Tuesday, October 26, 2004

On the Other Hand

Regarding the ambush that killed about 50 Iraqi soldiers heading home after graduation from a U.S.-run training course, the AP headline blares "Allawi Blames Ambush on 'Great Negligence'." Whose great negligence?
...Allawi told the Iraqi National Council...that coalition forces' negligent handling of security was responsible for Saturday's deadly ambush along a remote highway near the Iranian border.

"It was a heinous crime where a group of National Guardsmen were targeted," Allawi said. "There was great negligence on the part of some coalition forces."
But there's more to the story:
...However, in an interview with Al-Arabiya television, Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan blamed the recruits, who in their eagerness to get home decided to leave immediately after their graduation and take an unauthorized route.

"They are to blame. They graduated at 12 p.m. and could have delayed their trip," he said. Shaalan added that neither the Defense Ministry, the Kirkush commanders nor the U.S.-run forces were to blame.

"They are the ones who chose this road that led them to this ugly result," he said of the victims. "There might have been some people who gave information about them to hostile sides."...
Aha! Personal responsibility evaded. Treachery abetted. Life in the Middle East.