Friday, December 12, 2003

The Empire Strikes Out: Scott Taylor Reports From Iraq, by Christopher Deliso: "I must say that of all my trips into Iraq, this one was by far the most dangerous. The security situation has been steadily declining since the US occupation began seven months ago.... The basic utilities, such as electricity and phones remain worse than in pre-war times, and there is now something like eighty percent unemployment in Iraq, since the new US governing council's decision to disband the entire Iraqi bureaucracy as well as the army and police forces. The other bizarre development is that without the refineries restored to full production and due to the tremendous fuel consumption of the occupying coalition forces, Iraq is now almost out of gas. Citizens have to wait up to four days in line to collect their ration allotment, which they then sell on the black market at one hundred percent markup to taxis and bus drivers who cannot afford to wait in queue."

"Without a doubt, the "hottest" spot in Iraq is the town of Fallujah, about one hundred kilometres from Baghdad. For starters, no one warned us that the US forces have withdrawn from Fallujah. When journalists asked to be embedded with the 82nd Airborne there, the official response was that it was unsafe at the moment. The fact is that the resistance now completely controls Fallujah. The Americans have literally put a lock on the front gate of their Forward Operating Base Volturno, and bugged out."

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