The freelance photographer who filmed the burning of the bodies made a good point. The soldiers who burnt the bodies probably thought they were actually doing it for hygiene purposes, but the Psy-Ops guys with them knew exactly what they were asking the soldiers to do and why.
Both the act of burning the bodies and facing them west in the process is highly insulting in Islam (or so the program said, I have no reason not to believe it). The local village was then blasted via loudspeaker, hoping to enrage and thus flush out more Taliban fighters. They taunted them by calling them 'cowards' and 'ladymen' for not coming out to fight after their colleague's bodies were desecrated. Yes, in their announcement they told them they had been burnt facing west.
I'll update when video and/or transcript is available at that link. Photojournalist who recorded the burning and other video from the story is Steve Dupont, voiceover and second half of story/footage is by SBS journalist John Martinkus.
UPDATE: Blogger is giving me an error page when I try to add new posts, but will let me edit existing ones!! Useless. Anyway, announcement iTunes Music Store may be coming to Australia next week.
UPDATE: Transcript now available at Dateline website. Quote by Psy-Ops guy of what they put out over loudspeakers in local language (read out in English, straight from their notebook)
SGT JIM BAKER Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/19/2005 09:34:00 pm || ||