Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Perspective: Baghdad security plan puts US forces, civilians perilously close

BAGHDAD - A massive funeral tent stood on the street in Baghdad's Al Amel neighborhood. Taped verses from the Koran echoed from loudspeakers. Black-clad women wailed and slapped their faces in sorrow.

On the surface, the scene last week was nothing unusual for Baghdad. But instead of mourning those killed by insurgents or militiamen, this time residents grieved for a mother and two of her adult sons killed in a US helicopter strike earlier this month.

While the Americans insist those killed were insurgents who had previously fired "small arms" with "hostile intent" on a US combat outpost (COP), neighbors see it differently. Witnesses say the men weren't firing on Americans, but reacting to what they thought was a Sunni insurgent attack. It proved to be a deadly mistake in the ever more dense fog of war in Iraq.

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor