Fallujah is being slaughtered silently

Global Research, December 13, 2015
Middle East Monitor 7 December 2015

The daughter of Anbar, the Baghdadian city that rests on the banks of the Euphrates, barricaded itself every morning and learned to survive the abrasive nature of war and bombings. The Americans believed that their repeated shelling would extinguish the city’s flame but they were wrong. The beginning of a major liberation movement swept Iraq and ended with the expulsion of its twenty-first century invaders. They left with their tails between their legs in disappointment, reminding them of the failures they experienced in Vietnam, and perhaps even more.

Fallujah: what is unknown about this city is that it differs from the majority of other Iraqi cities and that it is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Baghdad. The mosques have found their place among the houses of the city and they are so great in number that Fallujah is now known as the “mother of mosques”, being home to more than 100 mosques; the perimeter of the city does not exceed 30 kilometres.

When the Americans invaded Baghdad in the spring of 2003 the shock was intense for all, whether it was the Iraqis who set eyes on a tank headed for their capital for the first time, or even the rest of the Arab and Islamic world as they saw the occupation of one of the region’s most influential capitals. While it is true that Iraqi resistance was quick to form in the face of the new invaders — many have called it the fasted growing resistance in history —it was still not enough to revive and protect the dignity of the Iraqi and Arab peoples when American tanks entered Baghdad on 9 April 2003.

The people of Fallujah protested against the occupation of Iraq for nearly a year in an effort to regain the balance of everyday life and the dignity of the city. At the time of the invasion of Iraq, the plan to divide the country was already on the invader’s table. Nothing was missing, not even the means to implement the project. Twenty-five million Iraqis were subsequently divided into Sunni, Shia, Kurds and other minorities. Even so, Fallujah stood as a reminder to all Iraqis that the path to resistance was ongoing and that national unity remained a goal. In the spring of 2004, Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to free itself from the US occupation after a battle that lasted 33 days. American forces used all of their energy to try to reclaim the city and failed.

On that day, men were truly men as America was forced to sit down at the negotiating table with the rest of the city’s inhabitants. All the US wanted to do was break Fallujah’s will but on that day Iraq was united behind the city. Songs praising Fallujah were broadcast from north to south of Iraq. There was no disagreement among any of the Iraqis as to what Fallujah stood for. The city was a thorn in the side of anyone who wanted to swallow Iraq whole.

Months went by and Fallujah became a liberated city within an occupied country. It became a bubble that governed itself. It frustrated all of the invaders who stood beyond the city boundary, subjecting them to humiliation and shame. The US used all of its forces and brought Tony Blair’s forces with it, including those who were trained in Iran. All of them wanted to take revenge on the city by testing out weapons that had never been used before. The results left the bodies of the victims completely destroyed or melted; not even their bones remained.[see NOTE]

Today, years later, Fallujah finds itself, once again, the prey of evil beings who wish to retaliate for its steadfastness. They continue to use the same argument time and again; that the city is harbouring terrorists. This has been the excuse for everything since 2004 when it was believed that Fallujah was harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Since the beginning of 2014, Fallujah has been transformed into the city of death. Every day it is bombarded under the pretext of fighting Daesh. What the media and the international community continue to ignore is the fact that the city is home to 150,000 civilians who refuse to leave the city out of fear that they will be subject to government blackmail in Baghdad.

Despite today’s constant violence in the city, many of the inhabitants of the neighbouring city of Ramadi have sought refuge in Fallujah. From the perspective of those fleeing, it is more dignified to go to Fallujah then to stand on the bridge to Baghdad awaiting mercy. Today Fallujah is being bombed and the world continues to see only what it wants to see. It is important for us to remind the people across the Arab and Islamic world that this city, which is bombed every day, was once a symbol of honour and resistance. It is in need of more than a prayer or a loaf of bread because the people of Fallujah are fighting for their lives and paying the price with the blood of their children. That is the dearest thing that can be offered to this steadfast city.

Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, 1 December, 2015

Intercepting ICBMs: Moving toward the final stage of Star Wars

Posted by Rick Rozoff

U.S. Department of Defense
March 18, 2015
Missile Agency Director: Budget Request Supports Development
By Claudette Roulo

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WASHINGTON: The Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal year 2016 budget request continues the development of defenses for the nation, deployed forces and allies and international partners against increasingly capable ballistic missile threats, the agency’s director told Congress today.

Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee that the $8.127 billion request will also continue his agency’s support of the needs of warfighters and combatant commanders.

The agency’s budget request maintains its commitment to operate and sustain national defenses, he said, including the planned deployment of ground-based interceptors: 40 to Fort Greely, Alaska, and four to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, for a total of 44 by the end of 2017.

Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle

In June, the CE-II Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle successfully intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target. The demonstration proved that earlier vibration problems affecting the system’s inertial measurement unit have been overcome, Syring said.

The EKV is the heart of the ground-based midcourse defense, or GMD, interceptor program, which uses land-based missiles to intercept ballistic missiles before they reenter the atmosphere. Tracking begins in the boost phase, and uses data from numerous long-range sensors — including satellites, early-warning radars and the sea-based X-band radar.

“Our budget request this year will support test requirements as we continue to enhance our stockpile reliability program and undertake component aging testing,” Syring said.

The $1.76 billion request for GMD is an increase of $613 million from fiscal 15, but it supports an expanded deployment of interceptors, flight testing, research and development and software and system upgrades.

Testing for 2016 includes a nonintercept flight test to evaluate alternate thrusters intended to divert the vehicle as it refines the target flight path, he said, as well as to support algorithm development for better target discrimination.

“In the following year, we will attempt to intercept an [intercontinental ballistic missile] target for the first time,” Syring said.

“We will also continue development for the redesigned kill vehicle … for improved reliability, availability, performance and producibility,” he added.

According to the agency’s fiscal year 2015 budget overview, the redesigned kill vehicle will be built with a modular, open architecture and designed with common interfaces and standards to make upgrades easier and broaden the vendor and supplier base.

“The first flight test of the [redesigned kill vehicle] is planned in 2018, with an intercept test in 2019 and initial deployment then in 2020,” the admiral said.

Long-range Discrimination Radar

Technical trade studies are complete for the long-range discrimination radar, Syring said. The radar will be used for midcourse tracking and will provide persistent coverage and improved target discrimination.

Requirements have been defined and acquisition planning and pre-construction activities are starting, he said, noting, “We anticipate contract award for the development, deployment and the initial operation of the LRDR before the end of [fiscal] 2015.”

Additional Programs

“Our [fiscal 2016] budget continues the development and deployment of short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles,” the admiral said.

“Phases 2 and 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach are on schedule, and we will expand the Phase 1 protection of our European NATO allies against attacks from Middle East,” he continued.

Phases 2 and 3 of the EPAA include the deployment of Standard Missile-3 Block IB’s on ships and at Aegis Ashore sites in Romania in 2015 and in Poland in 2018 and, also in 2018, the deployment of SM-3 Block IIA missiles.

“We plan to procure 209 SM-3 [Block] IB’s by the end of 2016 and will be requesting multiyear procurement authorization,” he told the subcommittee.

“In support of EPAA Phase 3 … [the agency] is codeveloping the SM-3 [Block] IIA missile with the government of Japan, and upgrading the Aegis [ballistic missile defense] weapons system to increase the defended area and the probability of defeating larger and more complex threats,” Syring said.

“We also plan to deliver 48 additional [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] interceptors to the Army, for a total of 155 delivered by 2016 to support the THAAD battery deployment, based on warfighter demand and operational need,” the admiral added.

Research and Investment

Advanced technology research and development is critical to addressing gaps in the ballistic missile defense system, he said.

“It is vital we continue to provide the warfighters the most advanced, cost-effective and reliable weapons systems they need to do their jobs,” Syring said.

These investments will help the agency deploy a future ballistic missile defense architecture that is more capable of “discriminating and killing reentry vehicles with a high degree of confidence,” the admiral said.

MDA’s budget request balances investment in national and regional missile defense capabilities while pursuing advanced technology to outpace the emerging threat, he said.

“MDA will continue to aggressively pursue cost-reduction measures through competition, partnering and cooperation, as we deliver the best missile defense capabilities to protect our nation, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies at the lowest cost to the American taxpayer,” Syring said.

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/intercepting-abms-pentagon-moves-toward-final-stage-of-star-wars/