The Fog of War


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October 20, 2004
Release Number: 04-10-52



FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Multi-National Force-Iraq struck two adjoining Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist safe houses in north east Fallujah Oct. 20.

Both safe houses were effectively destroyed at 3:44 a.m.

Intelligence sources confirmed that several Zarqawi terrorists were using the safe house to meet and plan attacks against Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Security Forces, and Multi-National Forces during the month of Ramadan.

Removing these criminals from active service to Zarqawi, diminishes the capabilities of his Al Qaida-linked terrorist network to conduct attacks, and strengthens the safety and security of the sovereign country of Iraq.

Falluja raid kills family of six

An American air raid on the Iraqi city of Falluja has killed six members of the same family.
US planes fired two rockets into the house of a couple and their four children early on Wednesday.

Another rocket hit a teachers' training college in the rebel city, but failed to explode.

A US military statement said the raids targeted houses used by forces of the militant leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whom the US is keen to capture.
Moral of the story - Don't upset a neighbour who has a Dime and the phone number of the local FAC.
Interesting juxtaposition there, would love to find out which is the correct version, but since both sides (i.e the US Army and the Beeb) seem to be engaged in their own propaganda campaign, doubt we will!
Air strikes in Falluja are the result of intel from locals. I certainly wouldnt believe the bBC account. Even during Saddam's time he had trouble with Falluja. There isnt alot of symapthy in Iraq for the inhabitants of that fair city and there would be no tears shed if the city was reduced to rubble. Of course that view isnt expressed publicly as it isnt very pc.
I might regard the BBC report with some doubt too T6

If it hadn't of been for all the imagery flying round the news from the scene as the bodies were carried out.

My point, is not whether Centcom or BBC believe they have the truth.

My point is, how many dubious calls are we getting leading to a strike?

Is it impossible , that Zarqawi's team are deliberately feeding false target information?

After all , zap 6 innocent civilans , and voila! A whole bunch of pissed off relatives looking to get some revenge :cry:
From a personal perspective and not having been there I can't help but think that perhaps airstrikes are not quite as clean and tidy as is normally required in a peace support op and that, as has been pointed out above, it doesn't seem to be particulary helpful in winning the hearts and minds, either here or abroad.


Chicken Jim's point is well made. It doesn't matter whether WE believe CENTCOM or the BBC. Who do the Iraqis believe??
The other problem with airstrikes is that to a lot of onlookers - including the locals, neighbouring countries and others we'd like to help us - they come across as institutionalised cowardice. (NB: I'm talking other people's perceptions here, not my beliefs)

Why is it (they ask) that the world's only superpower, the most powerful military force on the planet, in a part of the world that they occupy and claim to control, has to resort to lobbing a ton of steel and high explosive into residential areas from 20kfeet ? Why not drive some armoured vehicles up to the front door - or use helicopters - and take the bad guys out personally ?

So it doesn't really matter what actually happened, we've lost this round as the people we wish to influence don't believe us. And that matters because this conflict will not be resolved by purely military means. Besides, if you filmed a raid you could show exactly what was there, release the film and convince others.

Finally, on a personal note I could believe either side. The locals are ruthless enough to hide behind civilians, and US humint poor enough that they'll believe any old tripe as long as it is the sort of thing they want to hear about. Just look at the nonsense they paid millions for from a few Iraqi exiles. "You want to hear about WMD, of course, just make the cheque out to ..."

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