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War without death

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News

CNN Headline News had a piece on regular rotation yesterday (not online) by
reporter Jennifer Eccleston, embedded with a U.S. Army group seeking out
resistance fighters in Western Iraq. It was an intensely personal piece
called "In Harm's Way," the title referring to the CNN soldiers finding IEDs
on streets that she (and they) had walked down a few minutes before, and one
exploding and nearly killing her videographer. At the end of the piece, the
group she is with has been pinned down by fire on a rooftop. Perfectly
illustrating a point I have made before about why the "exit strategy" is a
sham (because all the "successes" come on the backs of tanks and planes
which the U.S. is never going to turn over to the Iraqis), the soldiers
decide to call in tank fire on a "suspected insurgent hideout." The video
then shows a tank at close range, blowing apart a building.

And then, reports Eccleston, the "tragic consequences" (or some description
along those lines, I'm writing from memory). Out of the rubble come a stream
of women carrying babies, young men, and children -- not (apparently,
anyway) an insurgent among them. And then? That's it, the footage returns to
Eccleston, bemoaning the dangers of working as a reporter in Iraq. Not one
word about the Iraqis! Were any of them killed? It would be a first-rate
miracle worthy of canonization if none were, given the footage we just saw.
Yet not only don't we see any such footage, the mere possibility that Iraqis
had been killed by the trigger-happy Americans, firing at "suspected"
targets, isn't even mentioned. Unbelievable.


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