The Corner

Fallujah

A few observations, based on today’s report in the New York Times.

1) It often seems when there is horrific mob violence, boys are in the middle of it: “Some witnesses said the Americans were still alive when one boy came running up with a jug of gasoline. Soon, both vehicles were fireballs. ‘Everybody here is happy with this,’ Mr. Furhan, the taxi driver, said. ‘There is no question.’ After the fires cooled, a group of boys tore the corpses out of the vehicles. The crowd cheered them on. The boys dragged the blackened bodies to the iron bridge over the Euphrates River, about a mile away.”

2) It is hard to understand why there was no response from nearby U.S. forces to the incident while it was taking place: “There are a number of police stations in Falluja and a base of more than 4,000 marines nearby, but even as the security guards were being swarmed and their vehicles set on fire, sending plumes of inky smoke over the closed shops of the city, there were no ambulances, no fire engines and no assistance.”

3) Maybe we didn’t want to provoke a larger incident by responding, but it just seems shameful that we didn’t at least go and take the bodies down from the bridge: “Some people said they saw four bodies hanging over the water, some said only two. At sunset, nurses from a nearby hospital tried to take the bodies away. Men with guns threatened to kill the nurses. The nurses left. The bodies remained.”

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