July 1, 2007

'Bless The Beasts And The Children'

Michael Yon continues reporting from the front in the new US/Iraqi push to clear Baqubah of al-Qaeda forces. His post title will need explaining, but first, Michael embeds with an armored unit to a village on the outskirts of Baqubah. A firefight ensued, and when the Americans had driven off the AQI terrorists, an unsettling quiet came over the battlefield:

On 29 June, American and Iraqi soldiers were again fighting side-by-side as soldiers from Charley Company 1-12 CAV, led by Captain Clayton Combs, and Iraqi soldiers from the 5th IA, closed in on a village on the outskirts of Baqubah. The village had the apparent misfortune of being located near a main road—about 3.5 miles from FOB Warhorse—that al Qaeda liked to bomb. Al Qaeda had taken over the village. As Iraqi and American soldiers moved in, they came under light contact; but the bombs planted in the roads, and maybe in the houses, were the real threat.

The firefight progressed. American missiles were fired. The enemy might have been trying to bait Iraqi and American soldiers into ambush, but it did not work. The village was riddled with bombs, some of them large enough to destroy a tank. One by one, experts destroyed the bombs, leaving small and large craters in the unpaved roads.

The village was abandoned. All the people were gone. But where?

In this case, Michael has documented the answer to that question with plenty of pictures. The villagers went underground -- literally. AQI forces massacred the men, women, and children of the village, burying most of them before the battle and their subsequent withdrawal. Michael's pictures show very disturbing images of the victims of AQI. Michael told the Iraqi and American commanders on this mission that it was important that Americans see this, and he's right.

And the title of the post? It comes from a favorite tactic of AQI in Iraq. They "bless" the corpses of children and dead animals with explosives -- in order to kill anyone who attempts to clear them.

Be sure to read the entire post -- and to throw a few dollars into Michael's tip jar while you're there.


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Read this. If that doesn't grab you, here's a teaser: On 29 June, American and Iraqi soldiers were again fighting side-by-side as soldiers from Charley Company 1-12 CAV—led by Captain Clayton Combs—and Iraqi soldiers from the 5th IA, closed in [Read More]

Comments (12)

Posted by Angry Dumbo | July 1, 2007 9:09 AM

Michael told the Iraqi and American commanders on this mission that it was important that Americans see this, and he's right.


Posted by Seaberry | July 1, 2007 9:21 AM

More great info from Von. This sort of fits in with an article from Small Wars Journal:

David Kilcullen's Call for a "New Lexicon"

It refers to "al Qaeda-style Terrorism (AQST)" tactics, but is mainly about - "the proposed New Lexicon". Example:

irhab (eer-HAB) -- Arabic for terrorism, thus enabling us to call the al Qaeda-style killers irhabis, irhabists and irhabiyoun rather than the so-called "jihadis" and "jihadists" and "mujahideen" and "shahids" (martyrs) they badly want to be called. (Author's lament: Here we are, almost six years into a life-and-death War on Terrorism, and most of us do not even know this basic Arabic for terrorism.)

MSM and the 'talking heads' (this morning) have absolutely no clue what is happening in Iraq, other than their own limited 'Template'.

Posted by SDN | July 1, 2007 9:24 AM

Libtard claiming the scene was staged in 5...4...3...2...

I "loved" the comment on Michael Yon's that this doesn't mean anything because we didn't intervene in Rwanda and aren't intervening in Darfur.

Idjit has evidently never heard of national interest. We had a national interest in invading Iraq. Getting to kill the scum who did and do things like this, whether Saddam and his spawn or AQI, is commonly referred to as "gravy".

Posted by NahnCee | July 1, 2007 10:37 AM

I look at those pictures and think to myself, everyone in Iraq has a gun ... EVERYone. Why didn't they fight back?

Everyone in Iraq has a cell phone. Why didn't they call their tribe for help?

I simply do not understand how people can allow this to be done to themselves.

You read about Lenin killing people, and Cambodia's killing fields, and Rwanda -- but those people were all unarmed and herdable.

If Al-Queda were to somehow swoop into a village in England, or a town in Kansas, or an outpost in Australia ... would *this* be the result?

Posted by Bennett | July 1, 2007 10:51 AM

Perhaps it is atrocities like this which explains why are now (gradually) seeing stories of how Iraqis are turning against AQ and cooperating with us.

Hopefully that cooperation will continue as the Iraqis learn what the rest of us know already. The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.

Posted by Bill M | July 1, 2007 11:44 AM

Not only Americans need to see this. Iraqis need tosee it also. To see what AQI is doing to other Iraqis.

And I think all our leftards should be requird to smell the stench of death associated with Al Queda. Maybe then they would wake up....nah, guess not. That would require some smattering of intelligence.

Posted by dougf | July 1, 2007 12:20 PM

If Al-Queda were to somehow swoop into a village in England, or a town in Kansas, or an outpost in Australia ... would *this* be the result?

Yes. With variations of course but ---- Yes.

Armed focused GANGS have all the advantages they need. No-one wants to oppose them as an individual because the odds are stacked against the singular. So everyone just waits and hopes, and by the time it is clear that there is no hope there is no recourse either.

Do you think it was possible to set up and run death camps in Germany, Russia, and Cambodia by sheer accident ? That it was a 'cultural' thing ?

Once you allow yourself to be totally under someone's thumb you must perforce rely on their ' mercy'.

We are always this close to the edge. What civilization relies on is that no-one starts to push. If the rule of law collapsed tomorrow, by the next day we would all be in the same boat as those in this village.

Posted by Dale Michaud aka TexasDude | July 1, 2007 4:56 PM

Not everyone has a gun or cell phone in Iraq. Moreover, sometimes others have more guns or are more willing to kill.

Posted by NahnCee | July 1, 2007 5:27 PM

So you're saying that Gary Cooper facing a band of bad guys by himself in "High Noon", or Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday facing the Clantons at the OK Corral, or John Wayne gripping his reins between his teeth and galloping across a meadow shooting with both hands at the bad guys are all just ... American mythology?

Not to mention the hundreds of fire fighters who swarmed up those stairs on that September morning, even though their inside little voice must have been screaming in their head, "DON'T DO THIS!!!"

That Americans would go as meekly into that bloody and suicidal night if faced by a large or small group of A-Q behaders as the Iraqi's are doing over and over and over again?

I refuse to believe it.

Posted by Bennett | July 1, 2007 6:01 PM

The students at VA Tech didn't seem to be able to find a way to fight back.

And it wasn't until the passengers on Flight 93 knew what had happened to the first 3 plane that they started trying to formulate a "fight back" plan. And they had more time to do it because as I recall their flight was initially delayed.

We'lll never know what the villagers were told, how soon they realized that death was upon them. And for all we know, they did try to resist.

Posted by Lew | July 1, 2007 9:51 PM

Now you know why the Second Amendment matters!

Posted by LRS | July 1, 2007 10:36 PM

Michael Yon's story of Diyala should be sent to AQI's buddies in Congress, the UN, Amnesty International, the Press and other MSM media.

Perhaps it should also be sent to President Bush to help stiffen his resolve and perhaps incite him to fight for the war on terror as he fought for amnesty for the illegals.

Shades of Vietnam. a definite feeling of deja vous, where the military wins the war and the gutless in congress lose it for us...unless we fight congress and the president the same way we fought against amnesty.