Thursday, December 23, 2004

Mayhem in the kitchen

Mike Shannon: 'Mayhem in the kitchen'
Posted on Thursday, December 23 @ 10:45:47 EST
By Mike Shannon
If the fact that the road to the Baghdad airport is still so dangerous that the US Embassy has advised its staff members that they are no longer permitted to drive on it, or that the embassy itself is located in the middle of a gigantic fortress that rivals the size of the ancient Chinese Forbidden City, or that lethal car bombings are so routine that many do not even make the pages of your local newspaper, or that an American company has just informed the Bush administration that it is walking away from its 320 million dollar contract in Iraq has not convinced you that the war in Iraq is going horribly awry, perhaps the images of American dead being carried from the mess hall in Camp Merez will finally drive the point home.
The attack in Mosul was much more than a horrific tragedy to those immediately affected, it was a significant setback to the entire United States' effort to pacify Iraq. For a human bomb to enter an American military base any where in the world would mark a breakdown in force protection that would seem almost inconceivable, but for it to happen in a forward area base in the middle of a combat zone may very well be unprecedented in American history. And for that said bomber to unleash his mayhem in a communal dining hall filled with soldiers eating their lunch, the damage goes far beyond the torn and mangled bodies left in its wake. If you do not feel safe sitting down for a well deserved bite to eat in your own kitchen; you've got problems.
The immutable fact that the average American soldier or civilian contractor no longer feels entirely safe anywhere in Iraq is a malignant tumor threatening the very heart of what the United States is trying to now accomplish. To even the most diehard supporter of the war effort in Iraq it is next to impossible to argue that things are going well. Yes, the troops in place in Iraq are still fully capable of unleashing un-Godly firepower on the enemy whenever and wherever they make a concerted stand. But even with that being the case, the situation at this point in time -- twenty one months after those forces entered Iraq -- is undeniably more dangerous now for any and all Americans, both civilian and military, then it was in the days immediately following the fall of Baghdad. And that is not an opinion: The casualty figures for American service personnel are at their highest since the onset of the war. Look it up....