2004-11-13

Das Falludscha-Desaster und die neue US-Kriegsikone

--- Noch immer gibt es wenig neutrale Informationen �ber die seit einer knappen Woche laufende Gro�offensive in Fallduscha. Was aber so nach au�en dringt, h�rt sich nicht gut an. Die Wiederauflage der gar nicht richtig durchexerzierten Schlacht um Bagdad im Fr�hjahr 2003 ist ein Schaukampf, der den Irak sicher nicht befriedet, daf�r aber den Ha� auf die US-Truppen noch deutlich vergr��ern k�nnte. K�rzlich war vom "Leichengeruch" in den Stra�en der Stadt die Rede, jetzt werden auch wieder die Leiden der in der Rebellenhochburg verbliebenen Zivilisten thematisiert: Die verbliebenen Einwohner Falludschas machten mit einem dramatischen Hilferuf auf ihr Schicksal aufmerksam. Hunderte Tote l�gen auf den Stra�en, und den vor Schmerzen schreienden Verletzten k�nne nicht geholfen werden, sagte der Mediziner Ali Abbas aus Falludscha in einem vom US-Nachrichtensender CNN �bertragenen Telefoninterview. Die Situation sei ein Desaster. Die in der Stadt verbliebenen Einwohner h�tten weder Wasser noch Nahrung oder Strom. Ein Konvoi des irakischen Roten Halbmonds mit Hilfslieferungen werde an diesem Samstag versuchen, die Stadt zu erreichen, berichtete CNN. Kritisch gibt sich auch die New York Times und verweist dabei auch auf den andauernden islamistischen Propagandakampf: Twenty-two American servicemen have been killed and 170 wounded in Falluja since the invasion began on Monday evening, said Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, the top Marine commander in Iraq. Of the Iraqi forces, 5 have been killed and 40 wounded, Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassim, an Iraqi commander, said. An audio recording posted Friday on the Internet and attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist who has become the Americans' enemy No. 1 in Iraq, praised the efforts of the jihadists in Iraq and said the blood spilled in Falluja "will light the way to God's victory." "I call for the heroes of Islam in Falluja to endure just for a short time," he said, "and victory will come soon. I want you to remember our Prophet Muhammad when he fought in the past." ... On Friday morning, Al Jazeera, the Arabic satellite television network, showed a videotape of a Lebanese-American hostage who had been kidnapped earlier. Reuters also reported that a Syrian driver who had been kidnapped in August with two French journalists, Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, had turned up in Falluja. No further details were available. One prominent member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said the increasing mayhem raised questions about whether the United States could win the fight against a wider insurgency, whatever the outcome in Falluja. "The insurgency is not abating," the member, Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who is a former officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, said in a telephone interview with reporters after he visited American forces in Iraq on Friday. "In some respects, it's becoming more pronounced in many parts of the country - not all parts of the country, but many parts of the country. It's hard to determine whether that's the last gasp or continued building momentum."

(Foto: Luis Sinco / LAT) Doch auch f�r amerikanische Helden ist der Irak-Krieg noch gut. Die LA Times freut sich riesig dar�ber, dass einer ihrer Kriegsfotografen eine neue und rasch Mythen-umwobene Kriegsikone geschaffen hat: den l�ssig-harten, zwanzigj�hrigen "Marlboro-Mann" James Blake Miller. In the full-frame photo, taken after more than 12 hours of nearly nonstop deadly combat, Miller's camouflage war paint is smudged. He sports a bloody nick on his nose. His helmet and chin strap frame a weary expression that seems to convey the timeless fatigue of battle. And there is the cigarette, of course, drooping from the right side of his mouth in a manner that Bogart or John Wayne would have approved of. Wispy smoke drifts off to his left. The image, printed in more than 100 newspapers, has quickly moved into the realm of the iconic. ... The Los Angeles Times and other publications have received scores of e-mails wanting to know about this mysterious figure. Many women, in particular, have inquired about how to contact him. "The photo captures his weariness yet his eyes hold the spirit of the hunter and the hunted," wrote one admirer in an e-mail. "His gaze is warm but deadly. I want to send a letter." The photo seems to have struck a chord, as an image of America striking back at a perceived enemy, or just one young man putting his life on the line halfway across the globe. Whatever the case, top Marine brass are thrilled. Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, dropped in Friday on Charlie Company to laud the featured unit. "That's a great picture," echoed Col. Craig Tucker, who heads the regimental combat team that includes Miller's battalion. "We're having one blown up and sent over to the unit."

Update: Mehr zum "amerikanischen Grosny" in Telepolis und zur verfr�hten Siegeserkl�rung der irakischen Regierung in Spiegel Online.