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Thursday, April 03, 2003  
Post reports Lynch was a combatant

The Washington Post describes Pfc. Jessica Lynch's participation in the March 23 shoot-out with Iraqi irregulars in Nasiriyah:

Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy, supporting the advancing 3rd Infantry Division, took a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah.

"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."

In addition, the story says Lynch was stabbed in close combat, which could explain the bloody apparel allegedly found in an Iraqi hospital room. There is no mention of Lynch having been tortured by the Iraqis, though that claim has been made previously. The account implies there wasn't really a fight inside the hospital and that only the basement contained military materiel, including items that could be used for torture.

"There was shooting going in, there was some shooting going out," said one military officer briefed on the operation. "It was not intensive. There was no shooting in the building, but it was hairy, because no one knew what to expect. When they got inside, I don't think there was any resistance. It was fairly abandoned."

The implications of Pfc. Lynch having fought back are intriguing, if this report is accurate. The anti-feminist argument that women are incapable of participating in battle is undermined. The 'girlifying' of the soldier that some in the media have questioned, i.e., portraying her as a little girl lost, also takes a hit.

However, murkiness remains. The story has an unquestioning tone, echoing military brass. Though much is made of the successful rescue, no mention is made of the previous failed attempt. Nor is any reason offered for the military expending so much time, expense and so many personnel, with several killed, to rescue one soldier while others languish.

Note: I will have more to say about this later. Now, I am going to bed.

Note 2: This item will also be posted to the watch. (Thurs. 10:45 a.m.)

1:02 AM