Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Smoking the Enemy Out of Their Caves

Michael Yon's website is a must read. Mr. Yon is an embedded reporter in Iraq, who accompanies the Marines on some of their most dangerous missions and is not afraid to follow the men when the battlefield gets hot. His column is candid, informative, and always fair to the soldiers he follows into the fight.

In a typically fascinating dispatch, Mr. Yon most recently reported on the difficulties presented in finding IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devises). I reproduce an encouraging part of his column below. Although the seemingly random chance of being claimed by an IED represents one of the most fear-inducing eventualities created by the enemy in Iraq, our boys still have the luxury of knowing that the weapon has one major weakness: it still has to be deployed by people. People are prone to a variety of errors. As the below shows, in Iraq one of the biggest errors the enemy can make is being predictable:

Running to Yarmuk Traffic Circle

The Yarmuk traffic circle is fantastically dangerous. On the first mission I ran in Mosul, we lost two soldiers and an interpreter, all killed by a car bomb. Others were horribly burned, scarred for life. Many of our wounded and killed soldiers got it right here, or in the immediate vicinity. The ISF takes serious losses in this part of town. But it's not entirely one-sided--the Deuce Four has killed well over 150 terrorists in this neighborhood in the past 10 months. But almost none of those made the news, and those that did had a few key details missing.

Like the time when some ISF were driving and got blasted by an IED, causing numerous casualties and preventing them from recovering the vehicle. The terrorists came out and did their rifle-pumping-in-the-air thing, shooting AKs, dancing around like monkeys. Videos went 'round the world, making it appear the terrorists were running Mosul, which was pretty much what was being reported at the time.

But that wasn't the whole story. In the Yarmuk neighborhood, only terrorists openly carry AK-47s. The lawyers call this Hostile Intent. The soldiers call this Dead Man Walking.

Deuce Four is an overwhelmingly aggressive and effective unit, and they believe the best defense is a dead enemy. They are constantly thinking up innovative, unique, and effective ways to kill or capture the enemy; proactive not reactive. They planned an operation with snipers, making it appear that an ISF vehicle had been attacked, complete with explosives and flash-bang grenades to simulate the IED. The simulated casualty evacuation of sand dummies completed the ruse.

The Deuce Four soldiers left quickly with the "casualties," "abandoning" the burning truck in the traffic circle. The enemy took the bait. Terrorists came out and started with the AK-rifle-monkey-pump, shooting into the truck, their own video crews capturing the moment of glory. That's when the American snipers opened fire and killed everybody with a weapon. Until now, only insiders knew about the AK-monkey-pumpers smack-down.

Read the whole thing. In fact, just keep reading. Mr. Yon's dispatches are some of the most candid on the web, and there is plenty of material to encourage and discourage you, but always something that will make you proud of our men and women who are fighting for us right now in Iraq. Keep them in your prayers.


Blogger Kevin said...

Michael will be on Pundit Review Radio live from Mosul, Iraq this Sunday evening at 9pm EST. You can stream the show live at WRKO and you can call us toll-free with questions at 877-469-4322.

About Pundit Review Radio

Pundit Review Radio is where the old media meets the new. Each week we highlight the work of the most influencial bloggers and citizen journalists on Boston's talk leader, WRKO. Recent guests have included Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine, Don Luskin of PoorandStupid, James Taranto, Hugh Hewitt, Scott Johnson from Powerline, LaShawn Barber, Patterico, Blackfive and Matt Margolis from Blogs for Bush. Let your readers know about our show and check us out!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

8:52 PM  

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