Reality: Hundreds Dead, including 68 U.S. Troops in 11 days.
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2004, 11:39am PT  

While Rush Limbaugh told his listeners this morning about the "really great news" in Fallujah, some folks may see it differently.

In case you haven't been paying attention (and the media, as usual, hasn't much helped), we've now lost 1189 1194 U.S. troops in Iraq since the who charade began. 68 died in the 11 days following the election alone at the rate of nearly 7 dead U.S. troops per day.

So far this month, troops are dying at a higher rate than any since the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003.

As to the "really great news" in Fallujah, Bilal Hussein, a photographer from AP didn't see it quite that way. The story of his harrowing escape from Fallujah is recounted in this AP report. Here's a highlight of some of the "really great news" from that report, like the incident where U.S. forces shot a family of five as they tried to escape the onslaught:

"Destruction was everywhere. I saw people lying dead in the streets, wounded were bleeding and there was no one to come and help them. Even the civilians who stayed in Fallujah were too afraid to go out," he said.

"There was no medicine, water, no electricity nor food for days."

By Tuesday afternoon, as U.S. forces and Iraqi rebels engaged in fierce clashes in the heart of his neighborhood, Hussein snapped.

"U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house," he said.

Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city.

"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "Suddenly, I just had to get out. I didn't think there was any other choice."

In the rush, Hussein left behind his camera lens and a satellite telephone for transmitting his images. His lens, marked with the distinctive AP logo, was discovered two days later by U.S. Marines next to a dead man's body in a house in Jolan.

AP colleagues in the Baghdad bureau, who by then had not heard from Hussein in 48 hours, became even more worried.

Hussein moved from house to house Ś dodging gunfire Ś and reached the river.

"I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross.

Yes..."Liberty is spreading". And it's all "really great news", isn't it?