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LeeG
05-29-2006, 08:40 PM
I'd rather start a thread about the region where the marines allegedly killed civilians than about the incident itself. Maybe something about the context that makes crimes normal. Abu Ghraib wasn't entirely about a few lonely reservists, it was about everthing from a fractured command and control to an exploding prisoner to guard ratio to a country thinking it was fighting in Iraq to get Al Qaeda. article from Aug 05

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1553969,00.html

A three-hour drive north from Baghdad, under the nose of an American base, it is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.

Haditha exposes the limitations of the Iraqi state and US power on the day when the political process is supposed to make a great leap - a draft constitution finalised and approved by midnight tonight.

For politicians and diplomats in Baghdad's fortified green zone the constitution is a means to stabilise Iraq and woo Sunni Arabs away from the rebellion. For Haditha, 140 miles north-west of the capital, whether a draft is agreed is irrelevant. Residents already have a set of laws and rules promulgated by insurgents.

LeeG
05-29-2006, 08:58 PM
Knight-Ridder article from Aug 05

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002576997

HIT, Iraq -- The inability of U.S. forces to hold ground in Anbar province in western Iraq, and the cat and mouse chase that ensues, has put the Marines and soldiers there under intense physical and psychological pressure.

The sun raises temperatures to 115 degrees most days, insurgents stage ambushes daily then melt into the civilian population and American troops in Anbar find themselves in a house of mirrors in which they don't speak the language and can't tell friend from foe.

Most Marines and soldiers in Anbar live behind massive concrete barriers, bales of concertina wire and perimeters guarded by sniper towers and tanks.

Despite their overwhelming military might, they must watch every alleyway for snipers and each patch of road for mines or bombs, which can send balls of flame through their vehicles. That happened earlier this month south of Haditha, when an explosion killed 14 Marines in an amphibious assault vehicle

WX
05-29-2006, 09:28 PM
The difference between this war (also the Vietnam war) and other wars such as World War 2 is that in the latter conflict troops only spent a comparatively short time in the front line, hence short periods of intense stress. In Iraq because of the nature of the present stage of the conflict, troops are constantly on their guard...the whole country is the front line.
Overwhelming might will not win this war, because civillians die everytime, which just compounds the problem further and the more cases of abuse and murder that come to light, the worse it will get.
You might as well try and kill mosquitos with a tennis raquet, Coalition forces will end up walking away and leaving the Iraqi's to sort it out in the end.

LeeG
05-30-2006, 07:40 AM
I've been googling around and having a hard time getting a timeline for Anbar province. My rough understanding is that US forces have been engaged in ongoing operations but there really isn't a permanent force providing security as much as militias living there fighting for dominance and fighting US forces. Last time I remember the ratio of soldiers on the ground to residents of Anbar was something like 10,000/1.2 million.

LeeG
05-30-2006, 06:44 PM
more troops to Anbar

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/29/AR2006052901172.html?nav=rss_email/components