- Maj. Gen. John Sattler, director of operations for the United States Central Command:
"Although this is a cease-fire, they're not purely defensive rules of engagement. In other words, if in fact the insurgent forces start to make attempts to set up weapons systems, to resupply units that are within the town, the marines have it within their rights to go in and take pre-emptive measures, i.e., strike against these units."
- Tony Blair:
"If American soldiers are being fired on, American soldiers are going to have to fire back."
- Brig.-Gen. Mark Kimmitt:
"Even though it may not look like it, there is still a determined aspiration on the part of the coalition to maintain a ceasefire and solve the situation in Falluja by peaceful means."
- Donald Rumsfeld:
"What's going on are some terrorists and regime elements have been attacking our forces, and our forces have been going out and killing them."
- And, for comedy's sake, George Bush:
"most of Falluja is returning to normal."
The Americans have established an 'Israeli ceasefire', where the other side is supposed to lay down its arms while the Americans continue to take provocative actions, up to and including massacres using tanks and gunships (remember the 'hudna', where the Palestinians stopped the fighting until provoked by the series of Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders?). Each of the quotes above (except, of course for the Chimp's) accurately reflects the realities of the American provocation of Falluja. The Americans got off on the wrong foot with Falluja, and are now upset because the locals won't let them wonder around unmolested. The Americans claim to be defending themselves, but only need to defend themselves because they are attacking the people of Falluja. The American military has taken the high colonialist attitude that it is intolerable for any vassal to object to its going wherever it wants. If the military doesn't like being attacked, why doesn't it stay away until a diplomatic solution can be found? There is absolutely no necessity for the Americans to continue to provoke Falluja, and in the process massacre hundreds of civilians. Instead, we get the Israeli approach, and a fairly obvious ploy by the neocons to turn American attacks on Falluja and Najaf into the beginnings of WW III in the Middle East.