Wednesday, October 29, 2003

We take young men, throw them into a dangerous situation without adequately preparing them, give them weapons, then sit back and do next to nothing as they're routinely attacked. Big surprise: some of them react to the attacks by retaliating indiscriminately, killing civilians....

An American convoy of about eight vehicles was traveling east toward Falluja, on a road where United States patrols are often attacked. Two bombs planted in the center median exploded, damaging one of the vehicles but not stopping the convoy's progress, witnesses said.

Still heading east, the convoy began to fire, shooting at several vehicles heading southwest, away from the patrol, on a nearby road, said Amir Ahmed Saleh, a passenger in a vehicle on that road.

The convoy's targets included a minivan carrying employees of Iraq's state oil company, Mr. Saleh said. He was a passenger in a second minivan being used by the oil company.

The minivan in which Mr Saleh was riding was ahead of the minivan that was shot, and Mr. Saleh was unhurt.

The American fire devastated the minivan, which crashed into a lamppost by the side of the road, Mr Saleh said.

Four people in the minivan died, and two were severely wounded, Mr. Saleh said....

Hassan Hussein, who lives across the road from the spot where the minivan crashed into the lamppost, corroborated Mr. Saleh's account, as did Abbas Hussein, one of Mr. Hussein's neighbors. At least two other cars were also hit, killing two more people, the men said.

"There was an explosion," said Mr. Badewi, the mayor. Referring to the American troops, he added, "They accused some people in their cars of shooting at them, and they opened fire on them."

Colonel Khamis, the police chief, said of the American forces: "When they're subjected to attack, they start shooting indiscriminately. The minibus was heading to Ramadi — they didn't have any link with the issue."...

--New York Times

If this account is accurate, I'm not condoning what the U.S. soldiers did. But I do blame their commander in chief and his immediate subordinates. The fish stinks from the head.

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