Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is war?

From The Independent this morning:

US soldiers are luring Iraqis to their deaths by scattering military
equipment on the ground as "bait", and then shooting those who pick them up, it
has been alleged at a court martial. The highly controversial tactic, which has
hitherto been kept secret, is believed to have been responsible for the deaths
of a number of Iraqis who were subsequently classified as enemy combatants and
used in statistics to show the "success" of the "surge" in US forces.

The revelation came in court documents, obtained by The Washington Post
, related to murder charges against three US soldiers who are alleged to have
planted incriminating evidence on civilians they had killed. In a sworn
statement, Captain Matthew Didier, the officer in charge of a sniper platoon,
said: "Basically we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found
the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the
individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against the US

This is infuriating. How do they know that the people picking up the weapons are insurgents? What if they were picking them up to turn in to the Americans? Is this a reasonable tactic? What if they left similar weapons in the U.S.? How many people would pick them up? How many would turn them in? Who are the idiots who think this is legit and how do those people think that this tactic is going to win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?

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