Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A rough week in Iraq

Faces of the Fallen
Originally uploaded by m:j:b.
Only Wednesday, and already it's been too long a week in Iraq.

Fourteen marines were killed early today when their troop carrier struck a gigantic roadside bomb in the western town of Haditha, marking one of the single deadliest attacks on American troops since the invasion here in March 2003. An Iraqi civilian interpreter working with the marines was also killed in the blast.
Again, anyone who thinks this is going to be short, hasn't thought clearly about what we are up against. In the history of war, there haven't been too many long-term successes against insurgencies.
There were indications that the roadside bomb used in the attack was quite large; the marines said that only one of the soldiers had been wounded, while 14 had been killed. American commanders say that in recent months the insurgents have been exploding bigger and more sophisticated bombs, some of which focus the blast in a single direction.

The attack brought the number of dead marines in Haditha to 20 in less than two days. On Monday, guerrillas ambushed and killed a group of six marine snipers who were moving through the town on foot. The insurgent group, Ansar Al Sunna, claimed responsibility for that attack, and also claimed that it had beheaded one of the marines.
Meanwhile, back in the US of A, those Marines who survive the insurgency but are injured have a tough time. Yesterday I heard this touching story on NPR about a group started by four Marine wives that supports injured Marines and their families. Amazing strength and courage, all the way around.

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