Thursday, December 18, 2003

Samarra redux

From The Globe and Mail:

"The U.S. military said a convoy came under attack near Samarra on Monday, and 11 people were killed as troops repelled what they called a 'complex' ambush that began with a roadside bomb and was followed up with machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

Police and residents were contesting that version last night, however, saying just one Iraqi had been killed, and that the Americans were the only ones shooting, opening fire on a residential area in retaliation for the bombing. Neither side reported U.S. casualties."

The official account has it that the Americans killed 11 Iraqis and did not suffer any casualties (isn't it suspicious to receive no casualties in an ambush?). It appears that there was only one Iraqi fatality, a man selling vegetables on the side of the road. This is exactly the same trick the Americans successfully pulled with respect to their last massacre in Samarra. There has also been a similar incident in Ramadi, where the Americans said that protestors fired repeatedly on U. S. troops, but television pictures showed only bullets headed towards the fleeing Iraqis. The new American model of conduct is to kill some civilians, probably as a result of firing on protestors, and then explain the whole mess as the results of a fight which occurred when the Americans were attacked. They are even getting a little literary in their lying (note the flock of pigeons in the Centcom story). You have to wonder whether the Pentagon has brought some novelists along to Iraq to assist in the story making process. Since the disgusting American press let them get away with it the first time, the fake ambush has apparently become part of the standard set of Pentagon lies. Watch for it in the future.