Tuesday, March 11, 2008

U.S. Uses 3 Thousand-Pound Bombs To Cleanse Iraqi Town of Al Qaeda

It was called a "celebratory cleansing." The U.S. dropped three one thousand pound bombs from a B-1 bomber onto an al Qaeda in Iraq torture center in the town of Zambraniyah while local sheiks and townspeople were given "box seats" to view the cleansing. This is an area that al Qaeda in Iraq had done some of its word deeds. Here's a piece from the article from CBS news:

Abu Mohammed says he was chained up here for two weeks and saw 13-year-old children killed. When al Qaeda fled, they left little behind.
"People getting killed every day," said Yassin al-Hamdan, a school principal, describing it.

This is a powerful way for American forces to reinforce their image here in Iraq - the people of these areas have suffered from al Qaeda's torture and abuse and the American forces fought hard to free these people - then, to emphasize the point, the Americans demolish the symbol of al Qaeda's oppression by obliterating it. Good PR, for sure.

"Cleansing" One Town Of Al Qaeda

As inconsequential as the little farming complex may look, in the grand scheme of convincing the local population that security really has returned, it is a potent symbol. To make that point local sheikhs and tribal leaders were given, if not exactly box seats, certainly prime spots for a show arranged just for them. Three thousand pounds of bombs costing more than $100,000 dropped from a B-1 bomber obliterated the building. But the military hopes the payoff will be long term. The dignitaries seemed impressed. Even before today they were co-operating with the Americans. For nearly two years al Qaeda in Iraq held sway here.

It was one of the few places where al Qaeda fought back. "We came here six weeks ago, we took the ground from al Qaeda," said Lt. Col. Mark Solomon. "And now as you saw earlier today the children are back in school, the businesses are open, the Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Army are guarding the roads and are guarding the area, keeping it secure for the population." And in case al Qaeda wants to come back - it's a not so subtle reminder of the welcome that awaits them.

No comments: