Media Lies

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Happy New Year From Ann Clwyd

In keeping with the syncopated rhythm of our previous correspondence, the saintly Ms. Clwyd has finally got around to replying to my last email but one, in which I asked her when she'd be getting on her hind legs to protest about war crimes, which I detailed for her so she could ignore them while converting arms cashes (sic) into reconstruction budgets:

Subject: RE: your email
Date: January 12, 2005 14:53:13 GMT

Dear [Raoul],

Thank you for your email of 25 November 2004. I apologise for the delay in replying. I am, of course, concerned about the humanitarian situation in Fallujah and have repeatedly raised the issue with the appropriate authorities in the UK as well as with organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organisation and the UN.

Nevertheless, the recent military action in Fallujah took place at the request of the Interim Iraqi Government (IIG) with the aim of restoring stability and security to the country before the national elections. I returned from my seventh visit to Iraq since the fall of the regime in December. I was told by many Iraqis that the terrorists and insurgents in Fallujah were using the population of that city as a 'human shield'.

When Barham Salih, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq visited the House of Commons in November, he told MPs that all political avenues had been tried before the decision was taken by the IIG to send in Iraqi troops, supported by Multi National Forces, to clear the city of the insurgents. Fallujah had become a command and control centre for the insurgents - as of the end of November, 203 arms cashes had been found and only 59 per cent of houses yet searched. Before the assault on Fallujah, there were around 80 insurgent attacks a day across Iraq and that had fallen to about 60 attacks. Sunni leaders in the city had come to the IIG to ask them to rid Fallujah of the foreign fighters and Saddamists.

It was the priority of the Iraqi Government, and that of the military forces supporting them, to keep the humanitarian impact of military action to an absolute minimum.

Essential services were disrupted during the course of military action. However, Iraqi and multi-national forces supplied Fallujah's civilian population with water supplies as they moved into the city. The Iraqi Government and the Multi-National Force had also stockpiled essential supplies in the city before operations began to provide for the immediate needs of Fallujah's civilians.

The IIG has established a cross-ministry Fallujah Core Coordination Group to plan and deliver its assistance to Fallujah's civilians. This assistance includes supplying food, water and medical supplies, restoring essential services, and refurbishing medical facilities.

Extensive medium and long-term reconstruction work is also planned for Fallujah. The Interim Iraqi Government (IIG) has set aside significant funds from the Iraqi government budget for reconstruction work. The IIG is being supported by the Multi-National Force-Iraq, which also has considerable resources for immediate post-conflict reconstruction work in Fallujah, including clearing rubble and the restoration of water, sewerage and electricity services. United States agencies have planned around 100 reconstruction projects in the Fallujah area totalling $84.1m, due to begin soon.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Members of the reality-based community have questioned which planet she inhabits, noting a slight divergence between the account above and the situation on the ground:

"Fallujah, like your worst date, has been fucked and forgotten. There is no need to be comprehensive in our review of the facts, and there is certainly no sensible dispute about them."

Quoth Lenin.

"Well, they're dead, the city's destroyed, but at least we brought them water..."

Since we are all "human shields" in a way, it may come as a shock to learn that this status strips us of our human rights, as abrogated under the selective interpretation thereof by war Tone and his special envoy on nastiness in Mesopotamia.

Perhaps you'd care to bother her yourselves on the above address; I'm tied up for now, garrotting myself. It seems less painful that way.