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August 07, 2005

A Bad Week in Iraq

Bad days in Iraq. Twenty marines dead:

14 U.S. Marines Killed in Iraq When Bomb Hits Their Vehicle - New York Times: BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 3 - Fourteen marines were killed early today when their troop carrier struck a gigantic roadside bomb in the western town of Haditha, one of the single deadliest bomb attacks on American troops since the invasion here in March 2003.... The American command here provided few details of the attack, but said the marines had been riding in an amphibious troop carrier "during combat operations".... The vehicles are lightly armored. There were indications that the roadside bomb used in the attack was quite large; the marines said that only one of the soldiers had been wounded, while 14 had been killed. American commanders say that in recent months the insurgents have been exploding bigger and more sophisticated bombs, some of which focus the blast in a single direction.

The attack brought the number of dead marines in Haditha to 20 in less than two days. On Monday, guerrillas ambushed and killed a group of six marine snipers who were moving through the town on foot...

Also dead is one of the best American journalists in Iraq:

Unqualified Offerings: Nell e-mails the news that Steven Vincent is dead:

Mr Vincent was abducted with his female Iraqi translator at gun point by men in a police car on Tuesday.

His bullet-riddled body was found on the side of a highway south of [Basra] a few hours later.

He had been writing a book about the city, where insurgents have recently stepped up their attacks.

Vincent was the author of In the Red Zone <http://spencepublishing.typepad.com/in_the_red_zone/> and proprietor of its associated blog. He was another of the mad dreamers of the last few years who confused hopes with plans, but he stood head and shoulders above his fellows, first for his courage, secondly for his absolute refusal to start moving goalposts. He saw the liberation of Iraq as the great cause of his day. So rather than sit home and talk to anonymous bureaucrats or retype governent press releases, he went to Iraq, twice. His great passion was women's rights, in the Arab world generally and Iraq in particular. He is dead because he refused to trim his sense of justice to fit the latest fashions in colonial PR - on the ground in Basra, he reported the facts as he found them, blowing the whistle on Allied accomodation to theocracy and the increasing oppression of Iraq's women.

Posted by DeLong at August 7, 2005 08:14 PM