December 02, 2003

Winning Even More Hearts and Minds

The US forces' killing of 46 Iraqis in Samarra this week is being hailed as a major victory for the "coalition" and a possible turnaround after the most deadly month since the fall of Baghdad. What is not being widely reported is:

(a) the US convoy which was ambushed was carrying a small fortune in new US and Iraqi banknotes. How did the Iraqi resistance know about this?

(b) the US forces used indiscriminate and "overwhelming" firepower which may have killed many innocent Iraqi civilians. According to one US commander who was involved in the fight:

"I told my soldiers to hold their fire unless they could indentify a real weapon, but I still can't understand why somebody would throw a stone at a tank, in the middle of a firefight.

"Since we did not stick around to find out, I am very concerned in the coming days we will find we killed many civilians as well as Iraqi irregular fighters. I would feel great if all the people we killed were all enemy guerrillas, but I can't say that. We are probably turning many Iraqi against us and I am afraid instead of climbing out of the hole, we are digging ourselves in deeper."


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