68 Killed in Bloody End to Deadliest Month of War (or Not!)

Updated: Iraqis, including US-employed police, report that no more than 8 Iraqis were killed in the “battle.”

The US claims that a total of 68 people were killed over the weekend, marking the end of the bloodiest month so far in Iraq.

The US-claimed total includes 54 Iraqis killed in a major battle in Samarra, as well as 2 GIs, 7 Spanish intelligence officers, 2 Japanese Diplomats, 2 South Korean workers, and a Colombian contractor.

Sumarra residents claim that the casualty figures are much lower but that the majority of those killed were civilians.

105 Allied Troops were killed in November, marking the worst monthly total since the war began.

This morning a US soldier was killed in an attack west of Baghdad.

Descartes with an M-16

An American soldier explains his concern for Iraqi “hearts and minds” to a Western journalist:

I asked my escort Specialist Jack Craig, a military policeman from Minnesota, how he correlated the “strike first” directive with the US military’s current policy of attempting to win the “hearts and minds” of the local population.

“Actually, I see ‘hearts and minds’ as a tactical doctrine. To me, it means that’s where we should aim first,” said Craig. “Shoot them in the body or in the head, but just make sure you shoot them first.”

From his humourless expression, I presumed that he wasn’t joking.

Boortz Boosters Are Not Libertarians

Justin Raimondo’s column yesterday, along with his piece on Neal Boortz brought in more hate mail than any time since the height of the Iraq War.

Very few of the letters appeared to be from libertarians defending Boortz as one of our own. Most of them appeared to be vocally pro-war and pro-Bush. Many were also attacking Justin’s homosexuality, which they learned about on one of the pro-Boortz blogs.

Boortz certainly has a lot of supporters, and I am sure the ever-opportunistic Libertarian Party will welcome the addition of these pro-war and anti-gay members. No doubt the LP will get their money’s worth for the $7500 they are spending on Boortz’s speaking fee.

“People Don’t Just Get Red Spots and Collapse”

I was not allowed to show what happens to an American soldier when they get killed in that way. But I can say that war is a horrible thing. And with large caliber weapons, people don’t just get red spots and collapse, they come apart, pieces all over the place. …

I didn’t want that piece of tape to end up on the trash heap of history. And through some coaxing on my part, we showed some of the tape, which included badly burned and blown up bodies. So often we don’t show those things on television. But I remember saying that if it wasn’t appropriate for broadcast at that time of day then we shouldn’t be fighting wars at that time of day. Not to show it is a lie.
NBC cameraman Craig White, on battle footage from the invasion of Iraq

Read the CBC’s great collection of interviews with folks who were there.

(Thanks to Strike the Root.)