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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What happened at the Palestine Hotel 

We know from watching repeating footage of big explosions that car bombs were detonated at the Palestine Hotel a few days back. But what really happened? The Strategy Page describes one version of events in far more detail than I have seen elsewhere.

Three car bombs were used, plus gunmen on foot. The whole thing was caught on a network of security cameras. Two car bombs were used to blast a breach in the concrete security wall, then a bomb filled cement truck was to go through the breach, detonate next to the hotel, and create sufficient havoc for over a dozen gunmen to enter and take foreign journalists hostage, and thus create a major publicity event. The attack failed. The cement truck got stuck in the rubble at the breach, and Iraqi, civilian and American security troops quickly responded to the attack. An American sniper shot the driver of the cement truck, which led to the suicide bomber detonating the explosives while the cement truck was stuck in the breach. Some twenty people were killed in the attack, mainly al Qaeda and civilians who just happened to be in the area.


The coverage I saw seemed to portray this attack as evidence that we are losing the war. At this level of detail, a different conclusion can be drawn. Powerline's "man in Baghdad," Major E, provides analysis from the ground.

Now, the terrorists can only hope that the video of a failed attack will result in a strategic victory by undermining the level of support that war-weary American people have for the democratization of Iraq. I am writing to encourage readers to take a different view.

The media sources I have seen breathlessly point out the spectacular nature of the attack and show the video clip over and over. They do not seem, however, to be pointing out that the Iraqi Police were instrumental in repelling the assault. They did receive some assistance from the US quick reaction force that arrived later, but the real story here is that the Islamic terrorists in Iraq are incapable of even seizing, let alone holding, a hotel full of journalists. Meanwhile, the Iraqi security forces continue to get stronger and more capable by the day.


Someday we may wake up and hear that we have won this war. We will be the last to know.

1 Comments:

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