Friday, May 13, 2005

Full Boat

THE FLOP

Can someone explain why the Strib chose to publish this short excerpt cribbed from a WaPo article?

Among the four Marines killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device erupted under their Amtrac on Wednesday were the last battle-ready members of a squad that four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight, two squad members were killed and five were wounded.

In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be.
Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded. ... All told, the 1st Platoon ... had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force.


From an article in Thursday's Washington Post by Ellen Knickmeyer
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You can read the whole article here. You'll note that it tells a compelling story that goes well beyond the Strib's attempt to strip it down to a mere statistic. One paragraph the Strib omitted:

Many Marines complained bitterly that commanders had pulled them out of the fight at Ubaydi while the insurgents were still battling, to start the planned offensive. "They take us from killing the people they want us to kill and bring us to these ghost villages," one complained Wednesday on the porch of a house commandeered as a temporary base.

So I ask again: what was the point of printing that particular excerpt? On the op/ed page? Are they trying to demoralize? If not, explain why we almost never hear about the other side's casualties? How many of their number have our troops decimated?

Smells like Walter Cronkite. Or Hanoi Hannah.

THE TURN

Seems like Cliff May has declared war on on of the MOB's most beloved bloggers:

But an ideological conflict also must be fought -- a war against nihilism, supremacism, totalitarianism, Ba'athism and radical Islamism. Those who subscribe to such belief systems have no compunction about employing terrorism, genocide and other forms of barbarism to wipe out those who, they are convinced, block their path to glory and power.

Let the record reflect that I in no way intend to block the Nihilist's path to glory.

Please don't kill me.

THE RIVER

Does anybody out there play poker? The Foot needs to scratch his Hold 'Em itch.

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