Truth and Blood in Fallujah

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Some excerpts from this NYT story about the “victory” in Fallujah:

  • For a correspondent who has covered a half dozen armed conflicts, including the war in Iraq since its start in March 2003, the fighting seen while traveling with a frontline unit in Falluja was a qualitatively different experience, a leap into a different kind of battle.
  • The price for the Americans so far: 51 dead and 425 wounded, a number that may yet increase but that already exceeds the toll from any battle in the Iraq war.
  • They moved through the city almost entirely on foot, into the heart of the resistance, rarely protected by tanks or troop carriers, working their way through Falluja’s narrow streets with 75-pound packs on their backs. In eight days of fighting, Bravo Company took 36 casualties, including 6 dead, meaning that the unit’s men had about a one-in-four chance of being wounded or killed in little more than a week.
  • The screams of the marines when one of their comrades, Cpl. Jake Knospler, lost part of his jaw to a hand grenade. “No, no, no!” the marines shouted as they dragged Corporal Knospler from the darkened house where the bomb went off. It was 2 a.m., the sky dark without a moon. “No, no, no!”

And now, it’s back to Baghdad again.

8:54 pm on November 20, 2004