11.14.2003

Operation Iron Fisting

This NYT article makes me a little nervous. Evidently, Operation Iron Hammer, is more smoke 'n mirrors than a real pushback toward the Iraq insurgency. While these tactics have merit, I'm disappointed that our commanders try to tell us that they destroyed a building that is clearly still standing.

On the southern edge of the capital, a large building that American commanders said was a "meeting, planning, storage and rendezvous point" for the insurgents still stood, despite the military's claim that it had been destroyed in an airstrike the night before.

American soldiers came to the neighborhood several hours before the attack, local residents said, warning of the impending strike and making sure that everyone in the area was evacuated. Then an American AC-130 gunship strafed the building, knocking holes in the walls and wrecking much of the textile machinery arrayed inside.

After the strike, the Americans came back but detained no suspects, not even the owner of the building, and found no weapons.



I hope that the Iraq Insurgency is getting the correct message, but we have such a minimal voice in the Iraq media that rumors will spread far faster than the truth. The Iraqis feel the stress of living in a low-security state for six months now, and now they see us bringing out our guns again and firing into their property. If these type of tactics don't show positive results immediately, it will only further strain our relationship.

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