Six members of an Awakening Council, groups composed mostly of Sunni Muslims who have turned against the insurgency, were killed early Thursday after they mistakenly fired on American soldiers in the north, the Iraqi police said.
The American forces fired back, killing them and two women in nearby houses, the police said. A police commander said the group had thought that the Americans were insurgents.
Local American commanders said they could not confirm the episode. But it appeared to underscore the growing danger to Awakening Council members, wedged between United States forces and the insurgent groups many of them once supported, amid a recently begun operation to go after insurgents more aggressively in certain areas.
The above is from Ian Fischer's "Mistaken Iraq Battle Kills 6 Fighters Allied With U.S." in this morning's New York Times and, as you read it, either all or just the excerpt above, grasp that, for the paper, being a US collaborator means never having to say you're sorry. As if suffering from the disease that plagued Ali MacGraw in Love Story (and we all remember how that ends, right?), the paper explains Iraqis shot at US forces "mistakenly." Think hard, search your brain for any other incident where Iraqis have been given the same benefit of the doubt.
There have been Iraqis who have accidentally shot US forces and they've usually been shot dead afterwards. When the US military has described them as 'insurgents' (they are generally the area's appointed guards), the paper runs with the US military explanation. Here, without US confirmation, the paper rushes to file their "accidentally" report. It's a benefit not extended to other Iraqis but then other Iraqis don't have the backing of the likes of Sarah Sewer and Monty McFate. Other Iraqis don't have 'human rights' War Hawks behind them. Other Iraqis don't have a counter-insurgency bible to back them up. And other Iraqis aren't used to sell the lie of 'winnable.' Since the reporter wasn't present for the incident, since the US military isn't talking, it's strange that the paper is so eager to suddenly discover an 'accidental' shooting on the part of Iraqis.
But this isn't a (needed) break with their long pattern in Iraq, it's just another effort to sale the illegal war. In terms of benefit of the doubt, surely there have been more worthy cases. The 'Awakening' Councils are thugs who stopped killing (other than US approved targets) for coin. But today that's ignored because it's really important that the American people be on board with the counter-insurgency.
To the north of Baghdad, Reuters reports, there's been a mosque bombing that claimed the life of the bomber and at least 4 civilians with thirteen more wounded. Meanwhile, Senator Crazy tries to 'explain' his comments regarding Iraq and US forces being there for 100 years -- he's still fine with it and only buries the hole deeper.
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