Sending a message
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 14 07:05:42 MST 2003
If, when the chips are down, the world’s most powerful nation, the
United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the
forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and
free institutions throughout the world.
(Richard M. Nixon, address to the nation on the situation in Southeast
Asia, April 30, 1970)
Air Raid Sends Iraqis Message, but What Is It?
By DEXTER FILKINS
NY Times, November 14, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 13 — After the start of a well-publicized offensive
against Iraqi insurgents, American commanders said Thursday that they
were intent on sending the rebels "a message."
But here at the site of one of the operation's primary targets, local
Iraqis said they were uncertain what that message was supposed to be.
On the southern edge of the capital, a large building that American
commanders said was a "meeting, planning, storage and rendezvous point"
for the insurgents still stood, despite the military's claim that it had
been destroyed in an airstrike the night before.
American soldiers came to the neighborhood several hours before the
attack, local residents said, warning of the impending strike and making
sure that everyone in the area was evacuated. Then an American AC-130
gunship strafed the building, knocking holes in the walls and wrecking
much of the textile machinery arrayed inside.
After the strike, the Americans came back but detained no suspects, not
even the owner of the building, and found no weapons.
The owner, Waad Dakhil Bolane, who said the Americans had warned his
guards of the impending air raid, shook his head in befuddlement.
"Does this look like a military base to you?" he asked, standing inside
his factory, which was still filled with textile machinery. "The
Americans came here, told the guards to leave and then attacked. I don't
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