April 09, 2003

BRIGADIER-GENERAL John Kelly, last of

BRIGADIER-GENERAL John Kelly, last of the straight talkers:

Hundreds of Muslim fighters, many of them non-Iraqis, were putting up a stronger fight for Baghdad than Iraq's Republican Guard or the regular army, a top United States military officer said yesterday.

"They stand, they fight, sometimes they run when we engage them," Brigadier-General John Kelly said.

"But often they run into our machine guns and we shoot them down like the morons they are."

General Kelly, assistant commander of the about 20,000-strong 1st Marine Division, said US intelligence indicated that there might be anywhere between 500 and 5000 of the fighters, whom he described as terrorists.

"They appear willing to die. We are trying our best to help them out in that endeavour," he said.

He'll be pilloried for this, mostly by the same people who usually complain about evasive or euphemistic military-speak ("collateral damage" and so on). At least with Kelly you know where you stand. Or, rather, where you don't.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 9, 2003 02:32 PM