The video with Chris Busby is accompanied by a transcript. Here is a brief excerpt from the transcript:
[excerpted] "Worst of all, since 2004 there has been a dramatic increase in birth defects, infant mortality, mental retardation, and cancers of all sorts in Fallujah. The birth defects are truly horrifying. Babies have been born with six fingers on each hand, scaly skin, missing limbs, two heads, and there has been one case of a child born with a single eye in the center of his forehead. Experts blame chemical weapons used by the U.S. during the 2004 sieges, like white phosphorous and possibly depleted uranium..."
Majia here: In my book, Governing Childhood: Biopolitical Strategies... (2010) I wrote about the treatment of children in Fallujah and other areas of the Middle East:
Xenophobic attitudes about foreign terrorists transform understandings of childhood, erasing any sense of childhood innocence and vulnerability and precluding any form of special protections.
This policy of treating children as enemy combatants has tragic consequences, as elaborated upon in this passage:
In the 2004 assault by US Marines on the city of Fallujah, things were even worse. Dexter Filkins, a reporter for the New York Times, reported that before that invasion, some 20,000 Marines encircled the doomed city, which the White House had decided to level because it harbored a bunch of insurgents and had angered the American public by capturing, killing and mutilating the bodies of four mercenaries working for US forces. The residents of the 300,000-population city were warned of the coming all-out attack. Women and children and old people were allowed to flee the city and pass through the cordon of troops. But Filkins reported that males determined to be “of combat age,” which in this case was established as 12 and up, were barred from leaving, and sent back into the city to await their fate. Young boys were ripped from their screaming mothers and sent trudging back to the city to face death. In the ensuing slaughter, as the US dumped bombs, napalm, phosphorus, anti-personnel fragmentation weapons and an unimaginable quantity of machine gun and small arms fire on the city, it is clear that many of those young boys died. (Lindorff)
Although Lindorff’s claim that boys were turned back by U.S. soldiers cannot be authenticated with certainty, the record is clear that the U.S. deliberately used phosphorus against human populations, including children, in the attack on Fallujah.[i] In 2009 the U.S. was accused of using white phosphorus against civilian populations in Afghanistan after Afghan doctors confronted patients with severe and unusual burns (Straziuso and Faiez A4). Unmanned drones used to combat “terrorists” in Afghanistan have also produced large numbers of child casualties.
In 2007 UNICEF asserted that hundreds of Iraqi children were killed in violence and 1,350 were detained by authorities (cited in “Iraq Children”). Many more, upwards of 2 million, face poor nutrition, lack of education, disease, and violence in Iraq due to the war unleashed by the U.S. invasion. Yet, the plight of Iraqi children is less visible in the mainstream U.S. press than are articles about the loss of childhood innocence illustrated in The New York Times articles about child terrorists cited above. Children in these accounts are represented as potential terrorists threatening U.S. security, their innocence subject to lethal perversion.
The dehumanization of children as enemy combatants also occurred recently in the context of Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Half the population of Gaza is under the age of 16 years. Gaza children, already facing malnutrition as a result of the Israeli embargo, were subject to Israel’s January 2009 retaliation against Hamas. More than 400 children were killed in the Israeli assault, some by bullets and some by air assaults (Fraser). The children who survived are traumatized:
Even the children who escaped physical injury face the psychological consequences of having lived under near-constant bombardment for 22 days and nights. A week into a fragile cease-fire, mental health experts, human rights advocates and parents say they worry that this generation of Palestinian children will suffer the effects of the war for decades to come. (Witte A5)Israel’s disproportionate retaliation against Hamas produced a spectacle of death and misery that led the Pope to describe the Gaza as a “big concentration camp” (“Vatican Deplores”). Israel’s response that it had the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks had the practical effect of erasing any distinctions among Gaza’s inhabitants: all were cast as potential enemy combatants. By February 2009, two-thirds of Gaza’s residents lacked power and a third lacked running water; nearly all lacked basic supplies and faced overwhelmed medical facilities (“Gaza Humanitarian”). In June 2009 former U.S. President Carter claimed "Never before in history has a large community been savaged by bombs and missiles and then deprived of the means to repair itself" (cited in Schneider A1).
[i] Monbiot http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/nov/22/usa.iraq1; “US 'Uses Incendiary Arms' in Iraq” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4417024.stm; Wilson http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/nov/16/iraq.usa.