So Now We Are Doing Body Counts

by James Glaser
December 2, 2003

Up until Sunday, no one at Central Command would give any number for the amount Iraqis we have killed. Now all of a sudden they have a precise number and a tale to go with it.

It seems that two of our convoys came under attack at about the same time in the town of Samarra, Iraq. At first it was claimed that we killed 46 attackers, but today that number has grown to 54.

Why do we all of a sudden start giving out numbers? The Iraqi people of Samarra claim that the number killed was much lower and that most of those killed were civilians.

Today there was another change in our story and it is now reported that the attack was a robbery. Colonel Frederick Rudesheim said the American convoys were on a mission to deliver currency to banks when the coordinated ambushes took place.

So here we have the Military telling us they killed 54 Iraqi fighters, we have the Iraqi people telling us we killed some Iraqi fighters and many civilians. This is the same story I saw in Vietnam many times. I hate to be a "doubting Thomas," but something is fishy about this whole story and we will never know the truth, but the fact that the US Military started a body count with this attack and no others, makes me think that something is seriously wrong here.

There is no doubt in my mind, that when two American convoys drive into two ambushes at the same time in the same town, all hell is going to break loose. Samarra is filled with civilians. They have a hospital, a school, and a Mosque. After the fighting was over reporters could see that all three of these buildings had been shot at. There were at least a dozen cars destroyed and many looked like they had been crushed by tanks. Six of the destroyed vehicles sat in front of the hospital and witnesses say that tanks shelled people dropping off the injured.

Now Central Command does not want to tell us about civilians getting killed or wounded, but anyone with a lick of sense knows that fire fights with tanks, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons in a city, will cause many residents to get hurt. It is out and out foolish for our military to try and hide this fact.

This is a War we are in and in all wars innocent people get killed. Our troops don't want to kill civilians, but to try and hide the fact that we do is counterproductive, because it makes us question everything else Central Command says.

When the famous ambush in Somalia took place with those words, "Blackhawk Down," it has been reported that as many as 1000 attackers and innocent civilians were killed and injured. While this fire fight in Iraq was for a much shorter time, the amount of projectiles flying around must have been awesome.

I have to believe that many people were hurt and many killed. When an American unit opens up after running into an ambush, nobody is left standing. Unless the attackers evacuated the town before the Americans entered, people were killed. I would hope that a deserted town would have alerted our soldiers that something was amiss and the fact that both ambushes took place tells me that we saw no warning like that.

Our Government should start being honest with us. We are in a War in Iraq. In War people get killed. Some of those people are the enemy, some are our troops, and sad to say many are the innocent people that we are trying to liberate. Every person in the world that has lived through or fought in a war, knows this to be true.

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