Here are some screenshots of the current news lineup:
I think I see a pattern.
Now sure, this is obviously the big news of the day. I’m not debating that. What I am debating is the presentation. Other than a statement about up to 12 Marines killed and 20 more wounded, and a few reports of some raids into Fallujah and a few attacks by Allied aircraft, what do any of these news stories report about the actual fighting? Not much.
At least during the drive to Baghdad we had a lot of embedded reporters giving us first-hand info. Right now we’ve more or less got jack for facts. Looking at these headlines, though, you’d think the Marines just waded ashore on Iwo Jima.
Not to minimize what our guys are going through, but this is a lot of attention being paid to what’s a very minor scrape. Things might be a lot bigger than they look, of course, but the numbers of Marines around Fallujah (2500 or so, last I heard) isn’t significant.
Well, I wouldn’t say that to the faces of 2500 US Marines, but you know what I mean.
There are also supposedly one or two thousand Iraqi personnel around Fallujah, but if we’ve really got the city cordoned off like we’ve been hearing, I imagine that most of the numbers are tied up with the siege.
That leaves maybe a battalion or so of Marines available for offensive operations, plus supporting air and artillery units as needed. There are certainly some hairy firefights going on out there, but this isn’t the Big One.
May I quote a post I wrote last spring?
We keep hearing about the heavy fighting around An Nasiriyah, Al Basrah, and along the supply lines. Certainly there’s some shooting and killing going on, but none of it should really be called “heavy.” The attacks by irregulars and raids by SUV-equipped militia-types are nothing more than harassment. Potentially deadly, to be sure, but certainly not a battle in the military sense of the term. If the media goes berserk over the losses we’ve suffered so far (and they are), what are they going to do when the fighting actually starts for real? When the US forces converging on Baghdad begin fighting in earnest against the Republican Guards defending their capital we will see fierce resistance. And if/when we enter Baghdad, we will see heavy casualties.
That was last March 31st. And I was wrong about the heavy casualties in Baghdad.
Also, I happened across this from last April 2nd:
Quote from Marine to Bob Arnot
“Bob, we won Iwo Jima, and Baghdad ain’t shit.”
And Fallujah ain’t what we thought Baghdad was going to be.
Tough fights, to be sure. But nothing our guys can’t handle.