LET ME MAKE A FEW THINGS CLEAR :
When I talk about terrorists
, I will not
call them : rebels, insurgents,nationalists
, or (God help us !) freedom fighters.
I will not
pretend they are "entitled" to the legal protections we afford to our humblest,most despised citizens.
I will not
suggest they should be afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention-or any other agreement having to do with the "rules of warfare".
Terrorists are entitled to only one thing: a reasonably
That is the same consideration I would afford any
ATROCITY IN FALLUJAH RAISES QUESTIONS
This morning,2 unarmored,unescorted vehicles were ambushed in Fallujah,in the heart of the "Sunni Triangle" - a location where Ba'ath Party loyalists and al-Qaeda terrorists have joined forces to conduct almost constant attacks on US troops,civilian contractors,and civilians attached to the military government.
At least 3 - possibly as many as 8 people-all wearing civilian clothes,were killed in the ambush. A crowd of 150 men:cheering, and chanting Islamic slogans,set the vehicles on fire,mutilated burned bodies,dragged at least 2 bodies through the streets behind a car,and hung 2 of the victims' bodies from a bridge.
One thing that makes this especially notable is that most of this after-ambush activity was photographed by an AP camera team.
( I'll come back to that point later.)
My suspicion-at this time- is that the victims were part of a WMD search team. Witnesses at the scene have indicated 2 of the victims were wearing flak jackets,and may have been armed with rifles. One victim is said to have been carrying a DOD identification card.
Fallujah was the site of one of Saddam Hussein's WMD facilities: FALLUJAH II .
A 2002 CIA report indicates precursor chemicals for nerve gas,choking agents,etc. were manufactured here, and there was a plant for the extraction of Ricin from castor oils. It was also believed materials for biowarfare were produced here.
The US has sent WMD teams into this and other areas,but they have come under such intense attack,most of the search activity has been scaled back. Recent news reports indicate the teams have resumed their search; and, since this is a prime area
to search for clues,I suspect the victims were doing just that.
There are some very troubling aspects
to this morning's attack.
1. While "impromptu" ambushes are not uncommon, the successful ambush of moving vehicles generally requires advance knowledge of anticipated route.
2. The presence of an eager mob at the ambush site also suggests advance knowledge. To get that many people assembled first thing in the morning takes a bit of advance planning.
3. This brings me to the camera crew. The fact they were there
at the scene , suggests they had foreknowledge.
The fact they were able to film away without being molested suggests they had prior approval
from the organizers of the ambush. ( A lot of the media TV crews are local people,working under contract. )
This morning's atrocities seem to have fulfilled many aims:
1. Increasing the "body bag count", so as to dismay American voters,and to persuade them to elect a candidate (such as John Kerry) more to the terrorists' liking.
2. Terrorizing the local population;
3. Creating dismay among civilian employees;
4. Keeping WMD inspectors away from sensitive areas;
5. Getting and maintaining media coverage.
It was not a really great day for Islamic militants:
In England,the police rounded up 8 suspects (all Pakistani & Muslim), and gathered up 500 lbs of good ol' ammonium nitrate.
In the Philippines,the police snagged about 80 lbs of high explosives,and 4 militants from the Abu Sayaf gang. (Nice bunch: One proudly admitted being the lad who beheaded a kidnapped American back in 2001.)
In Uzbekistan,the special forces brought 3 days of outrages to a conclusion by raiding one of the militant hideouts and killing 20 or 21 of the militants. One of the terrorists,a woman,kinda lost her head: It went sailing over a wall when she blew herself up.