Latest from McClatchy's Iraqi Staffers: The 'City of Cemeteries'

By: E&P Staff For several weeks, E&P has been featuring frank and often disturbing blog entries by McClatchy's Iraqi correspondents and staffers from their site, Inside Iraq. The writers' full names are not listed due to security concerns.

Here is the latest, on the continuing crisis in Fallujah, from a frequent poster, correspondent "Dulaimey."

The following is too long to read but I beg you; please save five minutes of your time and read it.

After the invasion in 2003 the city of Fallujah is not any more known to Iraqis as the city of the best Kabab in the country or the city that has one of the few Iraqi beautiful tourism cities or its many mosques? it is known for resistance and terrorism.

Dramatic changes took place in the city. The city prefers to ally with the American troops rather than with Al Qaeda.

The city is under siege. You can not go in only through certain checkpoints with a badge issued by the marines. The main soccer field in the city is now a cemetery. The only amusement park in the city was looted and destroyed; its trees were used by the locals to bake their bread. Now the former amusement park is intended to be the next cemetery.

Instead of being the city of mosques it will be the city of cemeteries and this will be another achievement of the invasion that residents of Fallujah will remember through generations. Please don?t let that happen. Don?t give extremists more arguments and evidences to fuel anger and to deceive and recruit young men with them.

It can be avoided by allowing the residents to bury their beloved in the northern east cemetery through Al Sichir checkpoint (as locals call it). Just move that check point 300 meters away and then it is solved.
Restore cell phones. Take a bold action and bring cell towers to the American camps or provide security to the existent ones so Al Qaeda won?t attack em. Prove to the people that you can do things right.

People can not understand how great armed forces, like the and marines, can not help restoring electricity, water not even cell phones so people can cooperate with the authorities at least.
Please don?t let the people remember your country in this way; making cities full with cemeteries more than it is already (some people in Fallujah buried their sons in their home gardens in 2004).

It is unfair to my people in Fallujah. It is unfair thing to do to the mothers of the soldiers who thought that they are sending their beloved sons to help millions of Iraqis. It is unfair thing to do to the good American citizens that I knew and met.

Please help not to change the name of Fallujah to the city of cemeteries.

The city, for the last three weeks and still, is under vehicles curfew. Students walk for long distances to do their final exams. Can you imagine the heat over here in Fallujah? It is about 130 F. patients, pregnant women and old men who can not walk. Add to that those who have to earn some money for their families.

You will ask me why the people don?t demonstrate and demand their rights. My answer is:

The city is under marshal laws and people have to demonstrate by the approval of the military, which is not approved usually. And the most important reason the people here still remember what happened in April 2003, when two demonstrations were faced by fire and led to all these problems. People are afraid and oppressed by every one; Al Qaeda is killing them, the Shiit- led government look to them as Sunnis not Iraqis, the Americans look to them as Saddam loyalists and their bitter enemy.

Will some one please look at them as humans?

Why the military can not allow people to enter the city freely like any other place in the world? In a prison you can enter but you can not leave. In Fallujah you can not enter and you can not leave.

Let them leave the checkpoints in place if they think it must but make it easier. Don?t issue that racist badge?

When the southern Iraqi provinces raised against Saddam in 1991 he didn?t issue them badges that say they are residents of that certain city and can not enter to that city unless they carry it not even for Kurds not even for Ramadi residents after 1994 incidents.

This badge is bad to the limit that even Saddam was shy to make it.

We became third degree citizens in this country because of Al Qaeda, Americans and Iranian backed government.

I don?t care about tribes, sheikhs, fighters, smugglers or insurgents. All what I care about are the widows who lost their supporters, orphans who lost their parents and patients who can not leave the city unless they walk for miles and can not come back unless they carry that stupid badge.

Please help these people for the sake of any thing that you believe in whether it was God, a tree, oil or above all humanity sake.

Please send this to any politician, congressman and any one who can help these people. They are suffering more than the most of others.
Help giving these people some hope.


Related: The Los Angeles Times has become one of the few major papers to call for a pullout from Iraq. It's editorial page editor explains.

The full story can be found here


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