MISMATCH: How surreal is this Reuters report? Iraqi Bodies Litter Plain as U.S. Troops Advance.

On the main road running across the plain, burned-out Iraqi vehicles were still smoldering on Sunday afternoon, and charred ribs were the only recognizable part of three melted bodies in a destroyed car lying in the roadside dust.

“It wasn’t even a fair fight. I don’t know why they don’t just surrender,” said Colonel Mark Hildenbrand, commander of the 937th Engineer Group.

“When you’re playing soccer at home, 3-2 is a fair score, but here it’s more like 119-0,” he said, adding that the Iraqi sport utility vehicles (SUVs) stood no chance against tanks.

“You can’t put an SUV with a machine gun up against an M1 tank — it’s heinous for the SUV,” Hildenbrand said.


“I feel nothing but sorrow for these people,” Hildenbrand said as he toured the hideout. “This war is against one man, it’s not against the Iraqi people. I just wish they would surrender so we could get it over with.”

The contrast between Hildenbrand’s attitude and the mindset of a regime that would put these people out as cannon fodder–not to mention murder prisoners and parade the bodies on television–is striking. It should shame anyone who claims there is a moral equivalence between the American and Iraqi regimes. It won’t; but it should.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.