Sunday, June 18, 2006

Missing GIs Likely Taken Hostage Says Iraqi Foreign Minister

From the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD, June 18 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday that two U.S. soldiers missing after an insurgent attack south of Baghdad appeared to have been taken captive, while U.S. troops searched for their comrades for a second day.

"Hopefully they will be found and released as soon as possible," he said on CNN's "Late Edition."

The U.S. military said Saturday that soldiers at a checkpoint heard small-arms fire and explosions during an attack in the town of Yusufiyah at 7:15 p.m. Friday, and a quick-reaction force reached the scene within 15 minutes. The force found one soldier dead but no sign of the other two.

Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said blocking positions were established throughout the area within an hour of the attack to keep suspects from fleeing. He also said divers would search a Euphrates River canal near the attacked outpost.

All we can do is hope and pray this turns out all right for these two soldiers. Pat Buchanan said yesterday morning on MSNBC that if these two soldiers show up on Al Jazeera in shackles and orange jumpsuits with machete-wielding masked psychos above them, the administration is going to lose what little good will it got out of the Zaraqwi killing.

Clearly the administration is worried about just that. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow complained about the media coverage of the two missing soldiers on Fox News Sunday today (via Think Progress):

The thing is the way the war is being covered — and we’ve seen it right now, we have two U.S. servicemen, and god bless them, we hope they’re okay. We’re focusing on them and we forget that since Zarqawi was killed, hundreds of bad guys have been rounded up, there has been a lot of intelligence. The Iraqis have gone ahead mobilized 50,000 men going in the five Baghdad neighborhoods. There is a lot going on there.

Last week when the 2,500th U.S. military personnel was killed in Iraq, Snow said 2,500 was just "a number". Now Snow is complaining about the media coverage of the two missing soldiers. He would rather the media focus on administration-friendly numbers (READ: SPIN), like the alleged body count of insurgents the military has killed lately or the alleged number of Iraqi defense personnel mobilized in Baghdad. But the two missing soldiers and the number of American casualties (now 2,503) - that Snow would rather the media ignore.

Anyway, let's all think good thoughts for these two missing soldiers and their families tonight (as well as for all the other military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families here at home.)

And let's all think bad thoughts for Tony Snow, who would no doubt be Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person In The World" today if Olbermann were broadcasting tonight. Snow's even more evil and dehumanized than I remember him being on Fox News Sunday all those years ago before he was diagnosed with colon cancer and was forced to leave the show.

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