March 10, 2003
On its face it makes no sense. Not the part about some Iraqis deserting, which is plausible, or even deserting because they thought the war had started, which is a little harder to believe (What? No radios?) but might still be true. But under what circumstances would those soldiers be sent back to (as Eugene points out) probable death or worse, rather than being interrogated for whatever tactical intelligence they might be able to provide, disarmed, and either interned or offered a chance to join up with one of the Iraqi opposition groups?It turns out that the story originated in that reliable journal of public affairs, the Sunday Mirror. We’ll probably see more of this sort of thing over the next several weeks. One hopes that, on balance, the blogosphere will be an antidote rather than a purveyor. [08:28 AM]
Certainly the decision to send them back would have been echelons above the pay grade of the commander on the scene, yet there’s no mention in the story of the question’s being bucked up to headquarters and the dimwitted and cold-hearted decision blamed on the REMFs.