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Winning Iraqi Hearts & Minds, Part 287b

Remember when US General Tommy Franks famously said “we don’t do body counts”? Well, apparently the body count — that cherished remnant of the Vietnam era — is back, because we need to show all those doubters back home (the 56% who say the Iraq War is less likely to come to a successful conclusion and the 51% who say invading was a mistake) that, yeah, sure we’ve lost 1,976 American servicemembers in the war… but you should see the other guy!

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The U.S. military said Monday that coalition forces launched airstrikes Sunday in and around Ramadi, west of Baghdad, killing “an estimated 70 terrorists.”

Military officials said they had no reports of civilians killed.

“We do careful targeting to ensure minimum civilian casualties in the areas that the insurgents are operating,” said Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, director of the U.S.-led Combined Press Information Center.

In one operation Sunday, a precision-guided bomb killed up to 20 insurgents east of Ramadi after military personnel observed them planting a bomb at the site of Saturday’s blast that killed five U.S. and two Iraqi soldiers, a U.S. military statement said.

Whoo hoo! Seventy dead insurgents! Precision guided bombs with careful targeting and special explosives that stop and ask “hey, are you an insurgent?” before their shrapnel rips through human flesh. Yea! The Iraqi people must really love us now that we’re only blowing up the bad guys that put our lives and the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians in danger.

Or… maybe not so much:

But an Iraqi doctor who reported 20 people killed — including six children — and 25 wounded said all those were civilians.

An Iraqi Ministry of Health official also said one child was killed and two women wounded in the airstrikes.

“[They] were not terrorists — they were only a bunch of civilians whose curiosity prompted them to gather around a destroyed Humvee,” said Dr. Dhiya Fahdawi, who treated people at a hospital in Ramadi.

Well, don’t sweat it, Doc. That’s just a bunch of civilians who’ll never have a chance to come to hate America for our freedoms. Their friends and relatives surely realize that those bombs were precision guided with careful targeting, so their loved ones must’ve just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. In no way should that motivate any of their friends or relatives to distrust America and support or join the insurgency.

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