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Wednesday, April 20, 2005
 
Strange developments in Iraq.

You probably recall the story several weeks ago of the large raid on a insurgent/terrorist base on Lake Tharthar, west of Tikrit. All the major US media ran articles extolling the emerging competence of the new Iraqi security forces. Then, it turned out that it might not have actually happened that way. The insurgent body count was reported at 85, but no bodies were actually found.

I speculated at the time that either there were no bodies to begin with, or that they might have killed the wrong people and "disappeared" the bodies to avoid a problem. As unlikely as this might sound, it has happened. Especially with new, poorly trained forces. We never heard anything more about that little incident as the country became fascinated by watching Terri Schiavo and the pope die.

Recently, we've watched the reports coming out of Madaen regarding the 150 Shiite hostages taken by Sunni insurgents. The oh-so-competent Iraqi security forces surround the town and conduct door to door searches and find---nothing. Now the media reports that the hostage situation was exaggerated, or perhaps even fabricated.

Today, we see that 50 bodies have been dragged out of the Tigris. The Iraqi authorities assure us that they are the murdered bodies of the hostages in Madaen. Of course, the folks in Madaen, including most Shiite residents, just told us yesterday that there were no hostages there; that rumor began with an "anonymous official" in Baghdad.

Staged? Perhaps. It wouldn't be the first time.

How very strange, indeed.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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