"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States


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Monday, September 06, 2004
  Assault Likely in Iraq Before Elections (AP)
The Associated Press is reporting that an assault on Iraqi militant strongholds is likely before elections take place in four months. Such an assault is exactly what I have been arguing for since day one, and is strongly needed.

What is surprising is the fact that at least two Iraqi cities are being controlled by the militants, Fallujah and Samara.
The rebel-held western city of Fallujah is the biggest obstacle, he said. The next biggest problem, in U.S. military terms, is Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad — and also in guerrilla hands...

Besides these centers of rebellion, large sections of Iraq remain beyond government control and out of reach of elections. These include Sunni Muslim areas north and west of Baghdad and, perhaps, southern Shiite cities like Basra, where sections resist U.S. or British troops.

I haven't seen any of this reported on any major news channel. Bush didn't even mention it at the RNC - instead, he implied that Iraq was rolling along smoothly, without any bottlenecks. Large chunks of the country in totalitarian hands is not a smooth transition to peace, and it certainly is not freedom. It is a disgrace for Bush and the Republicans to talk about Iraq as if had already become a free country when anarchy is really a closer approximation.

What needs to be done? The US needs to assault one of these "strongholds", it doesn't matter which one. We must go in "guns blazing", to use that offbeat cowboy term. We must not issue any ultimatums or demands - we simply go in and kill the militants holding the city, to the last man. We then issue a statement that we will continue these attacks on every city in Iraq, until the militants have unilaterally surrendered or are all dead. Once these thugs see that our resolve is principled and unwavering, many if not all will give up. The military power of the US is unequaled in the world, and unstoppable, but only if we are willing to use it.

Don't get your hopes up though; it seems our military (and our politicians) have forgotten all of the above:

The general[Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz] also said the Americans' August siege of Najaf could be considered a model for subduing rebel-held areas.

U.S. and Iraqi officials consider the three-week battle a success, although it left the Shiite holy city in ruins with hundreds of Iraqi fighters and civilians dead and nine Americans killed. Al-Sadr's defeated militia fled and the city is now under government control.

What a nice rewrite of reality. Our cowardly appeasement in the face of Islamic totalitarians is not a victory. Al Sadr and his troops left Najaf, that's true - but they left with all their weapons, and let's not forget that part of the agreement was the stipulation that we would leave Najaf first. Al Sadr was also granted amnesty for the case involving the murder of another Muslim cleric (who just coincidentally happened to support working with the Americans). That's a negociated peace; what we need is a unilateral peace. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - we must kill Al Sadr, and any would be thug who seeks to emulate him. A civilized society cannot coexist with such cretins left unmolested. Until the US (and Iraq) learns this lesson, I fear freedom will be far off.

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