Thursday, March 27

I'm obviously not providing event-by-event commentary on this war, first because I think my opinions are irrelevant, and secondly because it would be a huge waste of time, considering the "facts" of yesterday or even three hours ago frequently turn out to be the "oops" of today. Case in point:

All those thousands of surrenders the first couple of days? Er...maybe not.

Defence Department officials reported on Friday that they had won the surrender of the entire 51st Division, a regular Iraqi army unit deployed in southern Iraq to defend Basra, the nation's second largest city.On Saturday, officials backtracked, saying they had only taken a couple of commanders and the rest of the men had "melted away" - a term used for those who laid down their arms and returned home.On Monday there were reports that one of the "commanders" turned out to be a junior official who misrepresented his rank in hopes of getting better treatment.Then on Tuesday, British forces reported a tank battle with elements of the 51st outside of Basra. Asked about the confusion, the Pentagon said the division's equipment was taken over by the Fedayeen and possibly members of Saddam's Republican Guard, his best-trained troops.<"Some of their equipment may have been used by the Fedayeen perhaps, or other folks that Fedayeen brought with them," a Pentagon spokesman said



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