Wednesday, 27 June 2007

On the Latest Operation in Iraq

So how's the new operation in Iraq going?
Swell, just swell...

Here's an eye-opening account of how U.S. troops clear a street of 'terrorists' in Baquba:

The radio traffic was crackling. Captain Isaac Torres, the commander of Comanche Company, was impatient. An airstrike was called in on the house with the propane tanks. But now it was late afternoon and he wanted to know how the platoon planned to resume the mission of clearing the area south of the street.

The platoon thought it was time to use the bludgeon, pounding the houses across the road with airstrikes or artillery. There were 84 days left in its 15-month tour, which had already included plenty of combat. Apart from the fleeing family and a stray man who had come bearing a white flag to beg for water, no civilians were in sight....

The next morning, an M1 tank arrived on the scene. The neighborhood reverberated with enormous booms as the Americans blasted the front row of homes with antitank missiles, artillery and tank fire. The platoon's advance had been stymied for a day, but there had been no American casualties and more of the insurgent bombs had been cleared out.

And how do we know that the buildings were abandoned seeing as the soldiers had not checked them out? Well, here's an interesting tidbit from earlier in the same article:
The houses where the soldiers had secured their toehold seemed to have been abandoned, but soon after the platoon settled in, a small line of weary Iraqi civilians carrying a white cloth flag emerged and slowly walked away. If some civilians had been lingering in or near the neighborhood, perhaps some insurgents were, too.

Ah. So they were very thorough, then? Not much time for winning any hearts and minds here.


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