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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:23 AM
Original message
U.S. starts to report on enemy casualties
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20018...

BAGHDAD, Iraq The enemy body count is back. Sort of.

U.S. military officials, in their regular news briefings in Iraq, have quietly begun reporting on enemy "KIA," or killed in action, after months of declining to detail the other side's losses.

The Army had long resisted inclusion of such figures, in part fearing comparison to Vietnam War days, when enemy casualties always seemed to dwarf U.S. losses even as the war was going badly. Inflated body counts eventually became emblematic of a Pentagon spin operation unable to mask the bad news in Southeast Asia.

<snip>

Yesterday, officials were hesitant to talk publicly about the decision to provide details on enemy dead. But it seemed clear that the change is part of an effort to present U.S. forces in a more dynamic and offensive manner rather than as a plodding occupying army taking steady casualties without inflicting its own damage.

...more...

(gotta feed the freeps, ya know?)
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. well it is certainly more offensive
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remfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. I am SO sick of the constant PR
part of an effort to present U.S. forces in a more dynamic and offensive manner rather than as a plodding occupying army

Is that the latest? To make us LOOK "more dynamic"?
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Are they going to start reporting numbers of civilian casualties?
or do those still not count, since they died for such a good cause?
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davhill Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. No
The will always be included with the enemy dead if the Sameria engagement is any indication.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Agree, and how do you distinguish enemy from civilian? No uniforms,
hell, many of the folks shooting ARE civilians, pissed off and wanting revenge for their killed loved ones. The entire population is slowly turning to the side of the enemy as family members of each innocent victim that we kill gets pissed off.
The strong drive for revenge for family members is just one of many of the cultural differences that our high commanders that come up with thing like "Iron Hammer" seem to completely disregard.
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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I'm not quite sure what anyone means by "enemy"
And as for the "cultural differences" regarding revenge, it sure seems to me that revenge was a major factor in driving US opinion to war. Why else was 9/11 such an important part of the White House's lies?
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Revenge is absolutely a driving force in any group of people.
I was not ripping on the cultural differences, just what seems to be our Miltary's lack of taking it seriously into consideration when they make plans for operations such as Iron Hammer based on their "war games".
It seems that in "our culture" revenge is more for the benefit of the seeker of revenge. In other cultures, it is for the benefit of the innocent killed, to restore their honor, to kill the "infidel" by proxy for the fallen to restore their place in the "after-life".
I could be wrong, but that's my understanding of this one of many cultural differences.

Here's a link that someone had posted in another thread that somewhat explains "our" thinking on these operations.

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=...

Hack, most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals as being reported. During the ambushes the tanks, brads and armored HUMVEES hosed down houses, buildings, and cars while using reflexive fire against the attackers. One of the precepts of "Iron Hammer" is to use an Iron Fist when dealing with the insurgents. As the division spokesman is telling the press, we are responding with overwhelming firepower and are taking the fight to the enemy. The response to these well coordinated ambushes was as a one would expect. The convoy continued to move, shooting at ANY target that appeared to be a threat. RPG fire from a house, the tank destroys the house with main gun fire and hoses the area down with 7.62 and 50cal MG fire. Rifle fire from an alley, the brads fire up the alley and fire up the surrounding buildings with 7.62mm and 25mm HE rounds. This was actually a rolling firefight through the entire town.

The ROE under "Iron Fist" is such that the US soldiers are to consider buildings, homes, cars to be hostile if enemy fire is received from them (regardless of who else is inside. It seems too many of us this is more an act of desperation, rather than a well thought out tactic.

The belief in superior firepower as a counter-insurgency tactic is then extended down to the average Iraqi, with the hope that the Iraqis will not support the guerillas and turn them in to coalition forces, knowing we will blow the hell out of their homes or towns if they don't. Of course in too many cases, if the insurgents bait us and goad us into leveling buildings and homes, the people inside will then hate us (even if they did not before) and we have created more recruits for the guerillas.

This is a great attitude for a combat commander to have when fighting an armored force on force, but Colonel Rudesheim is not trained in Counter-Insurgency and my soldiers are taking the heat. We drive around in convoys, blast the hell out of the area, break down doors and search buildings; but the guerillas continue to attacks us. It does not take a George Patton to see we are using the wrong tactics against these people. We cannot realistically expect that Stability and Support Operations will defeat this insurgency.




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berner59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Make up your minds....
Edited on Tue Dec-02-03 07:38 AM by berner59
First they want only the "good news" about how Bahgdad is the shining city...now they want the news about bloody attacks and how many "we got"... How this can't get under anyone's skin and make it crawl. I feel so sorry for these poor kids over there, they must be turning in circles over all these "objectives". Plus - WHERE are the bodies of these 54??? One commander last night said that he thought it was strange that there weren't any bodies in the morge...hmmm...STRANGE???
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. This is good news
Don't you see? From their point of view, killing the enemy will be how they measure their success. The more they kill, the better they are doing.

It's all part of the plan. The PNAC plan.


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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Productivity reports up!
Population down...
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I think the same guys are preparing the reports on the economy.
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. There are no civilians
I think that is what this change in reporting means. Rumsfeld, et al, have decided that Americans now see all Iraqis as the enemy, and they will start telling us how many are killed in each encounter. It's no coincidence that this happens after our worst month of losses in the conflict.

This is just like Vietnam. The soldiers on the ground don't distinguish between enemy and civilians, so the Pentagon won't either. They will tell us they are all the enemy.
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harper Donating Member (699 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm old enough to remember those Vietnam body counts
I flashed back to those days listening to the radio yesterday. Year after year a nightly fixture of the evening news was hearing about the hundreds of VietCong killed. Must mean we were doing great...right? I swear we heard those reports up till the day we bugged out of Vietnam.
I listen to the news reports about Iraq and shake my head. We are in a quagmire folks, its just that the pentagon is trying to manage the PR on this one more to its advantage.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Even Gen. Westmoreland bought into the "body count" hype...
...because he firmly believed that the VC and North Vietnamese regulars were completely tapped out after the Tet Offensive in 1968. I'm personally convinced that kind of mentality cost another 30,000 American lives in a war that dragged on for another six years.

Here we go again.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Absolutely, we won the Vietnam war
Didn't everyone get the memo? It's just that the defeatist press told everyone we lost. This is what former Sec. of Defense Schlesinger believes and was telling everyone on Cspan last month.

This experience and those fallacies are what is driving this war now. This is what the civilian leadership in the Pentagon believes and what their supporters in the armed forces believe. These are predominantly in the Air Force. Fewer in the Army believe it.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
16. I thought the enemy body count wasn't reported as a security issue
Edited on Tue Dec-02-03 10:53 AM by rocknation
As if the enemy don't already know how many had been killed, and regularly tune in to CNN to check. But if it will make make America feel better about the occupation to know that their "forces" are at least trying to give as good as they get, the Pretzel-Dunce should be willing to make that sacrifice. After all, he has nothing to lose but the next election.


rocknation
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DeathvadeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
17. Piss on this Article!!!!!!
Starts? OK So where are the numbers assholes? The header reads "Enemy Casualties!!!!" Why then does it go into how many US Casualties?????

Shouldn't this read "Well, were thinking about telling you how many we killed, but don't forget wev'e takin casualties too....."
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-02-03 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
18. Welcome to the QUAGMIRE!!!
It can only get worse folks!!!


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