Thursday, April 15, 2004

"New York Times": low-tech combat, low tech-reporting 

The "New York Times" once again focuses on the good news in their story "Marines Use Low-Tech Skill to Kill 100 in Urban Battle":

"The battle, classic urban combat that raged for 14 hours, was one of the heaviest engagements since the invasion of Iraq last year. It showed not only the intensity of the resistance but an acute willingness among insurgents to die."

I would have thought that what it truly showed was the effectiveness of American military, its superiority of training, tactics and skills, but you have to wait until the fourth paragraph to find out that during the whole bloody engagement only two Marines were shot, and their wounds were not life-threatening. 2 wounded for 100 killed in door-to-door fighting isn't too bad a ratio.

And how about that title, eh? "Low-tech skills", my ass. Close quarter urban combat might not be sexy enough for the NYT because there's no chance that a stray cluster bomb will wipe out a local hospital and thus cause the loss of Iraqi "hearts and minds", but surely it takes high skills (tech or no tech) to wipe out 100 fighters with almost zilch casualties of your own.

If that's a demonstration of "an acute willingness among insurgents to die" then I say - there should be more of it.

Could it be, perchance, why al Sadr seems to be now suing for peace?


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