Monday, November 22, 2004


Victory in Fallujah

One of the ironies in the here and now is that much of the MSM acts like it really wants to undercut US policy and the reporting of what's been going on in Fallujah is a great example of it.

As the Blade of Toledo reports:

Victory in Fallujah scant media respect. The rule of thumb for the last century or so has been that for a guerrilla force to remain viable, it must inflict seven casualties on the forces of the government it is fighting for each casualty it sustains, says former Canadian army officer John Thompson, managing director of the Mackenzie Institute, a think tank that studies global conflicts.

By that measure, the resistance in Iraq has had a bad week. American and Iraqi government troops have killed at least 1,200 fighters in Fallujah, and captured 1,100 more. Those numbers will grow as mop-up operations continue.

"That kill ratio would be phenomenal in any [kind of] battle, but in an urban environment, it's revolutionary," said retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, perhaps America's most respected writer on military strategy. "The rule has been that [in urban combat] the attacking force would suffer between a quarter and a third of its strength in casualties."

The victory in Fallujah was also remarkable for its speed, Peters said. Speed was necessary, he said, "because you are fighting not just the terrorists, but a hostile global media."

Now, though, some of the story is starting to filter out.

From the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:

Iraqi insurgents hoped to recreate in Fallujah a reprise of the 1994 battle of Grozny, which is also a city of about 300,000, during which Chechen rebels destroyed an entire Russian brigade of some 2,500 soldiers while Russian forces virtually leveled the Chechen capital. Military analysts say the Americans in Fallujah avoided the fate of the Russians in Grozny by carefully gathering intelligence over the two months preceding the attack; by innovative use of new technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles; by being able to drop bombs and shoot artillery and even mortar shells with precision, and because of the superior training of American soldiers and Marines.

U.S. and Iraqi government casualties were held down by adopting tactics, first developed by the Israelis, to use bulldozers and tanks to clear routes through buildings to avoid ambushes set in the street

One of the things that show how bad things were in Fallujah before our forces went in is the story about the torture chambers scattered through the town:

The Australian Herald Sun reports:

THE US military said today it had discovered nearly 20 torture sites in the course of its massive military operation against the insurgency in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

"They had a sick, depraved culture of violence in that city," Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Wilson, from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, told reporters at a briefing near the former rebel stronghold.

"It looks like we found a number of houses" where torture took place, said intelligence officer Major Jim West.

The US officers said the number of torture sites was "close to 20".

On November 8, US troops backed by Iraqi government forces launched the largest post-Saddam military operation in Iraq in a bid to reclaim lawless enclaves across the country ahead of January elections.

ABC News adds the following:

Marine Maj. Jim West said that in addition to numerous weapons caches, troops clearing the city after a major U.S.-led offensive had found rooms containing knives and black hoods, "many of them blood-covered."

Briefing reporters at a base outside Fallujah, West said one room had "handprints on the walls and along the sides of the walls … There was blood covering the entire wall and along the floorboard area."

He said troops had found signs of "torture, murder, very gruesome sights." "We found numerous houses where people were just chained to a wall for extended periods of time," he added.

West did not provide more details, but said "a few less than 20" such sites had been found in the city, a stronghold for insurgents 40 miles west of Baghdad.

At least 34 foreign hostages have been killed by their captors in Iraq this year, including three Americans. Many of the victims have been beheaded and their deaths shown on grisly videos posted on the Internet. Iraqi police and other security forces have also been killed after their capture by insurgents.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?