It’s good to know we’re winning the war

Some commenters would have it that the war is going swell. What can I do to tell them it’s just not the case?

Insurgents hammered central Baghdad on Sunday with one of their most intense mortar and rocket barrages ever in the heart of the capital, heralding a day of violence that killed nearly 60 people nationwide as security appeared to spiral out of control.

At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq (news – web sites)’s most-feared terror organization.

The dead from the helicopter strike included Arab television reporter Mazen al-Tumeizi, who screamed, “I’m dying! I’m dying!” as a cameraman recorded the chaotic scene. An Iraqi cameraman working for the Reuters news agency and an Iraqi freelance photographer for Getty Images were wounded.

Maimed and lifeless bodies of young men and boys lay in the street as the stricken U.S. vehicle was engulfed in flames and thick black smoke.

Across the country, the death toll Sunday was at least 59, according to figures from the Health Ministry, the Multinational Force command and local authorities.

Nearly 200 people were wounded, more than half of them in Baghdad.

Strong detonations again shook the center of Baghdad after sunset Sunday. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

Maimed and lifeless bodies…. These are the people we went to liberate. These are the ones we were saving from Saddam,and they are willing to die trying to kill us. How can we win? And that’s a serious question. Has any occupier “won” a war under similar conditions, bringing the people around from wanting to kill them to appreciating them and cooperating with them? I really want to know, because that’s what we’ve got to do.

UPDATE: Another part of the story:

As the Americans withdrew, jubilant fighters and young boys swarmed around the burning vehicle. Several young men placed a black banner of al-Qaeda-backed Tawhid and Jihad, led by terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in the barrel of the Bradley’s main gun. A US Apache attack helicopter swooped down and opened fire around the Bradley. Witnesses said several people, including a journalist for an Arab TV station, were killed.

That’s important. Aside from proving how great we’re doing winning hearts and minds, it also points to the real danger here — we are driving Iraqis into the arms of Al Qaeda. This is the first time I’ve seen such a dramatic and incontestable example. This is really, really scary.

So how are we doing? Are we winning?

The Discussion: 2 Comments

That’s important. Aside from proving how great we’re doing winning hearts and minds, it also points to the real danger here — we are driving Iraqis into the arms of Al Qaeda.

….if they’re putting the banner of an al Qaeda-affiliated group on a bradley, they’re *already* ‘in the arms of al Qaeda’.

I’m embarassed to have to point this out to you.

September 13, 2004 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

Ros, that’s kind of simplistic. Obviously we’ve been doing this for a year and more. They didn’t decide to join al Qaeda yesterday morning — this is a gradual pheomenon, fueled in large part by Abu Ghraib and other US mistakes.

September 14, 2004 @ 7:42 am | Comment

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