Monday, July 18, 2005

Follow-on attacks

A "follow-on" attack refers to an attack made not at a primary target but on responders moving to handle the effects of a primary attack. Example: military forces launch a bomb attack at an airbase which damages the runway. When the repair teams show up, they launch an attack intended to kill, disable, or disrupt the repair teams and their efforts. In the war on terror, the terrorists' are using the same tactic only they target first responders like firefighters, medics, and police forces after setting off one of their bombs. The attack last week that saw the deaths of so many children gathered around the American humvee was such an attack. The Humvee and its crew were where they were precisely because they had responded to an earlier attack. Only when the area had "cooled off" enough to allow the children to feel safe in approaching did the terrorists launch their second attack which was aimed squarely at the people who had shown up as a result of the first. The children were not accidental casualities or collateral damage. They were targets of a follow-on attack.

Of course, there's nothing that says you can't make a follow-on to a follow-on attack. In a circumstance like this, however, where the targets of the 1st follow-on are all dead, that implies that you're hitting at people responding to those dead children. Beyond justification, yes. Unthinkable for the terrorists? Not hardly.

::::::::Buried right at the very bottom of a "New York Times" piece - if terrorists in Iraq were digging, they would have already emerged on the other side of the globe (link requires registration):

'On Saturday, during a funeral for children who died in the bombing on Wednesday, a unit of the Iraqi police stopped a suspicious-looking man approaching the funeral procession and discovered that he was wearing a suicide vest filled with explosives and ball bearings, the American command reported Sunday.

An explosives team disarmed the man, a Libyan, and no one was hurt, according to the American military.

"The bomber was high on drugs and is being treated for the potential overdose," said Col. Joseph DiSalvo, an American commander. The bomber, he said, "came here to kill the grieving parents of the children who were killed on Wednesday."

"I cannot imagine a worse crime." '

Really, it's all about the American occupation of Iraq, which has inflamed feelings in Iraq itself and across the Muslim world. Which is why foreign Sunnis are coming to Iraq to join an organization led by a Jordanian so they can blow up children, and then blow-up their parents, while drugged up to their eyeballs. Clear?

There is no conceivable tactical objective to slaughtering parents grieving over the deaths of their children. Any strategic objective that might be attained cannot be justified by these actions and, let's be clear about this, there were no Coalition forces present at the funerals. The common Iraqi has become a fair target not because of proximity to Coalition forces, but because the Iraqi public has dared to think they should be free to make their own decisions. Al-Qaeda and their ilk hate the idea and that's their motivation for this kind of attack.