family to return to
Fallujah so they can film them in the line…when
actually, at that time, nobody was returning to
Fallujah,” he says. It reminds me of the story my
colleague told me of what he saw in January. At that
time a CNN crew was escorted in by the military to
film street cleaners that were brought in as props,
and soldiers handing out candy to children.

“You must understand the hatred that has been
caused…it has gotten more difficult for Iraqis,
including myself, to make the distinction between the
American government and the American people,” he tells

His story is like countless others.

“My cousin was a poor man in Fallujah,” he explains,
“He walked from his house to work and back, while
living with his wife and five daughters. In July of
2003, American soldiers entered his house and woke
them all up. They drug them into the main room of the
house, and executed my cousin in front of his family.
Then they simply left.”

He pauses then holds up his hands and asks, “Now, how
are these people going to feel about Americans?”

Copyright: Dahr Jamail - All
rights reserved. You may republish under the following
conditions: An active link to the original publication
must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove
any text within the article, including this copyright

3) ATFP Congressional Testimony on US Policy in the
Middle East:

The long version of the testimony of ATFP president
Dr. Ziad Asali, given February 10 at the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on International Relations
on 'The Way Forward in the Middle East Peace
Process,' is now available.

This is the version that is submitted for the
Congressional record.

To view the testimony with attachments please visit:

For a Word version by email, please contact

4) Palestine Land Society -- this is a great website
for understanding the evolution of the land struggle
at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is
extremely detailed:

5) Baghdad Security Wall Murals. I'll give one mural
in this message as a sample. For the rest, click on
the following link:

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