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Killing of Unarmed Iraqi a Strategic Setback

Dan Murphy of Christian Science Monitor reports that the filmed marine killing of an unarmed Iraqi in Fallujah has undermined US strategy:

Fallujah has long been a center of Iraq's information war - whether it was video of the four mutilated US security contractors there last April that insurgents hoped would demoralize the US, or the pictures of the women and children severely wounded in the retaliatory American assault that followed.

"This incident hasn't elicited the type of shock that Abu Ghraib did - that set a bar in a way, and lowered expectations,'' says Toby Jones, who tracks Islamist trends for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. "But this will have a propaganda value that lives on."

On jihadi websites that Mr. Jones follows, the killing has been the top issue. A common theme at such sites has been that the public execution was a matter of policy. "The US did this to state clearly that the occupier will kill you like this if you resist," one typical post begins. The post was read 8,000 times, "pretty high traffic for these types of sites,'' says Jones.


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