Monday, May 23, 2005

War Crying

Winning the Hearts and Minds.. or, Operation Matador keeps being touted in the news as a success, but..
+ 125 "insurgents" killed, plus 30 some possible insurgents captured (the US currently has what, over 10,000 people in jails in Iraq? Are they all possible insurgents? How many people were recently released from Afghan prisons afer three years, because it was determined that they were not a danger after all?)
-12,000 fleeing Iraqis,
-destroyed towns,
-an as yet unknown number of civilian casualties
- 49 dead and wounded soldiers does not

= success.
I wasn't a math major in college, but
"Operation Matador" does not sound like a success to me. From the initial reports of soldiers running for their lives to an abandoned building because their "intelligence" had placed the insurgents on the wrong side of the river, to the fact that one of the towns that was under siege and bombed, had NO insurgents in it all, to this story......

War crying.....
"It was just a personal conviction with me. I've had an impeccable career. I chose to get out. And you know who I blame? I blame the president of the U.S. It's not the grunt. I blame the president because he said they had weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie. "

War Crying
These men were alive a month ago.


Anonymous ThomH said...

Fred Kaplan, writing for Slate, confirms your view.

Below is an extract from "Kaboom! How to enrage Iraq's Sunnis" (url:
For months, they report, Iraqi tribal leaders in the area had formed a vigilante group called the Hamza Forces to stave off the Islamic extremists streaming across the Syrian border. Outnumbered, at least three of the tribal chiefs asked the Iraqi defense ministry and the U.S. Marines for help.

Rather than respond in a coordinated fashion, U.S. forces blazed in with armored vehicles and helicopter gun ships and simply pummeled the place. Fasal al-Goud, a former governor of Anbar province and one of the sheiks who had asked for assistance, told the Inquirer, "The Americans were bombing whole villages, and saying they were only after the foreigners."

Villagers who returned after the fighting were stunned to find entire neighborhoods destroyed. Men who had stayed behind to help were found dead in shot-up houses. Over 100 jihadists were killed, but so were a lot of Iraqis fighting on the side of the Americans, to say nothing of several bystanders caught in the crossfire.

Fasal al-Goud now says he regrets calling for help. Allam and Dulaimy heard confirming accounts and similar sentiments from two other tribal leaders, who asked not to be named because the jihadists (who, it seems, weren't expelled entirely) are still holding some tribesmen hostage.
Thanks, btw, for the Crisis Pictures link. Great source.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Medbh said...

Thanks for posting that link. The "operation" sounded like a poorly designed one from the first reports I had read about it. Those reports said that, literally, the initial troops going in were stuck on the wrong side of the river, with the insurgents, because of faulty intelligence. They were also supposed to build a bridge to cross it, but because no-one had taken into consideration the weather in that area, at that time of year, the troops were stuck with equipment that kept sinking into the banks of the river that were water logged.
So much loss of life all around, and for what? So that they could kill more people. You kill me, I kill you, you kill me, I kill you---
you are welcome for the cpics link. and thanks for the ones on your blog. They are interesting an informative

8:14 PM  

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