At the time, only the most brain-dead right-winger could have believed the notion that absolutely no civilians remained in the town and that none had been killed. That all of its hundreds of thousands of inhabitants had fled the city was belied by the fact that the US military refused to let any males of fighting age leave the town (yet another war crime). The few eye-witness reports that came from the town confirmed that civilians were being killed. This is unsurprising, as the US had declared the whole town to be a free fire zone. Now some of the horror is coming out.
According to Dr Rafa'ah al-Iyssaue, director of the main hospital in Fallujah city, the hospital emergency team has recovered more than 700 bodies from the rubble where houses and shops once were. Of these, more than 550 were women and children. Of the very few men found, most were elderly. Some were killed by snipers. The dead come from only nine neighbourhoods of the city and another 18 had not yet been searched. In addition, many of the dead had not been counted as they had been already buried by civilians after approval from US-led forces. The city itself, he noted, was completely uninhabitable.
Needless to say, Ministry of Health officials contradict what the doctors in Fallujah have said. The Iraqi government, equally unsurprisingly, is still refusing to allow journalists and TV reporters to freely enter the city. They require a special identity card and some have entered the city have been followed by US troops. Which is fitting in a way, as the US plan to administer their new "model city" as a police state
Those who are in refugee camps (strangely ignored by the western press) do not have a city to return to. It is in ruins, with no water, electricity or sewage. And why? Ostensibly, it was to allow elections to take place. It is doubtful that homeless people will qualify to vote, particularly as they will hardly be voting for the US puppets who allowed this war crime to happen. Nor is it explained how meaningful an election campaign can be run in a country under a state of emergency (which the prime minister has just extended).
But democracy has always been a mask. In reality, it was a show of military muscle to give a clear message of the depths US imperialism will sink to achieve its goals. And after flattening a city, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee and killing hundreds of civilians who did not join the exodus, what has the US achieved? The insurgency has continued all across Iraq. In "liberated" Fallujah itself, US Marines are still subject to night-time attacks in some parts of the city.
The collective punishment of a city of hundreds of thousands people has, even in its own terms, been a failure. In terms of simple humanity, it was much, much worse. It was a war crime conducted by a series of war crimes. Something the western media failed to notice or think worthy of comment.