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May 04, 2008

Blowing Up The Surge

Sadr City Missile Strke-1

Talabani Wife Roadside Bomb-1

When it's all said and done (sometime within the next hundred years), the most redundant image of the Iraq occupation could well turn out to be the razed car carcass.  At this point, however, what could possibly distinguish one more crippled hulk from another?

In the former case (besides the fact it's an ambulance that took the hit), the method of infliction is worth noting.  The roof of the car is caved in because it was damaged from the air by one of three U.S. Hellfire missiles.  The specific view, however, is actually peripheral to the main target which Iraqis identify as a mosque and the American military described as a “criminal element command and control center.”

What everybody does agree on, however, is that the building next-door was a hospital, which made it that much more convenient to treat the twenty-eight people injured, including a group of kids who were collecting cans to salvage.

What the image also well signifies, by the way, is that the surge is dead.  If it weren't, I don't imagine the American's would be resorting to bombing runs in the neighborhood -- just like that incredibly tragic one I flagged last week -- in order to pacify snipers, mounted machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47's.

Which leads me to the distinguishing element of the second pic.  Yes, the incinerated body, charred undercarriage and flattened tires are reflective of a roadside bomb.  What's unique, however, is the "lineage" of the car, this one happening to be part of a motorcade ferrying President Talabani's wife. Combine  Combine this action with the news from the NYT article that two more bomb attacks occurred in Nisour Square, targeting the deputy chief of the traffic police, no less, and you have to think that the surge is dead, with these singular carcasses testifying to the fact.

Missiles Strike Sadr City, Damaging Hospital (NYT)
Iraqi President’s Wife Not Hurt by a Roadside Bomb (NYT)

(image 1: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images, for The New York Times. May 3, 2008. Sadr City. nytimes.com.  image 2: Iraqi President’s Wife Not Hurt by a Roadside Bomb.  May 4, 2008. Baghdad.  nytimes.com)

Comments

What is really interesting is the soldier on the left lighting a cigarette, carrying an AK-47, no hat, no insignias. American Contractor or Iraqi, he has the gaunt thousand yard stare of a grunt. Contrast him with the casual uniformed Iraqis on the right typical of puppet soldiers. He's just lost some friends, the war isn't over for him.

The uniforms tell the story. The guys on the right are wearing the Army's new ACU fatigues (and body armor), the guy on the left is wearing an old woodland green camoflague fatigues. I can't tell from the image if it's our old BDU, but it doesn't quite look right. In any event, it's not the current uniform for our soldiers and marines.

The fellow on the left is an Iraqi, those on the right are U.S. troops. It's at a deeper personal level for the guy on the left than for those on the right.

Picture 2: With no available cars that soldier may have walked a mile for that camel.

"...Now there are people on reservations
And out in the ghetto
And brother there, but, for the grace of god
Go you and i,
If I only had wings of a little angel
Dont you know, Id fly
To the top of a mountain
And then Id cry, cry, cry

Walk a mile in my shoes
Just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes"

-Evis

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