South of Baghdad, five soldiers were killed and three were missing after what has vaguely been called a raid on an American patrol. This story really doesn’t make sense to me. First of all, it’s a patrol but there were only 8 people, 1 of whom was a translator? (this would be a native speaker and I strongly assume non-soldier) Then they were sitting outside a town waiting and then an IED hit them? Then the vehicles were on fire when backup arrived? And some of the bodies were so badly damaged that they couldn’t tell if the translator was one of those killed?
It doesn’t really add up. Any sort of convoy is usually required to have at least three vehicles. Were these guys in civilian vehicles? Does that imply that they were special operations? Is their body count inaccurate? Something weird is going on.
The military is putting a spin on it, saying they’re casting a wide dragnet. But I believe it’s been over 24 hours since the people went missing. What’s bad about this is that the initial period is the most promising time to find the missing troops. At this point, the military won’t find the bodies until the already anticipated video of them shows up on liveleak.com or something. One can only hope that the missing soldiers were already killed and won’t be tortured or humiliated on camera. Zarqawi’s legacy is that we’ll always fear decapitation of our missing troops, also.
I hope this plays out without much grief but at this point the story doesn’t check out.
[edit: A couple days later and still no word. I read one rumor supposedly from a high-level Iraqi source that said the soldiers had actually fallen into a river and are missing. They were providing bridge overwatch but were changing over with their replacing force, which seems a far more likely scenario given what has leaked out. That the insurgents haven’t posted any evidence of captured soldiers is strange. It’s also strange that the military has been so mum about it. We know that the soldiers are from Ft. Drum.
If you’re not convinced that terrorists are winning the online war, today the military banned most social sites from use on military networks. I don’t think this will affect soldiers as they use MWR tents because I think those run on private satellite networks. But when the military tells its soldiers not to post to these sites just on military computers, the inference is clear. Don’t use them. And meanwhile the other military hand is heavily promoting its new YouTube channel to give its own take on events internationally. What the fuck?]