The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, April 12, 2004

What about some joined-up journalism on Falluja casualties

The Guardian today carries a couple of stories on Falluja that, when juxtaposed gave me pause - but evidently had not been juxtaposed at all by its editors.

From the first:
...when asked about the victims numbers, US marine Lieutenant Colonel Brennan Byrne said: "What I think you will find is 95% of those were military age males that were killed in the fighting. The marines are trained to be precise in their firepower ... The fact that there are 600 goes back to the fact that the marines are very good at what they do," he said.

From the second:
Brigadier general Mark Kimmitt, the US army spokesman... accused the insurgents of using the population as "human shields".

Now, the first statement would strain credulity, if it stood on its own.

But, next to the second? Surely the statements ought to have been placed side by side in the paper?

Better still, why wasn't the one statement used to challenge the person making the other?

Especially when one considers US tactics, as reported by the Telegraph (April 11). It's an anonymouse - a senior Army officer - British, that is - speaking, with all sorts of potential axes to grind [1], but...
When US troops are attacked with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area.

Of course, a Telegraph story is Not Invented Here as far as the Guardian is concerned. But, even so...

  1. At least he has better excuse that USG anonymice spouting USG policy.

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