Friday :: Mar 25, 2005

U.S. Military Vastly Overstates Success of Insurgent Raid; Film At 11


by rayman

While most of us have remained fixated on the Terri Schiavo soap opera (although I find the possibility of a violent denouement to this tragic affair absolutely terrifying), we've largely neglected an equally troubling development in Iraq. Earlier this week, we were informed that

85 insurgents were killed on Tuesday when Iraqi commandos, assisted by U.S. air and ground support, staged a midday attack on a suspected training camp in a rural area northwest of the capital.

The guerrilla death toll was the largest in any battle since the Marines led an assault on the insurgent-held city of Fallujah in November, when more than 1,000 fighters were reported killed.

Spencer Ackerman, for one, was positively ecstatic about the raid:
It's hard to overstate how fantastic a development this is, but let's try. I wrote last December about insurgent overconfidence. Is this ever a case in point!

The only problem is this none of this is true:
New details about an intense battle between insurgents and Iraqi police commandos supported by U.S. forces cast doubt Thursday on Iraqi government claims that 85 rebels were killed at what was described as a clandestine training camp.

Accounts of the fighting continued to indicate that a major battle involving dozens of insurgents occurred Tuesday on the eastern shore of Tharthar Lake, which is about 50 miles northwest of Baghdad. However, two U.S. military officials said Thursday that no bodies were found by American troops who arrived at the scene after the fighting. A spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, meanwhile, said he presumed the announced death toll was accurate, but he played down the scope of the fighting.

For anyone who's read A Bright Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan, this latest farce is eerily reminiscent to the battle of Ap Bac in 1963, with the South Vietnamese AVRN playing the role of the Iraqi security forces.

Who says Iraq and Vietnam have nothing in common?

rayman :: 5:16 PM :: Comments (29) :: Digg It!