Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Victims of Mosul attack arrive in Germany

Just about every channel has been providing live feeds from Rammstein Air Base in Germany, showing wounded soldiers being carried on stretchers out of a C-141 transport and loaded onto buses in driving snow.

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has linked to this article by The Belmont Club: The Lidless Eye. It's a pretty fantastic article by Wretchard, and it discusses the insurgency's ability to attack "off-limits" targets with what Wretchard calls "public relations impunity."

Which is exactly what happens on a daily basis. A buddy of mine at Fort Knox, who's spent the better part of the last four years in the Middle East (including multiple deployments to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq as part of 3rd COSCOM) told me that mortar attacks are frequent enough that soldiers who've been in the area for a while can immediately distinguish between the sound of an outgoing and an incoming round.

Last Christmas, he was at a field hospital with a bad fever, he said, and while he was lying in his cot, he could hear mortars hitting inside the perimeter, some not far from the walls of the tent he was in.

So when I hear insurgents described as Iraq's "minutemen" by certain people, I've got to agree with Wretchard:

The enemy chose the weakest point he could find to attack; exploited the known limitations of the American response; and understood that he was to all intents and purposes exempted from the condemnation attendant to attacking the wounded and medical personnel. The chaplain and the medical personnel knew this and did not mill around expecting the Geneva Convention to protect them from those who have never heard of it, except as it applies to their own convenience. They knew the true face of the enemy; a face which bore no resemblance to the heroic countenance often presented by the media to the world.

It'll be interesting to see which side history remembers the "war crimes" taking place on.