Yesterday in Baghdad a bomb exploded. After people had rushed in to help the wounded, a suicide bomber then set off his bomb. This second attack was far more deadly than the first. This tactic is not new. It has been used in Iraq before. And well before Iraq.
In ‘Citizen Soldiers’, Steven Ambrose describes an U.S. officer as targeting German medics in France in 1944. He would call down artillery fire upon a German position or unit. He would wait about 5-10 minutes and then hit them again. He described this tactic as ‘then we can get the medics’.
In his book ‘Thunderbolt’ Robert S. Johnson (The 2nd leading U.S. ace in Europe in WW II) described a German fighter pilot he fought as being the best he had ever encountered. The enemy pilot was in the process of bailing out of his aircraft. Johnson closed in and opened fire. The pilot never got out. Johnson said that he did this because this pilot would have escaped and then been able to shoot down more U.S. aircraft and kill other U.S. airmen.
War is brutal. I am certain that this type of thing has happened over and over during the past thousands of years of organized warfare. What is different in the Baghdad incident is the repeating of the suicide attack.
For only the 2nd time in all of recorded history, repeated suicide attack is being used as a weapon. This is extremely important because much data is available about the 1st time repeated suicide attack was used. (This is the reason I keep bringing this up) Although every war is different, similarities can be found. The similarities between the use of suicide attackers by Japan in the 1940’s and those of today are well worth the study.