US refuses to allow Red Crescent to distribute aid

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US refuses to allow Red Crescent to distribute aid

Postby Penta » Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:23 pm

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle ... 008825.stm

An aid convoy has entered the war-torn Iraqi city of Falluja, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis.
Five Iraqi Red Crescent lorries brought the first aid supplies to the city since Monday, when a US-led assault against insurgents based there began.
...
The head of the Iraqi Red Crescent described conditions in Falluja as "catastrophic".

The Iraqi Red Crescent convoy - carrying food, blankets, first-aid kits, medicine and a water purification unit - left the capital Baghdad for Falluja, 50km (32 miles) to the west, with no guarantee that they could enter the city.

The US military and the Iraqi interim government had earlier refused permission for the aid lorries to enter Falluja.

But permission was granted on Saturday afternoon, Red Crescent spokeswoman Fardous al-Ubaidi said.

"The people inside Falluja are dying and starving, they need us," she said.

"It is our duty as a humanitarian agency to do our job for these people in these circumstances."

Latest reports from Falluja speak of a typhoid outbreak.

The main hospital is cut off from the rest of the city and doctors are said to be treating the injured with nothing but bandages, if they can reach them at all.


But on Channel 4 news 5 minutes ago they had a spokeswoman for the Red Crescent saying that now they've got the convoy to Fallujah the US forces are refusing to let them distribute it. She says they don't know how many killed and injured civilians there are, but they know there are at least 150 families inside.

Lindsey Hilsum said US medics had treated only 40 wounded Iraqis. And yesterday she spoke to a family with 5 very small children in a row of houses which had just been attacked by the US forces she is with: it was a miracle they'd survived the barrage, she said.


The Iraqi reporter who the BBC keeps interviewing, Fadhil Badrani, has said, "A family came to me last night, asking if I knew anywhere they could get hold of some food.

With no fresh food coming in, those people that are still here have been surviving on a diet of dates.

This city smells of explosives and decaying flesh.

It is a ghost town. In between the fighting, there are periods of absolute, eerie silence.

I have lost track of the days of the week. I barely realised when Friday came and went."
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Postby Vincent » Sun Nov 14, 2004 1:53 am

Why do you entitle your thread, "US Refuses to Allow Red Crescent to Deliver Aid" when the article clearly states the opposite?

In fact, here is the first line of your article "An aid convoy has entered the war-torn Iraqi city of Falluja, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis."

Don't you think it detracts from anything you may have to say of value, when you have such a clear agenda and exhibit such a consistent lack of fairness? You really are practicing yellow journalism at it's best.

Wouldn't that be the same as starting a thread as "Britain Holds Most of the World's Population Under Colonial Rule" when in the third sentence of the article it stated, "And so, up until thirty years ago, Britain held more of the world under it's colonial rule than not."
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C'mon Vincent

Postby SRR » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:00 am

Iraq is all about Yellow Journalism - skewing the facts to support the payola you receive from your corporate/"non-profit" overlords/activists.

Still, Penta might have read the article better - perhaps it was due to the aid worker's own safety they were denied access for a little while?

Ohhh, those evil Americans! Denying aid workers access to a place where a massive military operation was occuring!

And I suppose if they were allowed to go in and administer aid, then caught in the crossfire or hit with an airstrike, the headline would read 'US soldiers deliberately attack Red Crescent vehicles'.

No truth here. Please move along.
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Postby Rijjal Daq/Tattooed Man » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:01 am

Vincent learn to read.

Trucks have arrived and the US is refusing to allow the red cresent to distrubute it.
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Postby Vincent » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:04 am

No, you learn to read:

"The US military and the Iraqi interim government had earlier refused permission for the aid lorries to enter Falluja.

But permission was granted on Saturday afternoon, Red Crescent spokeswoman Fardous al-Ubaidi said. "

Furthermore, here is teh headline of the actualy BBC article without Penta's clever editing:

"Aid enters embattled Iraqi city

Red Crescent lorries are taking supplies from Baghdad to Falluja
An aid convoy has entered the war-torn Iraqi city of Falluja, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis. "

Not only that, but the part that you quote is not even in the BBC article. It is only Penta's personal comments.
Last edited by Vincent on Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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More badly written articles courtest of Penta

Postby SRR » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:07 am

So here's what we have:

The US military and the Iraqi interim government had earlier refused permission for the aid lorries to enter Falluja.

But permission was granted on Saturday afternoon, Red Crescent spokeswoman Fardous al-Ubaidi said.


And then:

The main hospital is cut off from the rest of the city and doctors are said to be treating the injured with nothing but bandages, if they can reach them at all.


But on Channel 4 news 5 minutes ago they had a spokeswoman for the Red Crescent saying that now they've got the convoy to Fallujah the US forces are refusing to let them distribute it. She says they don't know how many killed and injured civilians there are, but they know there are at least 150 families inside.


"inside" what? So does this mean the aid workers are in Falluja but have no access to the hospital? Seems like it.

Or, conversely, does it mean they were granted permission to enter the town and can't conduct their duties.

More bad writing and bad reporting. Chances are the reporter doesn't know what's going on either.

Spread the confusion around!
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Postby Vincent » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:12 am

No, that's the funny part. The sentence begining "But five minutes ago" was not even part of the BBC article. It is simply reporting from the front or rather in front - of Penta's television.
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Postby Rijjal Daq/Tattooed Man » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:12 am

lets see from monday to saturday no food and scarce water.

this means that aid and convoys of food were stopped.
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Jeez

Postby SRR » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:25 am

Talking to a brick wall.....

Yup, they were stopped. you know why? Total sweep of the city. Major military operation. Sucks to be in there. Something tells me many had the chance to get out first. No, it's not an ideal situation, the whole thing sucks. But the people still left inside are fodder on more than one level - fodder in the collaterol damage sense, and fodder for the news. There will always be a weeping woman around who will talk to the reporters in proverbs. This is the rule of modern war.

Here's a suggestion for Penta: how about pasting the -full- article instead of simply small paragraphs that might support your skewed agenda?

For those interested, here's the actual, uncut, FULL article from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle ... 008825.stm


Aid enters embattled Iraqi city

Red Crescent lorries are taking supplies from Baghdad to Falluja
An aid convoy has entered the war-torn Iraqi city of Falluja, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis.

Five Iraqi Red Crescent lorries brought the first aid supplies to the city since Monday, when a US-led assault against insurgents based there began.

Iraq's interim government said the battle was almost over, with only pockets of resistance remaining.

More than 1,000 rebels have been killed and about 200 captured, National Security Minister Kasim Daoud said.

He added that militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose group has claimed attacks across Iraq and a series of hostage beheadings, had escaped from the city - which he was said to be using as an operating base.

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said there had been "a clear-cut victory over the insurgents and the terrorists".


What is left is evil pockets which we are dealing with now

Kasim Daoud
Iraqi National Security Minister
He added that his government would "keep on breaking their back everywhere in Iraq".

The BBC's Paul Wood, with US marines in Falluja, says most of the rebels are cornered in a narrow strip south of the main road.

Attention is now turning to the plight of any civilians who may still be living there, he adds.

'Medical crisis'

The head of the Iraqi Red Crescent described conditions in Falluja as "catastrophic".

The Iraqi Red Crescent convoy - carrying food, blankets, first-aid kits, medicine and a water purification unit - left the capital Baghdad for Falluja, 50km (32 miles) to the west, with no guarantee that they could enter the city.


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Techniques, tactics and the history of fighting in cities
The US military and the Iraqi interim government had earlier refused permission for the aid lorries to enter Falluja.

But permission was granted on Saturday afternoon, Red Crescent spokeswoman Fardous al-Ubaidi said.

"The people inside Falluja are dying and starving, they need us," she said.

"It is our duty as a humanitarian agency to do our job for these people in these circumstances."

Latest reports from Falluja speak of a typhoid outbreak.

The main hospital is cut off from the rest of the city and doctors are said to be treating the injured with nothing but bandages, if they can reach them at all.

In other developments in Iraq:

The Iraqi government sends extra troops to the northern city of Mosul to quell violence that has flared in recent days

An influential group of Sunni clerics, the Association of Muslim Scholars, says three of its leading members have been arrested by Iraqi security forces in raids in the Baghdad area

Iraqi authorities extend a ban on civilian air traffic over the capital

In Ramadi, near Falluja, clashes continue between US troops and insurgents

A number of heavy explosions rock central Baghdad

Our correspondent says the unit he is with in Falluja has seen few civilians, presumably because they are hiding in terror.


Click here for a satellite picture showing troop movements and key sites


Enlarge Image


The US-led assault on Falluja is aimed at taking back control from insurgents and stabilising the country before planned elections in January.

US forces say 22 Americans and five Iraqis have been killed, and almost 180 US soldiers wounded, since the assault began on Monday.

Tens of thousands of civilians fled Falluja before the US-led assault, but up to 50,000 people are thought to have stayed.

The Red Crescent is also concerned about the thousands of people living in camps and villages outside the city.
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Postby Penta » Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:32 am

Well.

Vincent wrote:Why do you entitle your thread, "US Refuses to Allow Red Crescent to Deliver Aid" when the article clearly states the opposite?

Obviously I called the thread that, because that was the point I was drawing to your attention, an update on the BBC article.

I posted the bits of the BBC article relevant to the aid convoy only, because that's what the thread was about. People complain about too much cutting 'n' pasting and the articles being too long, so I've tried recently, when I have time, to post only specific bits unless it's a whole logical argument which it would be a travesty to cut.

I gave it that title because that was the salient point: the Red Crescent had been trying to get an aid convoy in, they'd been refused, they'd finally been given permission, and then, according to the news I'd just been watching, the Red Crescent spokeswoman herself said that now we've at last been able to get it there, they're not letting us do anything with it. This was giving extra, first-hand information on the topic at hand, beyond what the BBC was reporting on its website. I then added a bit of what the Channel 4 journalist embedded with the marines was reporting, in her latest 2 reports, pertaining to wounded Iraqis and their finding of the family (because people have been trying to suggest that only insurgents were left in the city), and rounded it off with some of the latest comments from Fadhil Badrani, about what it's like as a civilian within Falluja.

Don't you think it detracts from anything you may have to say of value, when you have such a clear agenda and exhibit such a consistent lack of fairness? You really are practicing yellow journalism at it's best.

I'm not a journalist. I'm not pretending to be a journalist. I'm obviously making a partisan point. These little nuggets of what is really going on are buried in all the triumphalist stuff and if we're to get the full picture behind the official spin it's perfectly legitimate for people like me to draw attention to them. You don't need me to rehash the official view.

SRR wrote:Still, Penta might have read the article better - perhaps it was due to the aid worker's own safety they were denied access for a little while?

SRR might have read the article better too -- the point about the refusal wasn't in it. It was new information.

Vincent wrote:Not only that, but the part that you quote is not even in the BBC article. It is only Penta's personal comments.

Wrong again. I was quoting the Red Crescent spokeswoman, but in reported speech, not in inverted commas, because I couldn't guarantee to quote her word for word.


The sentence begining "But five minutes ago" was not even part of the BBC article. It is simply reporting from the front or rather in front - of Penta's television.

You got it. Yes, the latest news out of the mouth of the woman who knew.

SRR wrote:Here's a suggestion for Penta: how about pasting the -full- article instead of simply small paragraphs that might support your skewed agenda?

Reason given above. I posted the link so you could read all the rest of the stuff which is widely reported elsewhere anyway, and as more careful readers will have noted, I specifically prefaced the url with 'From:'

And now the BBC is reporting the same thing, quoting the same spokeswoman, with a bit more information, namely that the convoy has been allowed as far as the hospital but not across the river to the main part of the city. This is an extract from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle ... 010419.stm
Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 09:52 GMT

The first aid convoy has arrived, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis.

But a relief agency spokeswoman told the BBC that US forces had refused to let them distribute the supplies.

Fardous al-Ubaidi, from the Iraqi Red Crescent, said five lorries and three ambulances had driven to the city's hospital carrying food and medicine, but were told to go no further.

The hospital remains cut off from the main part of the city, where the aid agency reports that civilians are hiding in their houses, without drinking water and running low on food.

"Our situation is very hard," one resident in the centre of the city told Reuters news agency by telephone.

"We don't have food or water. My seven children all have severe diarrhoea. One of my sons was wounded by shrapnel last night and he's bleeding, but I can't do anything to help him."

The man, Abu Mustafa, said he had seen US and Iraqi soldiers in his street as explosions rang out.

"There were bodies lying in the street," he said.

Abu Mustafa said he knew of six families nearby in a similar plight, before breaking down in tears.

"We are still fasting, though it is the Eid [end of Ramadan feast] today," he said.

The Iraqi health ministry said on Sunday that it had sent blood and medical supplies to the hospital.

An American military spokesman said the distribution of relief supplies had been prevented for security reasons.


So there you are, SRR, they're saying it's 'for security reasons'. One might add that in April, it was US snipers, not Iraqis, shooting ambulance drivers, as reported in eye-witness testimony by Western aid workers, but you probably wouldn't want to believe that.
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Postby Lochaber » Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:59 am

Penta wrote: One might add that in April, it was US snipers, not Iraqis, shooting ambulance drivers, as reported in eye-witness testimony by Western aid workers, but you probably wouldn't want to believe that.


Got a link for this, or is it yet another Penta-style heap of steaming memetic bullshit?
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Postby Penta » Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:09 pm

No, but I'm sure Bobby Sands could find it. There were accounts by a woman called Jo Wilding and someone called Dave, I think.
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Postby Penta » Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:16 pm

In fact, yes. I googled "Jo Wilding ambulance". This is from the first result http://www.opendemocracy.net/articles/V ... cleId=1843:


The doctor rushes out to meet me: “Can you go to fetch a lady? She is pregnant and she is delivering the baby soon.”

Azzam is driving, Ahmed in the middle directing him and me by the window, the visible foreigner, the passport. Something scatters across my hand, simultaneous with the crashing of a bullet through the ambulance, some plastic part dislodged, flying through the window.

We stop, turn off the siren, keep the blue light flashing, wait, eyes on the silhouettes of men in US marine uniforms on the corners of the buildings. Several shots come. We duck, get as low as possible and I can see tiny red lights whipping past the window, past my head. Some, it’s hard to tell, are hitting the ambulance. I start singing. What else do you do when someone’s shooting at you? A tyre bursts with an enormous noise and a jerk of the vehicle.

I am outraged. We are trying to get to a woman who is giving birth without any medical attention, without electricity, in a city under siege, in a clearly marked ambulance, and you are shooting at us. How dare you?

How dare you?

Azzam grabs the gear stick and gets the ambulance into reverse, another tyre bursting as we go over the ridge in the centre of the road, the shots still coming as we flee around the corner. I carry on singing. The wheels are scraping, burst rubber burning on the road.

The men run for a stretcher as we arrive and I shake my head. They spot the new bullet holes and run to see if we are OK. “Is there any other way to get to her,” I want to know. “La, maaku tareeq.” There is no other way.

They say we did the right thing. They say they have fixed the ambulance four times already and they will fix it again but the radiator is gone and the wheels are buckled and the woman is still at home in the dark giving birth alone. I let her down.

We can’t go out again. For one thing there is no ambulance and besides it’s dark now and that means our foreign faces can’t protect the people who go out with us or the people we pick up.



Will that do?
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Postby Penta » Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:21 pm

Here's another one. Same woman, different occasion http://www.wildfirejo.org.uk/feature/di ... /index.php:

We load the ambulance with disinfectant, needles, bandages, food and water and set off, equipped this time with loudspeakers, pull up to a street corner and get out. The hospital is to the right, quite a way off; the marines are to the left. Four of us in blue paper smocks walk out, hands up, calling out that we’re a relief team, trying to deliver supplies to the hospital.

There’s no response and we walk slowly towards the hospital. We need the ambulance with us because there’s more stuff than we can carry, so we call out that we’re going to bring an ambulance with us, that we’ll walk and the ambulance will follow. The nose of the ambulance edges out into the street, shiny and new, brought in to replace the ones destroyed by sniper fire.

Shots rip down the street, two bangs and a zipping noise uncomfortably close. The ambulance springs back into the side road like it’s on a piece of elastic and we dart into the yard of the corner house, out through the side gate so we’re back beside the vehicle.

This time we walk away from the hospital towards the marines, just us and the loudspeaker, no ambulance, to try and talk to them properly. Slowly, slowly, we take steps, shouting that we’re unarmed, that we’re a relief team, that we’re trying to get supplies to the hospital.

Another two shots dissuade us. I’m furious. From behind the wall I inform them that their actions are in breach of the Geneva Conventions. “How would you feel if it was your sister in that hospital unable to get treated because some man with a gun wouldn’t let the medical supplies through.” David takes me away as I’m about to call down a plague of warts on their trigger fingers.
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Postby Penta » Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:34 pm

Here's David Martinez' account of the first incident http://vitw.org/archives/222#more-222
He's from Texas.

As soon as we arrive the hospital staff tell us that there is a pregnant woman in premature labor that needs to come to the hospital. So we are off again, to another part of town. This time there is no warning from the driver. Only a rifle crack as American snipers open fire on our ambulance.

Riding in the back, I can see the flash of the gun as bullets pierce the walls of the vehicle above our heads. Thank God I am on the floor. Another shooter blows out our headlights, and I hear the Brit, who is in the front seat, scream as pieces of engine spray into the cabin. Then they take out our front tires. It is madness, we are in a clearly marked ambulance, with a flashing, noisy siren, and they are shooting at us. Another bullet rips into the engine as the driver throws the vehicle into reverse. We hit a curb doing about ninety miles an hour, which takes out the rear tires. We screech back to the hospital on rims alone.

That’s the last trip for that night, as the ambulance is, for the moment, beyond repair.
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