Tuesday, September 07, 2004

1000, Nassiriyah, Draft, Werwolf

The number of US servicemen dead in Iraq passed the psychological barrier of 1000. If only Kerry would not listen to Bill Clinton's advice and instead keep up his recent more combative tone, then the Democrats could keep Iraq in the public consciousness - against government and a media that, true to the post-"Handover-of-Power" script, ignores even ten US deaths in one day (September 6).

Of the 1001 currently reported, by my own count, 724 to 734 are hostile deaths - maybe Karl Rove will now instruct his minions to report that number until the elections?... By my own count, because it seems the owners of the icasualties.org site ignore some corrections I sent. But as those give a good reminder about forgotten spin and propaganda lies in the first part of the Iraq war, here is a slightly edited reproduction:

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on the Lunaville Blog about the communications breakdown in Nassiriyah that led both to the disaster at the bridge and the destruction of Jessica Lynch's unit, of which I read a year ago in an investigative report by German quality magazine DER SPIEGEL.

It turns out an _official_ report on the first was at last released in March 2004, based on which I suggest changes in cause of death. See this pdf.

Listed on pages 35-37 are ten Marines who died in simultaneous hostile and friendly fire - what killed which Marine is deemed indeterminable. Nine of them died in one vehicle, the AAV C-208, which beyond US and Iraqi rounds was also hit by a US missile: Blair (whom you erroneously list for 24-Mar-2003!), Burkett, Cline Jr., Garibay, Gifford, Hutchings (only one you list as friendly fire), Nixon, Reiss, Williams. The tenth, Rosacker, was hit by rounds of the A-10 and the Iraqis in another AAV.

As for the Jessica Lynch unit, the Army at long last disclosed to Donald Walters's family that he was executed.

As for the other ten casualties in that event, calling it an 'ambush' (as on your list) was part of the cover story (as was stealing Donald Walters's heroism of firing his gun until the last round and ascribing it to Jessica Lynch). They weren't behind the frontlines but before them, driving up straight to the Iraqi defense lines within Nassiriyah. The above report got it right, but see also page 13 in Ret. USAF Col. Sam Gardiner's great summary of psyops in Iraq (page 13).

(Also, one 02-Apr-2003 casualty, Brian E. Anderson, is falsely listed as hostile. UPDATE 03/12/04: Icasualties.org corrected this now.)

So, whatever Karl Rove does, the War Effort needs soldiers - hence, the Draft is coming back in the USA. Silently. Ignored by the media, not opposed loudly by Democrats in Congress, the twin draft bills S 89 and HR 163 are quietly going through the readings. Here is a scary page - Bush as Hitler might be overdone, but the written info is sound.

Speaking of Hitler, the post-war-Germany comparisons are resurfacing again, so here is a little summary[*] on the Werwolf. The 'Werwolf' were people (mainly Hitler Youth) the Nazis trained for beyond-the-frontline and post-war sabotage, assassinations. The War Party, including Condi Rice and Rummy himself, made lot of fuss about it a year ago, with part of the buzz based on a fake Reuters report from 1945, written by a Fox News employee. On the other end of the political spectrum, a decade ago Lars von Trier made a film noir in post-war German setting titled Europa(in the US: Zentropa) that features the Werwolf.

However, in real life, the Werwolf was mostly a propaganda stunt that never took off, but got the occupying powers anxious, looking for the Werwolf everywhere. In particular the Soviets, who then went on to arrest tens of thousands, including thousands of children, on suspicion of being members of the Werwolf.

Before the war ended, the Werwolf committed some lesser massacres against German communists or Russian forced-labourers, but spectacular assassinations ascribed to them were the work of SS units, and after the war, there was only sabotage - that, and paranoia, f.e. ascribing the motor accident of Berlin's Soviet military commander or a gas main explosion with US casualties in the Bremen police HQ to the Werwolf. (Good summary at flit.)

[*]: This summary is based on a little research I've done. When I set out to do it, I actually thought there were some high-profile post-war Werwolf attacks, but wanted specifics and sources - but each claim fell apart upon close inspection.


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