March 28, 2006
The Strolling Dead
The American military is now flatly asserting that Sadr-linked Shiite leaders in Iraq moved the bodies and staged the scene to falsely accuse Americans of committing a massacre in the Mustafa "mosque." (This presumably would include gruesomely handcuffing some of the bodies post-mortem, to make it look like execution rather than combat, though the article doesn't get into that level of detail.)
U.S. commanders in Iraq on Monday accused powerful Shi'ite groups of moving the corpses of gunmen killed in battle to encourage accusations that U.S.-led troops massacred unarmed worshippers in a mosque.
"After the fact, someone went in and made the scene look different from what it was. There's been huge misinformation," Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said.
He rejected the accusations of a massacre that prompted the Shi'ite-led government to demand U.S. forces cede control of security but declined to spell out which group he believed moved the bodies.
Well, Big Lizards has no such reticence. All one need do is look at who is screaming the loudest -- and who has the most to gain. "Cui bono?" as the Romans asked: who benefits?
Actually, while LG. Chiarelli wouldn't point a finger (likely because he knows that's beyond his pay grade), he rather roundly hinted:
Chiarelli stood by the U.S. account, disputed by Sadr aides and other Shi'ite leaders but which is broadly in line with police reports and some local witnesses who spoke of a fierce gun battle around the site....
Though he declined to be drawn on the possible involvement of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia, whose political leaders have led condemnation of the raid, Chiarelli said: "I think the backlash has been caused by the folks who set the scene up."
That is, 'the folks who set the scene up are the Sadrites causing the backlash.' Another way to phrase that last sentence is, 'the Sadrites causing the backlash are the folks who set the scene up.' So I think -- like the immortal Barry Goldwater -- in Chiarelli's heart, he knows Big Lizards is right!
Nowadays, we routinely videotape most engagements (many soldiers have helmet cams), so I suspect we can easily prove our case. The only question is -- will Transitional Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari -- the "cui" who most obviously "bonos" -- allow us to?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 28, 2006, at the time of 4:17 PM
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Tracked on March 30, 2006 6:08 AM
The following hissed in response by: MTF
Check out Hugh Hewitt's interview with Micheal Ware of Time magazine for very interesting stuff on how important this reporting is to the various groups we're fighting in Iraq: Ware refers to this war flatly as a "propaganda war". I agree, but I think he pbviously is on the wrong side, and so is anybody who gives credence to reports like these from Sadr.
Compare the reception Ware and others like him get today with what happened to P.G. Wodehouse in WW2, because the comparison vividly illustrates how degraded our sense of national interest and common cause has become. His reputation was mangled for nearly the rest of his life for a couple of broadcasts that were a lot less sympathetic to the enemy than every single AP and Reuters report on the war, not to mention Time magazine's reporting.
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