U.S. Too Nice — Iraqi Peasants Shoot Down U.S. Helicopters and False White Flags Ensnares Americans

Tactics, foresight and strategy, the reports are flowing in rapidly of more missing Americans. An Apache helicopter with a small American crew was apparently taken down by Iraqis forces that looked like farmers –leaving television images of a shabby looking crowd that included old men cheering with rifles in front of the downed American helicopter. Meanwhile, it’s not known what has happened to the crew, although Iraqis claim to have captured them as well.

At the same time this report is being broadcast around the world, the Iraqis also claim to have shot down two other Apache helicopters and the American crew. And there are late reports from the U.S. DoD that 9 Marines were killed when Iraqis pretending to surrender turned around and killed the U.S. soldiers. A former CIA intelligence analyst had said they are likely Saddam’s republican guard dressed as farmers and townsfolk to trick Coalition troops.

Hours earlier, while U.S. and British troops were trusting officers and gentlemen to the Iraqis who claimed to have surrendered to them, according to Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, a U.S. Army supply convoy fell victim to Iraqi forces when they apparently took a wrong turn in an area near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah–a major crossing point over the Euphrates northwest of Basra.

Several reports had emerged that Coalition forces had been through this area and believed it to be safe for the ‘follow-on’ crews. The Iraqis that had remained in the area had used white flags and supposedly surrendered. So it was believed. Therefore, the follow-on crews set to commence with plans to bring in large amounts of humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people.

However, instead of bringing in humanitarian aid for the Iraqis, several of the American crew were murdered by Iraqis, and video of their dead bodies were shown on Arab television. The living POWs appeared with interrogators who questioned the four men and a woman as they were forced to speak into a microphone that was labeled "Iraqi Television’. The video was shown repeatedly on the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

At first, it wasn’t believed that Americans had been captured by Iraqis, especially in what appeared to be a well organized military plan to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass terror. But soon the Iraqi’s were showing on Al-Jazeera television murdered Americans and the interrogation of a frightened American woman and four men.

The atrocities were so horrific that some officials said it was the worst that they had ever seen and others would not comment on what they had viewed on Al-Jazeera.

British and American leaders have said that the Iraqis involved in the savage behaviors and heinous violations of the Geneva Convention are facing war crimes.

Some families have recognized their family members and have publicly expressed their shock and grief. The family of POW Patrick Miller expressed their deep sadness over the situation, and Patrick’s brother wants the Iraqis to let him go, saying he’s only a mechanic. Patrick Miller is married with two young children in Park City, Kansas.

Nasiriyah was the site of the sharpest engagement so far in the war to disarm Saddam Hussein. Officials say It is a strategic city on the Euphrates River. Marine Corps units had captured a bridge intact over the river.

Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force moved through the area following the attack and were able to extract other wounded members of the unit.

During the press conference, Abizaid took the al Jazeera satellite network to task for retransmitting the Iraqi images. "You’re from al Jazeera television and I’m very disappointed that you would betray … our service members, and I would ask others not to do that," Abizaid said.

Defense officials issued a press advisory requesting that news outlets not air or publish "recognizable images or audio recordings that identify" prisoners of war or deceased service members until next of kin are notified.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid–one of two deputy commanders–has been involved with POW situations before, including Kosvo-Bosnia war where 4 American soldiers were captured and held. According to The Washington Times, Abizaid will likely be the top U.S. military officer in post-war Iraq. The Arabic-speaking West Point graduate would run the country while the United States maintains order and then slowly hands over power to Iraqi citizens, according to the newspaper report. Gen. Abizaid is helping to direct the war from Central Command war headquarters in As Saliyah, Qatar.