| Fallujah remembered by a US marine who helped destroy it in 2004!

US Marine Ross Caputi reflects on Fallujah in Iraq, where he was deployed in the 2004 attack that killed thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands more and poisoned the city with chemical weapons.

“I am sorry for the role I played in Fallujah!

 As a US marine who lost close friends in the siege of Fallujah in Iraq seven years ago, I understand that we were the aggressors!”

It has been seven years since the 2nd siege of Fallujah — the American assault that left the city in ruins, killed thousands of civilians, and displaced hundreds-of-thousands more — the assault that poisoned a generation, plaguing the people who live there with cancers and their children with birth defects.

It has been seven years and the lies that justified the assault still perpetuate false beliefs about what we did.

 

[Then there was the use of depleted uranium. Deplete uranium is 1.67 times as dense as lead, giving bullets and shells tipped with it a higher pressure at the point of impact which leads to deeper penetration.

 

It is also known to have adverse health effects. In 2001, it was reported that malignant diseases had increased by 200% in Kosovo since the 1998 NATO bombing campaign. It has been linked to Gulf War syndrome and the increased likelihood of veterans to have children with birth defects. At the same time, Iraqis have blamed it for the rise in cancer rates country-wide.]

 

The American veterans who fought there still do not understand who they fought against, or what they were fighting for.

I know, because I am one of those American veterans. In the eyes of many of the people I “served” with, the people of Fallujah remain dehumanized and their resistance fighters are still believed to be terrorists. But unlike most of my counterparts, I understand that I was the aggressor, and that the resistance fighters in Fallujah were defending their city.

It is also the seventh anniversary of the deaths of two close friends of mine, Travis Desiato and Bradly Faircloth, who were killed in the siege. Their deaths were not heroic or glorious. Their deaths were tragic, but not unjust.

How can I begrudge the resistance in Fallujah for killing my friends, when I know that I would have done the same thing if I were in their place? How can I blame them when we were the aggressors?

It could have been me instead of Travis or Brad. I carried a radio on my back that dropped the bombs that killed civilians and reduced Fallujah to rubble. If I were a Fallujan, I would have killed anyone like me. I would have had no choice. The fate of my city and my family would have depended on it. I would have killed the foreign invaders.

Travis and Brad are both victims and perpetrators. They were killed and they killed others because of a political agenda in which they were just pawns. They were the iron fist of American empire, and an expendable loss in the eyes of their leaders.

I do not see any contradiction in feeling sympathy for the dead American Marines and soldiers and at the same time feeling sympathy for the Fallujans who fell to their guns. The contradiction lies in believing that we were liberators, when in fact we oppressed the freedoms and wishes of Fallujahs. The contradiction lies in believing that we were heroes, when the definition of “hero” bares no relation to our actions in Fallujah.

What we did to Fallujah cannot be undone, and I see no point in attacking the people in my former unit. What I want to attack are the lies and false beliefs. I want to destroy the prejudices that prevented us from putting ourselves in the other’s shoes and asking ourselves what we would have done if a foreign army invaded our country and laid siege to our city.

I understand the psychology that causes the aggressors to blame their victims. I understand the justifications and defense mechanisms. I understand the emotional urge to want to hate the people who killed someone dear to you. But to describe the psychology that preserves such false beliefs is not to ignore the objective moral truth that no attacker can ever justly blame their victims for defending themselves.

The same distorted morality has been used to justify attacks against the Native Americans, the Vietnamese, El Salvadorans, and the Afghans. It is the same story over and over again. These peoples have been dehumanized, their God-given right to self-defense has been delegitimized, their resistance has been reframed as terrorism, and American soldiers have been sent to kill them.

History has preserved these lies, normalized them, and socialized them into our culture; so much so that legitimate resistance against American aggression is incomprehensible to most, and to even raise this question is seen as un-American.

History has defined the American veteran as a hero, and in doing so it has automatically defined anyone who fights against him as the bad-guy. It has reversed the roles of aggressor and defender, moralized the immoral, and it has shaped our societies present understanding of war.

I cannot imagine a more necessary step towards justice than to put an end to these lies, and achieve some moral clarity on this issue. I see no issue more important than to clearly understand the difference between aggression and self-defense, and to support legitimate struggles. I cannot hate, blame, begrudge, or resent Fallujans for fighting back against us. I am sincerely sorry for the role I played in the 2nd siege of Fallujah, and I hope that someday not just Fallujans but all Iraqis will win their struggle.

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19 thoughts on “| Fallujah remembered by a US marine who helped destroy it in 2004!

  1. And of all the dead, US and Iraqi’s combined, still doesn’t total the amount of innocent lives Saddam killed for whatever reason he had to murder his own people. Don’t forget how many innocent lives of Iraqi citizens were also murdered by insurgents, probably about 3/4 more than we killed (Ours were accidents, the insurgents did it/still do it on purpose).

    I’m not saying the innocent lives killed by the US is OK either. War is not a wonderful thing, but if they didn’t want to go over there, they didn’t have to join the armed services. We did go over there with a purpose, and we did accomplish a lot on our to-do-list.

    This world will be a better place without Saddam, Osama, Obama (had to through him in there), and our most recent volunteer Kim Jung Il. Putin, Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Nutty Yahoo could disappear as well in my mind.

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  2. Pingback: I am sorry for the role I played in Fallujah « LIBYA AGAINST SUPER POWER MEDIA

    • You are half right, we didn’t “originally” go over there to liberate Iraq from Saddam. The United States had just been attacked in New York, and we were looking for whoever was responsible for the attacks. Intelligence hinted it might be Saddam behind the attacks, and could be a precursor for a nuclear strike on the US. Iraq did have WMD’s, just not completed ones. Saddam had just purchased Yellow Cake, his final ingredient for his first batch of WMD’s. If we (US) had not stuck our noses in his business, he would have WMD’s within 6 months. So when everyone says “Saddam didn’t have WMD’s”, they were not 100% correct.

      Here is an example. Did you know you have a cake in your house? Yes you do. Even though you didn’t bake one. You most likely have flour, eggs, milk, and sugar in your kitchen as we speak. The only thing that is missing is icing, as of which you just bought some online and should arrive within 7 business days. The icing I’m talking about is Saddam’s Yellow Cake. I’m not talking about Yellow Cake that you eat, I’m talking about some serious nastiness for making weapons. Google it.

      Most people fail to see this, but that is what intelligence found and went ahead saw enough evidence (most of which was on the news and we saw with our own eyes) to call all ingredients when put together WMD’s.

      So catching Saddam was just a bonus. As far as oil is concerned, it’s always been part of warfare, and will continue to be until any future President finally gives permission to drill on our own land, and stops giving permission to BP and Brazil to tap into reserves in the Gulf.

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      • The largest manufacturer of WMD is AMERICA!!!!! Todd, get over it. “Hinted” intelligence is NO BASIS FOR AN ALL-OUT INVASION OF innocent people. Saddam could have easily been taken out, the CIA, MI5 do it often without anyone knowing about it. Anyone who is a serious enough threat to them and their agenda is “killed” off and made to look like an accident, or suicide. (Lincoln, Kennedy, King, Gandhi, Che Guevara, to name but a few and they were GOOD men) Killing a load of innocent people is not an answer. IF, Saddam has such a “hold” over his people, as the West would have us believe, forcing them to carry out atrocities, then quietly taking him out would have been a far better move, with the remainder of the people wanting a quiet life, but no, the West just had to fund another “invasion” to keep the wheels of industry turning. It wasn’t a war, it was an illegal “INVASION.” What have any Iraqis EVER DONE TO YOU TODD? Come on answer that? What have they ever done to you, personally? I’ll bet nothing, but you feel it was right to go and invade and kill innocent men, women and children based on some spurious “hint.” That makes you sick. Very sick. Saddam had nothing to do with the WTCs, that was all an inside job, done by your OWN PEOPLE! Why not go and attack them Todd? Don’t tell me I don’t know, as I have more involvement with this than you know. I found the secret hide out of Osama bin Laden Todd, in Pakistan, but no one wanted to know. Tell me why Todd. Go on tell me why? You can’t because you don’t know do you?

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        • It’s not what they HAVE done to me, but what they were planning on doing to me. Sort of like what is going on in Iran. Just because I live in a land of Freedom, dictators like Saddam and Ahmadinejad feel they have to launch nuclear missiles at us. If we had not invaded Iraq, they would have struck us for no reason other than supporting Saddam’s reign over his people.

          You talk of innocent lives being killed, well Saddam has killed more innocent Iraqi citizen’s that have been lost during the entire 10 years we have been over there. Most the innocent lives lost during those 10 years have not been from US gunfire, but from suicide bombers/insurgents. We’ve actually done more good for them than you think, and probably saved more lives. You yourself should know this since you were there in person, in Pakistan anyways as you claim. I’m guessing you’ve got PTSD issues that aren’t allowing you to think straight?

          And as far as 9/11 being an inside job, you should be placed in a mental institution for even thinking that, or believing anyone that told you that bullshit idea. The only people I would say were responsible for 9/11 happening that were American, were the pilots of the aircraft involved for not fighting off the terrorists that hijacked the planes. Or are you one of those that believe there were no planes involved, just American placed explosives? You are probably one of those crazy cooks that think HAARP is responsible for creating killer tornadoes and earthquakes. It wouldn’t surprise me while you believe in conspiracy theories, that aliens from outer space have actually visited Earth.

          If any wrong doing has been done in Iraq by the US Military, it would have been done during the Obama Administration. But this is only my opinion.

          One thing I agree with you on is how the US and Russia are the world leaders of WMD’s. I would like in my fantasy world to have all nukes destroyed world wide, I don’t know why we tell other countries they can’t have them, but we have quite a stockpile ourselves.

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      • If you didn’t know this whole debate has already been put on trial for 4 days in court. Bush and Tony Blair were found guilty or war crimes. They committed crimes of Genocide and crimes against peace and humanity when they invaded Iraq in 2003 breaking international law with amounted to the mass murder of the Iraqi people. The are Guilty of the same Nuremberg crimes against peace. Just like the Nazi’s after World War 2.

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        • The day they are imprisoned, I might start believing this so called trial. Why isn’t this like front page headline news? If they have been found guilty, then they should be put in prison or put to death like Saddam was.

          As far as I’m concerned, this tribunal is a joke.

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  3. The US military and government (among others) aided and abeited Saddam in maintaining his regeime…
    That is until it was profitable and beneficial to their curious ends to fell him and curse the people they helped Saddam oppress and brutalise.
    I feel sorry for all involved, it is a tragic thing.
    To learn from and help prevent these from occurring again (like Libya recently suffered) is one good thing that may come from this.
    Hate will consume you if you let it rule you.
    Peace and mutual respesct… there is nothing quite like it.
    Speak out against what our western governments are doing in OUR names, if you only voice your opinion to others you add to the disquiet that OUR misrepresentation is starting WARS to further the ends of the rich, powerful and mentally unstable tyrants…

    Why, oh why…?

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    • Because it directly effects the lives of the American people. If we had not invaded Iraq, there would be a huge crater on US soil from one of Saddam’s nukes. Did you not read my example above regarding cake in your kitchen? He had WMD’s, they just weren’t assembled yet.

      Saddam is dead now, and the American people are still alive. Go figure!!

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  4. Pingback: Fallujah babies: Under a new kind of siege Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fallujah’s newborns. | ikners.com

  5. Todd, why are you so full of hate towards a people that HAVE DONE NOTHING TO YOU, NEITHER WERE THEY GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO YOU. “Maybe” going to do something is no basis for an invasion or all out war. You can’t just shoot someone just because you “think” they just “might” hurt you. If we all had that attitude, what a mess we would be in and with your attitude you would be in the firing line of such a thinker. Russell is right, don’t let hate consume you. In the end it only hurts you and not those you hate. You also need to wake up Todd. There are things going on around you that you are just not seeing and that’s your choice to believe that everything the government and media say is true. The truth is out there, you just have to open your eyes and see it. You are a product of this messed up society, where everyone else has something against you and must be sorted in your warped ideas of “freedom” for the world. I still ask you, WHAT HAS ANY IRAQI EVER DONE TO YOU TODD? WHAT HAS ANY AFGHANI EVER DONE TO YOU TODD? WHAT HAS ANY IRANIAN EVER DONE TO YOU TODD? WHAT HAS ANY LIBYAN EVER DONE TO YOU TODD? …..

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    • Lisa Frost, a customer of mine in Ranch Santa Margarita, Ca lost her life on Flight 175 on her way home from college. I knew her father Tom very well, as he came into my store to buy bottled water while he jogged around the lake. I met Lisa earlier that year during Easter Break. So I do take 9/11 kind of personal. The planes didn’t fly into the WTC by themselves, they were taken over by Terrorists.

      Now your thinking is all wrong Cindy. Here is an analogy for you. If you saw your next door neighbor pouring gasoline all over your house and car, but hasn’t lit the fire yet, I’m assuming by your thinking, you wouldn’t try to stop them until they lit a match. You would probably just sit there looking out your window and let him/her pour the gasoline and not do a thing. Even though I “Think” my neighbor is going to start an arson fire, it hasn’t happened yet so I’ll just let him continue to pour away.

      Or in Tom Frost’s case, let terrorists kill his daughter and call the White House and tell them that it’s OK, don’t start a war over it. Let’s all just sit on our butts and allow them to continue bombing us and hijacking airplanes.

      That’s what we’ve been doing with Iran. We are just sitting around watching them prepare to make nuclear bombs/missiles to launch at America and Israel(Even though I would wouldn’t object to launching at Zionist Israhell and taking out Nutty Yahoo). We didn’t allow Saddam the same luxury, we saw it coming and we did something about it.

      I’m not saying anything based on what the Govt or media is telling me, but from what is really going on and the imminent threats that are taking place. I believe my fellow Veteran’s and their knowledge about what is going on before I believe what the White House or CNN tells me.

      So according to you Cindy, I shouldn’t hate my neighbor for wanting to light my house on fire, especially when he hasn’t lit the match yet. And by the time he does, I should call the police and fire department and tell them not to respond, there is only my entire life burning away, Every thing is fine, just let it burn, and don’t worry about saving my wife and children, just let them burn as well. Cindy Thompson told me I shouldn’t worry about things like this. They haven’t done anything wrong, they only burned my entire life and family way, no big deal.

      And when Iran completes their missiles and launches them towards the West Coast of the USA, don’t launch the counter strike missiles because they haven’t hit US soil yet, and might only just be Iran launching a satellite into space.

      What’s your problem Cindy, you don’t love this country enough to defend it? I suppose you only joined the military just for an education and was only surprised that you would only be deployed. Maybe next time you or a family member decides to sign an enlistment document for enrolling into the armed services, to understand you might end up having to fight in a war. We do have certain rights other countries don’t have, and they are worth fighting for, otherwise you might as well just pack your bags and move elsewhere if you don’t appreciate that. It’s also very important that we remove Obama from office before we end up like any other country.

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  6. I think you’ve lost the plot Todd. You are making wild accusations, which have no basis of truth at all. You say

    “I’m not saying anything based on what the Govt or media is telling me, but from what is really going on and the imminent threats that are taking place. I believe my fellow Veteran’s and their knowledge about what is going on before I believe what the White House or CNN tells me.”

    Well, you ARE taking notice of what the media and government are telling you, as that is the “official” story. As for your military friends, they only know their side of the story, they don’t know the other side, they only follow orders and fight the quarrels of their governments.

    Then you go accusing me of not wanting to defend my country (which incidentally, you have no idea which IS my country, you have just assumed) and to boot, being part of the military! I have no desire at all to be part of the military.

    Come on Todd, what the F*** are the West doing manufacturing weapons and then selling them to these countries, then invading them? What’s it all about? If you didn’t trust your neighbour, would you sell him weapons that you made, that could be used on you? Maybe in a warped logic you might, as it would increase your profits and you could then start selling to both sides. You could even increase sales by spreading fear amongst your people! Think about it Todd and stop being silly.

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  7. Pingback: Fallujah, a Lost Generation? |

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