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by Death Star
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003 at 10:32 AM
Commander Darth Vader is pictured at the Iraqi front with Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell (in black uniform), and Imperial Storm Troopers of the 4th Infantry Division's 1-22 Battalion. While Commander Darth Vader acknowledges that the Iraqi population is hostile to the occupation, he has stated that he will "persuade" them to accept being conquered.
occupation_troops.jpg, image/jpeg, 350x278
U.S. flexes muscle in Saddam's hometown
Mon 17 November, 2003
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Angered by bomb attacks in Saddam Hussein's hometown, the commander of a U.S. battalion in Iraq has sent his tanks and armoured vehicles through the streets in a demonstration of firepower to insurgents. M1A1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers rumbled through the centre of Tikrit on Monday, startling residents and snarling traffic. Infantrymen in full battle dress manned street corners or gripped machineguns mounted on Humvees as part of the contingent of several hundred troops.
Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 1-22 Battalion, said he wanted to show guerrillas around this hotbed of anti-American sentiment what his battalion looked like. "They need to understand it is more than Humvees that will be used against the resistance. We will absolutely crush the resistance," Russell told reporters after the 90-minute display.
Asked if he was concerned guerrillas might have used the opportunity to take pot shots at his men from rooftops using rocket-propelled grenades or AK-47s, Russell said: "That would be a great thing if they took a shot because then we could easily identify them, return fire and kill them." There was no cheering from the hundreds of Iraqi onlookers, and plenty of hostile stares. Some residents stood on the balconies of dilapidated three-story buildings to watch. One youth said: "Iraq good, America no".
Gunners sat atop tanks bearing inscriptions such as "cowboys from hell" and "creeping death".
Russell acknowledged there was no cheering. "I think people are respectful of what we do, they may not like us but the majority of the people here have accepted the new Iraq and are ready to get on with their lives," he said.
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