Friday, March 17, 2006
Operation Swarmer Captures - Freshly Baked Bread?
Time.com has a great story up describing just exactly what was accomplished by operation Swarmer. Billed by many news outlets as "the largest use of airpower since the start of the war" - it was really nothing more than political cover for embattled President Bush. Here are a few choice clips:
Iraqi soldiers in newly painted humvees, green and red Iraqi flags stenciled on the tailgates, had just finished searching the farm populated by a half-dozen skinny cows and a woman kneading freshly risen dough and slapping it to the walls of a mud oven.
...the operation was by no means the largest use of airpower since the start of the war. ("Air Assault" is a military term that refers specifically to transporting troops into an area.) In fact, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were nabbed in an operation that some skeptical military analysts described as little more than a photo op. What’s more, there were no shots fired at all and the units had met no resistance, said the U.S. and Iraqi commanders.
Before loading up into the helicopters for a return trip to Baghdad, Iraqi and American soldiers and some reporters helped themselves to the woman’s freshly baked bread, tearing bits off and chewing it as they wandered among the cows. For most of them, it was the only thing worthwhile they’d found all day. There is nothing better than freshly baked bread, but there has got to be a less expensive way for our troops to get it.