Despite their 100% air supremacy, the coalition forces have not taken a single city after two weeks of war . Despite claims that this war would use weaponry of a precision never seen before, hundreds of civilians have been butchered as war crimes are committed daily.
President Bush declares that with every day that passes, the coalition forces are nearer to Baghdad. The truth is that with every day that passes, the trap around them grows tighter as with every day that passes, more and more war crimes are committed.
With every day that passes, civilians are murdered by the US Armed Forces and their British, Spanish and Australian allies. With every day that passes, more mothers weep for their children. Last night, nine children were murdered in their beds when US military aircraft targeted civilian areas.
With every day that passes, the resolve to fight on and the hatred for the invading force grows stronger in the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. With every day that passes, the lies issued by the Pentagon are greater as the Bush administration uses censorship and misinformation to keep its people uninformed.
The cosmetic casualty list presented by the Pentagon is ridiculous: 63 US soldiers and 25 British. If there are 1,300 Iraqi soldiers dead, most of whom in close fighting, the real casualty list on the side on the coalition would be more realistically in the hundreds. These figures would correspond with the information being given by the Iraqi Information Ministry, which, although everything has to be confirmed by independent sources, has proved since the beginning of this illegal attack to be much more reliable than the Pentagon.
Basra has not fallen, Najaf has not fallen, Nassiriya has not fallen. As the coalition forces are drawn deep into Iraq, they suffer their first setbacks. The US forces were forced to retreat today in Nassiriyah and Najaf after fierce battles with the Fedayeen Saddam, the Iraqi President’s special security forces. If there is fighting at such close quarters, it does not seem realistic that the coalition casualty list could be so short.
Meanwhile, three British troops have been sent back to the UK for court martial, after refusing to carry out orders. What orders these were is unclear. However, one day after US infantry machine-gunned a passenger vehicle, murdering 7 women and children and injuring two others, nothing would be surprising.
A monumental and colossal mistake has been committed. It is time to stop, to put a peace plan into action. The people of Iraq have proved that they are prepared to fight for their country. It is they who must decide on the model of government they want in a free and fair election organised by the people of Iraq and monitored by the United Nations Organization.
This would be the victory for freedom that the Bush administration could claim and it would be acceptable by all parties, even if Saddam Hussein were to stand, and be elected by the majority of his people.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru