Wednesday, April 07, 2004Pfc. Christopher Cobb
I'm starting to wonder how many days of this I can take before I start to shut it all out in self-defense.
Anyway, the bad news of the day:
U.S. Hits Mosque Compound; 40 Said Killed
U.S. Marines in the third day of a battle to pacify this Sunni Muslim city fired a rocket and dropped a 500-pound, laser-guided bomb on a mosque compound Wednesday, and witnesses said as many as 40 people were killed. Shiite-inspired violence spread to key cities in Iraq.
Witnesses said the strike came as worshippers had gathered for afternoon prayers.
An Associated Press reporter saw cars ferrying out dead and wounded. Witnesses said part of a wall surrounding the mosque compound was destroyed but the main building was not damaged.
Call me crazy, but I'm gonna guess that bombing a mosque full of worshippers -- even if there were insurgents inside causing problems -- was not exactly a great idea. I don't blame the marines... when somebody's trying to kill your ass, you probably don't spend a whole lot of time considering the social and political import of the structure they're inside when deciding how to respond. But this is still a bad thing, and is going to look really bad to Muslims not only in Iraq, but across the Middle East.
And if that proves to be the case, there'll likely be a lot more families like this one around:
The soldier in the picture, Christopher Cobb, was only 19. He'd been in Iraq for all of two months.