The Lady Speaks

Operation Fizzle

Simply unbelievable – and yet, not all that surprising.

Turns out ‘Operation Swarmer’ was a bust – a big bust. US troops, including the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) went on what can only be called a snipe hunt.

Time Magazine’s online edition’s subheading? ‘Not a shot was fired, or a leader nabbed, in a major offensive that failed to live up to its advance billing’

More from Time:

Four Black Hawk helicopters landed in a wheat field and dropped off a television crew, three photographers, three print reporters and three Iraqi government officials right into the middle of Operation Swarmer. 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.

[snip]

But contrary to what many many television networks erroneously reported, 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.

The operation, which doubled the population of the flat farmland in one single airlift, was initiated by intelligence from Iraq security forces, says Lt Col Skip Johnson commander of the 187 Battallion, [sic] 3rd Combat Brigade of the 101st Airborne. ‘They have the lead,’ he said to reporters at the second stop of the tour. But by Friday afternoon, the major targets seemed to have slipped through their fingers.

[snip]

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.

From Back To Iraq:

But Operation Overblown should raise serious questions about how good Iraqi intelligence is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by earnest lieutenants that the Iraqis are valiant and necessary partners, ‘because they know the area, the people and the customs.’ But when I spoke to grunts and NCOs, however, they usually gave me blunter — and more colorful — reasons why the Iraqi intelligence was often, shall we say, useless. Tribal rivalries and personal feuds are still a major why Iraqis drop a dime on their neighbors.

So I guess it’s fitting that on the eve of the third anniversary of a war launched on — oh, let’s be generous — ‘faulty’ intelligence, a major operation is hyped and then turns out to be less than what it appeared because of … faulty intelligence.

From Taylor Marsh:

Three years later, the incompetence continues.

Now will someone listen to the Democrats on Iraq? Better yet, will the Democrats start talking about our own plan, please.

Advertisements

March 17, 2006 - Posted by | Bush, Intelligence, Iraq, Terrorism, US Military, War

1 Comment »

  1. Really, anyone with half a mind would have realized this from the beginning of this whole media circus.

    Comment by Brian | March 17, 2006 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: