He provides an outstanding service, and an unblinking eye - towards making sure we can see what type of people we are having to deal with - and the Iraqis want out help to get out of their country.
Later in the day, some of the soldiers from the unit I share a tent with, the C-52, told me that one of their Kit Carson scouts (comprised of some of our previous enemies who have turned on al Qaeda) had pointed out an al Qaeda who had cut off the heads of children. Soldiers from C-52 say that the Kit Carson scout freaked out and tried to hide when he spotted the man he identified as an al Qaeda operative. Just how (or if) the scout really knew the man had beheaded children was unknown to the soldiers of C-52, but they took the suspected al Qaeda to the police, who knew the man. C-52 soldiers told me the Iraqi police were inflamed, and that one policeman in particular was crazed with intent to kill the man who they said had the blood of Iraqi children on his hands. According to the story told to me on 30 June, it took almost 45 minutes for the C-52 soldiers to calm down the policeman who had drawn his pistol to execute the al Qaeda man. That same policeman nearly lost his mind when an American soldier then gave the al Qaeda man a drink of cold water.Read the whole thing, study the pictures, and try to remember the smell.
While that was happening elsewhere in Baqubah, we stood around the stinking graves of people who had gotten a close-up view of al Qaeda-style justice. The villagers’ bodies were rotting in the heat before us.
Our national treasure, Victor Davis Hanson, reminds us that this has all been seen before - and is part of the dark side of human nature.
Michael Yon's description ("Bless the Beasts and Children") of al Qaeda's savagery in the hamlet of Diyala, Iraq-men, women, children, and animals butchered-eerily recalls Thucydides' description in the 7th book of his history of the sudden Thracian attack on the tiny town of Mycalessus:The Thracians bursting into Mycalessus sacked the houses and temples, and butchered the inhabitants, sparing neither youth nor age, but killing all they fell in with, one after the other, children and women, and even beasts of burden, and whatever other living creatures they saw...He finishes with a politically-incorrect thought on barbarism and cowardice:...the Thracian race, like the bloodiest of the barbarians, being even more so when it has nothing to fear. Everywhere confusion reigned and death in all its shapes; and in particular they attacked a boys' school, the largest that there was in the place, into which the children had just gone, and massacred them all. In short, the disaster falling upon the whole town was unsurpassed in magnitude, and unapproached by any in suddenness and in horror.