Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, December 01, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Out With A Bang


U.S. troops fought off two simultaneous attacks on military convoys Sunday in northern Iraq, killing 54 attackers, wounding 18 and capturing eight others, military officials said.
"This was a coordinated, simultaneous attack," [4ID spokeman, Master Sgt.] Cargie said, with one convoy being attacked on the east side of the city and the other coming under fire while in the west side of Samarra.
Five U.S. soldiers were wounded in the simultaneous ambushes, which took place about 1:30 p.m. Sunday (5:30 a.m. EST). Three were hospitalized, but none suffered life-threatening wounds.

Are we falling back on the bodycount metric? Hope not. And while this attack wasn't successful militarily (I guess), it sure shows a good amount of sophistication it would seem and doesn't bode well for December, January, February...the countless remaining months our troops will be in Iraq. What a way to end the bloodiest month yet.

Not to be gruesome, but I just got to thinking: is wounding a soldier still the most effective way to cause an army to lose strength? It certainly was in previous wars, because it requires much more in terms of resources to care for wounded soldiers than to handle those killed in action.

I wonder if that's even more true today, given how effective our battlefield medicine has become. So we might always come out on top in the bodycount battle, but we'll still be ground down anyway. Chilling thought.


[Update: I heard on NPR, and now see in an AP report that local residents dispute the US account:

Many residents said Saddam loyalists attacked the Americans, but that when U.S. forces began firing at random, many civilians got their guns and joined the fight. Many said residents were bitter about recent U.S. raids in the night.
Many residents said the Americans opened fire at random when they came under attack, and targeted civilian installations. Six destroyed vehicles sat in front of the hospital, where witnesses said U.S. tanks shelled people dropping off the injured. A kindergarten was damaged, apparently by tank shells. No children were hurt.

"Luckily, we evacuated the children five minutes before we came under attack," said Ibrahim Jassim, a 40-year-old guard at the kindergarten. "Why did they attack randomly? Why did they shoot a kindergarten with tank shells?"

Of course, with Samarra being in the so-called "Sunni Triangle", I'm sure we need to take residents' comments with the proverbial grain of salt. Same goes for the US account, as well. No matter what, this ain't good. Wonder when something like this will boil over into a My Lai type incident...]

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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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