Who needs Saddam when you’ve got US?

The “insurgency” doesn’t need Saddam to lead or inspire. We’re doing a fine job of inspiring them on our own. I find the following paragraphs from this AP story chilling and appalling.

SAMARRA, Iraq (AP) — U.S. troops smashed down workshop doors and junkyard gates with sledgehammers, crowbars, explosives and even armored vehicles in a massive raid to hunt for pro-Saddam Hussein militants and stamp out the increasingly bold anti-U.S. resistance.

In downtown Samarra, soldiers blasted open the front gates of walled homes, bringing cries of women and children inside. At least a dozen men suspected of waging guerrilla attacks were rounded up — though others got away, apparently tipped off about the raid.

“Locksmiths will make a lot of money these days,” said a U.S. soldier, laughing as he sat atop a Bradley fighting vehicle in the city’s industrial zone, where doors were shattered.

* * *

“Samarra has been a little bit of a thorn in our side,” said Col. Nate Sassaman. “It hasn’t come along as quickly as other cities in the rebuilding of Iraq. This operation is designed to bring them up to speed.”

“No one knows the town better than we do, we’re gonna clean this place. They’ve made a mistake to attack U.S. forces. We will dominate Samarra,” he said.

* * *

As Apache helicopters flew overhead, troops downtown fanned out in squads of 14 to storm several walled residencial compounds, using plastic explosives to break in. In one compound, the blast at the gate shattered windows in the house itself, and a one-year-old baby was cut by glass. U.S. medics treated the injury while other soldiers handcuffed four men, who were later released.

* * *

Elsewhere, a suspect was punched in the head and a soldier said: “You’re dead. You’re dead.”

While the phrase is becoming almost trite, this ain’t the way you win hearts and minds. Nor is it the way you encourage “democracy.”

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