More: The Pentagon has announced the first 14 American deaths since the siege on Falluja began, but the real toll will be in civilian lives. “[W]e are once again declaring open cities and bombing them to rubble,” writes Jerome Doolittle of Operation Phantom Fury. “Again, we are destroying the village in order to save it. Again we return to the insane business of using high explosives to spread democracy, defined once more as submission to America’s will.” The real sadness of the battle is that of the city’s estimated 200,000-300,000 residents, some two-thirds or more have fled—those who remain, chiefly those too poor to go elsewhere, are now being forced by the US military to stay.

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