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Thursday, March 23, 2006


It's been a long week, I'm still sick, and I have one more long drive/major doctor appointment left before it's over, so please bear with my eclectic series of thoughts.


It seems that the big military move pulled off recently in Iraq, while having several recognized purposes, was partially done to obtain the freedom of some of our captives.

Abu Ghraib, also the site of the infamous prison, is where U.S. and British forces stormed a house Thursday morning and freed three Christian peace activists held hostage since Nov. 26.

I realize that I've been sick, and the world is entirely allowed to move on without my awareness, especially with a war going on, but...

This article calls this military engagement "Northern Lights." Is this or is this not the same military engagement that was termed "Operation: Swarmer"? I cannot tell. It seems so similar and the news articles seem so generic, I just cannot tell. Anybody know?

Also, I have to ask: When are those durned insurgents going to realize that Bush already declared victory here? I must be missing something here, and I know I'm not the only one, but this still looks like war to me!!! If it's a war, which I'd argue it is, then we have to fight it like a war, not like some game of whack-a-mole. Somebody, please, convince whoever needs to be convinced that our soldiers need more solid plans than "let's go get d'em guys!" to be able to win this!


The three men who were, apparently, rescued as part of "Northern Lights" were James Loney, Harmeet Singh Sooden, both from Canada, and Norman Kember, from England. They are members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams. Unfortunately, this rescue came too late for Tom Fox, their American associate.

Mr. Fox's body was found this month, shot and dumped in western Baghdad.

"We remember with tears Tom Fox," group co-director Doug Pritchard said in Toronto. "We had longed for the day when all four men would be released together. Our gladness today is bittersweet by the fact that Tom is not alive to join his colleagues in the celebration."

This raises these questions: If our troops did more operations of this nature, would we have less civilian casualties? Would we be able to conclude this war, which now isn't a war, all the more quickly? Are these operations as successful as this article suggests? Or are we still playing whack-a-mole? We successfully rescued three out of four men; could we have rescued others who are now dead?


Now, last but not least, I couldn't help but notice this trend...

This article (and many others, so it's not just an Egyptian thing) says:

U.S. and British forces freed three Christian peace activists without firing a shot early Thursday, ending a four-month hostage drama in which an American among the group was shot to death and dumped on a Baghdad street.
--emphasis added

Which brings to mind this question: How close do they have to be shooting and how much gun-power need they have before it's considered "firing a shot" whether the shots were fired within the building or not?

The first I heard of this the rescue was part of "Northern Lights," which involved 1,400 of our guys, weapons caches, terrorists captures, explosives detonation, and hostages releasing! Where does the "no shots fired" thing come in? Was that as misleading as it seems to me it was intended to be? Was it intended to be misleading? "Look! We can free our hostages without firing a shot! Too bad we have all those silly guns!"


Like I said, these thoughts aren't exactly coherent...but, I did warn you! Besides, it gave me an excuse to play around with my formatting options more than I have before!


At 3/24/2006 8:45 AM, Blogger Joey said...

I read some criticism of a speech Bush gave on the war's 3rd anniversary, and a criticism of him was that he didn't use the word "war." As I said in my blog, I wasn't especially put off by that. However, I did notice that in three speeches/Q&A sessions he had this week, he definitely used the word war a number of times. I think he recognizes that the job isn't done, as much as he obviously wanted it to be two and a half years ago when he declared "Mission Accomplished" on that ship. I sure hope he recognizes it's a war, anyway. I'm all for Congress just declaring war so we have it out in the open....

At 3/24/2006 7:23 PM, Blogger historymike said...

Maybe the successful rescue mission was linked to Operation Swarmer as a PR move.

At 3/24/2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


I agree totally, and noticed on your blog that Bush went back to using "war."


I don't know if they're even the same military operations. It looks like it, but I could be wrong about that.

As far as the PR move...saving those guys certainly didn't garner the military much gratitude, so I'm not sure how it'd make a good PR move. Then again, who'd of expected the Christian Peacemaker Teams to be ungrateful?


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