Friday, September 24, 2004

A couple of days ago I wrote about Scott Taylor, a Canadian journalist who was captured, beaten, threatened with death, and then released by insurgents in northern Iraq. Zeynup Tugrul, a Turkish journalist who was captured with Taylor, tells a harrowing story of the ordeal in today's New York Times. As she tells the story, she makes a point about the nature of the insurgency, at least in and around Mosul, that doesn't exactly jibe with the Bush administration's happy talk:

Everywhere they were taken, she said, people appeared eager to help anyone they thought was part of the resistance.

"I saw that around Mosul, everybody is the resistance - not terrorists, but not civilians really either," she said. "They used the small kids to bring them water, and nobody treated them like children. They'd be with the men who were talking about cutting heads, and the kids would be standing guard, like little men, so you become afraid of the children too."

Taylor said something very similar in an interview he gave after his release:

When we were imprisoned, we were housed by local people, in their own homes. Their mothers and wives were doing the cooking and exhorting their sons to go out and die as martyrs. It's hopeless for the U.S.

We're not winning.

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