Monday, October 25, 2004

‘Collateral Damage’

Two huge stories over the weekend show just how rotten things are going in Iraq. One of them is open to a discussion on whom is to blame one is decidedly not.

The one everyone will be arguing about today concerns this morning's New York Times story and some “380 tons of powerful conventional explosives – used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons – [that are] missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.”

What the argument will be about today and through the rest of the week is, well… just “how the heck did this happen?” Isn’t everything going peachy in Iraq? Will everything still go just as “peachy” now that we’ve given the enemy enough explosives to blow up hundreds of buildings and kill many Iraqis and US troops?

The same administration that says everything is swell in Iraq – the same administration that allowed Saddam’s soldiers to keep their guns and then sent them home… the same administration that then declared, “major hostilities are over” – will downplay this latest fiasco. Everything will still be “peachy.”

The 2nd story involves the loss – the execution-style murders – of 49-51 new Iraqi soldiers being trained by the United States.

The soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and were heading home on leave. They had been put onto three buses for the 95-mile drive. They were unarmed and un-escorted.

Their bodies were found lying in the desert in neat rows of 12. All had bullet wounds to the back of the head.

It appears the massacre may have been an inside job, as the buses were stopped at a fake checkpoint and the men, apparently, were ordered to leave the buses and then were killed systematically. The group run by the beheading master Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – who we can’t catch or kill even though we know where he is – has claimed responsibility.

The job of training Iraqi troops to take the place of our beleaguered, ill-equipped and overextended troops will be that much more difficult, because we not only have to replace the soldiers who were killed we also have to convince more Iraqis that they will not meet the same fate.

In other words, we have to convince them that they can trust us when they obviously cannot. They might think that we have little regard for them too… delivering them unarmed and un-escorted into enemy hands.

It’s difficult to understand how a country such as the United States could get itself into a mess like this. We’ve learned we cannot trust our own intelligence, we’ve discovered we could underestimate our enemy and we’ve forgotten our history. Heck, we didn’t even bother to take into account IRAQ’S history.

How wrong have we been about it all? Well, you know the whole story. I won’t belabor it for you today.

Suffice to say that we have now given tons of quality explosives to the same guys we summarily let go while we also allowed them to keep their firearms.

With enemies like us, who needs friends?



Post a Comment

<< Home