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February 14, 2009

New Tomdispatch


Iraq's "Teflon Don"
The New Fallujah Up Close and Still in Ruins

By Dahr Jamail

Fallujah, Iraq -- Driving through Fallujah, once the most rebellious Sunni city in this country, I saw little evidence of any kind of reconstruction underway. At least 70% of that city's structures were destroyed during massive U.S. military assaults in April, and again in November 2004, and more than four years later, in the "new Iraq," the city continues to languish.

The shells of buildings pulverized by U.S. bombs, artillery, or mortar fire back then still line Fallujah's main street, or rather, what's left of it. As one of the few visible signs of reconstruction in the city, that street -- largely destroyed during the November 2004 siege -- is slowly being torn up in order to be repaved.

Unemployment is rampant here, the infrastructure remains largely in ruins, and tens of thousands of residents who fled in 2004 are still refugees. How could it be otherwise, given the amount of effort that went into its destruction and not, subsequently, into rebuilding it? It's a place where a resident must still carry around a U.S.-issued personal biometric ID card, which must also be shown any time you enter or exit the city if you are local. Such a card can only be obtained after U.S. military personnel have scanned your retinas and taken your fingerprints.

The trauma from the 2004 attacks remains visible everywhere. Given the countless still-bullet-pocked walls of restaurants, stores, and homes, it is impossible to view the city from any vantage point, or look in any direction, without observing signs of those sieges.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at February 14, 2009 07:27 AM

KBR rebuilding the world the old fashion stoneage way, one faulty light switch at a time.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 14, 2009 08:41 AM

It's nice to see that Bush implemented his weird 1984 fantasy there in Fallujah, complete with retina scans wtf. Operation al fajr was 4 days that certainly changed my outlook on life thanks g. I actually talked to a refugee from that place and he asked me about he heard shit might have got blown up a little. Oh fuck me now. I am ashamed that I didn't have the heart to tell the dude that I personally witnessed his shit get bombed nonstop for 4 days. Ah but how could I. I'm sure he would understand too. Here's a picture of me talking to the guy and screw whatever dick took a picture to remind me.

Oh, and if you are the current richest dude in your town-- Know this, if you live in the burbs the US military fights your town, US marines ~will~ be shitting in your toilets... Nasty MRE shits. That's a good excuse to live downtown there.

Posted by: tim at February 14, 2009 10:50 PM

But we saved the city from the insurgents didn't we? Not an insurgent in sight from the donkey-meat kabob stand to the scrap metal dealers. It's not like we needed Fallujah to ship us oil like we need Basra.

Posted by: Pangolin at February 20, 2009 03:04 AM