RealNews

Rules of Engagement

The once flawless green dome of Fallujah’s Al Hadhra Mosque is riddled with bullet scars. Neighboring buildings have become scorched, crumbling stumps. About 150 local civilians, mostly haggard-looking men, took shelter there last week, having no safer place to stay in the ruined city. A young man joined the group, unnoticed by U.S. troops guarding the area. One of his hands was swathed in bloody bandages; he kept it hidden inside his checkered shirt as he whispered excitedly to a friend, loudly enough to be overheard by an Iraqi reporter in the crowd: “Five of us were martyred this afternoon.” Everyone could see he was an insurgent—but no one told the Americans. The men at the mosque saw nothing to celebrate in the Americans’ retaking of the city from terrorist leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi and his insurgent allies, who had ruled the city for the past seven months. “The resistance didn’t destroy houses,” said shopkeeper Mohammed Ouda, 36. “They didn’t harm people.” That claim—absurd but evidently sincere—only underscores the impossibility of America’s task. The truth is that Zarqawi and his partners in jihad have been responsible for many hundreds of civilian deaths in Iraq, including a horrific series of mosque bombings in Shiite areas, the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the videotaped beheadings of at least half a dozen Western hostages. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.