"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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Sunday, September 26, 2004
  A Lesson in Fallujah
From the same WaPo article of the previous post:
In effect, U.S. and Iraqi officials say, a race is underway to see whether Iraqi forces can stabilize volatile areas after U.S. troops clean out insurgents -- and whether Iraqis will embrace the U.S.-designed transition plan -- both in just four months.

The danger, warn Iraq experts, is counting on Iraqi security forces. When a similar approach was tried on a smaller scale last spring, Iraqi security forces broke under the strain and a large percentage melted away, with some even turning on U.S. troops. The Marines ended up exiting Fallujah only after creating a new brigade of Iraqi fighters to take control of the city. When that unit began shooting at Americans, a Marine commander called the outcome a "fiasco."

As I've said previously, I think Fallujah is an excellent metaphor for the war in Iraq and the war on terror. I say this because the dismal failure of our efforts in Fallujah is a foreshadowing of our failure in Iraq, if Bush doesn't radically change his policies. Why did the "Fallujah Brigade" melt apart so quickly and so easily? If Iraqis truly value freedom as the President has said, why aren't they fighting for it? More importantly, why aren't those we trained and we supported fighting, but instead joining the very enemies they were commissioned to fight.

Unfortunately, I don't have a definitive answer; only time will tell, when we see what really becomes of Iraq. But my guess is that many of them sympathize and even agree with the insurgents. I think the clincher here is Bush's cowardice and vacillation against the insurgents; his unwillingness to exterminate them only strengthens the fear of everyday Iraqi's; it's one thing to oppose the bad guys when the good guys will mercilessly kill them - it's another when they'll leave them alive to kill you another day. This has been aptly borne out in Fallujah; pretty much anyone who does have the courage to stand up to the insurgents has been smitten. Public officials, a.k.a. collaborators, have had their children kidnapped and threatened with death unless they recant and relinquish their position. Meanwhile the US fires a few shots outside of town and drops a few bombs, and carefully at that.

For many Iraqis there is no security; their future is totally uncertain right now. Think of that brave and courageous Iraqi boy, Steve O, who turned his father in to US soldiers. What was his fate? When the insurgents found out he had "collaborated" with the Americans, they killed his mother. Unless those Iraqis who actually want freedom can feel secure to support it, Iraq will eventually collapse into another dictatorship.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 2:32 AM


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