09 June 2006

Busy News Week

Zarqawi Tape

Zarqawi insulted al-Sistani. Ummm. . . dude. Wow.

Boom!

Zarqawi also got blown up by two 500 lb bombs. Busy man, Zarqawi.

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/milblogs/2006/06/07/#005479

Here we have a major piece of winning this war. Habbinyah is now Iraqi.

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/milblogs/2006/06/08/#005503

Iraqi Ministers of Defence and Interior have been nominated. A Shi'ite interior minister and a Sunni defence minister. That's just how this country is going to have to be run.

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/005349.html

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_3890030

The stupid bastard MSM has pretty much tried and convicted these Marines. Now, I know a little bit about al-Anbar Province. I know a little bit about missions finding 7 or 8 IEDs in a night. I know a little bit about VBIEDs hitting checkpoints. I know a little bit about how folks react when Soldiers or Marines get killed.

Now, let's look at what we know.

An IED went off. Until you have experienced that, you really have nothing useful to say. If an IED goes off, it is one hell of a surprise. Even though the front of your brain knows the only reason for a loud noise and a fireball is an IED, you still go, "What the fuck was that?"

The Pope would say, "What the fuck was that?" It doesn't matter.

A Marine Lance Corporal died. Another was wounded. Until you have seen that happen to men you know and work with and depend on and often, love like a brother, you don't have anything useful to say. What does it feel like? I can't describe it. If you know, you know. If you don't, NOTHING will make you understand.

Two dozen Iraqis were hanging around an IED strike site, and were killed by the Marine reaction.

What we don't know:
Was the triggerman among them?
Were any of the Iraqis armed?
Did the crowd do anything to demonstrate hostile intent?

All these pieces of information are necessary. All of them will come out in the afteraction reviews, the critical incident debriefs, and the 15-6 investigation. I guess the Marines don't call it a 15-6, because that is the Army Regulation relating to command investigations. If the command investigation turns up that the shooting was a violation of ROE, then it will go to an Article 32, IIRC. That's the UCMJ equivalent of a Grand Jury thing. And then the Marines get a court-martial. And then AND ONLY THEN can we start talking about these guys as murderers.

The Battalion and Company commanders have already been relieved. Why? Who knows. Political pressure, or perhaps there is an assesment that their command climate contributed to the incident. But it is a sign that the Marine Corps is taking this seriously. You don't hang an O-5 out to dry just for giggles. If these guys violated ROE and get charged with murder or manslaughter, they are going to jail for a long time.

You want a personal supposition? These guys knew the IED was there. No IED gets laid out in a neighborhood and surprises the folks in the neighborhood. They were waiting around to see what happens and possibly start something. They were hostile by my understanding. Whether or not they demonstrated hostile intent within the meaning of the ROE, that is a subject for discussion by people in posession of the facts. But I know a little about al-Anbar province and Iraq in general. Iraqis fall into three categories. Either they are for us, they are against us, or they are trying to play both sides against the middle. There are no real non-combatants in Iraq. Just people who havn't met the engagement criteria YET.

On a personal level, the weapon list got changed out to take the M-4s away from Fobbits. I nearly choked an operator who apparently took apart a weapon and lost some parts. He gave me some song and dance, but I don't buy it. Other than that, not much going on in my life.

We had a couple incidents where our guys in the brigade have taken it on the chin, consequences of the new operating environment. But we are getting our own back too, and that's as much as I can say.

3 Comments:

Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

Nice summary, as always.

Miss you lots and lots.

4:23 AM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

An IED went off. Until you have experienced that, you really have nothing useful to say. If an IED goes off, it is one hell of a surprise. Even though the front of your brain knows the only reason for a loud noise and a fireball is an IED, you still go, "What the fuck was that?"

The Pope would say, "What the fuck was that?" It doesn't matter.


Heh. "What the fuck?! What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck?!?!?!" sometimes followed by "WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY GLASSES????!!! Fuck! I can't fucking see! Fuck!"

7:30 AM  
Blogger Curmudgeon said...

Good summary, John.

Reading posts from the sandbox keeps things in perspective here. Other than Yon, we don't see this sort of stuff here.

Thanks, and thanks for what you're doing there.

6:58 AM  

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