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