Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Why Isn't Being Smart About Fallujah A "Moral Value"?

"Hey Mr. Zaquari! Eight nine ten coming, ready or not!"

Do you remember during the late, fondly remembered presidential campaign? About how when John Kerry suggested that American troops would end their mission within four years the Republicans pounced on him, yelling that setting timetables only telegraphed to insurgents about how long they had to wait before plunging Iraq into further violence and chaos?

How then does that view gel with our actions in Fallujah? It is credibly alleged that the ultimate attack on Fallujah was scheduled around the presidential vote, in order to spare Mr. Bush the embarrassment and damage of a potential graphic disaster prior to polling. The fact that it was coming was hardly a secret, despite this delay. Who wants to bet against the probability that Zaquari and the bulk of the islamist and nationalist insurgents left the city sometime on November 2?

The coalition now holds 70% of Fallujah; it is estimated that our capture of the city will be complete within 48 hours. Meanwhile, insurgents have once again melted back into the general population or have moved on to one of the other lawless cities and are asking the coalition to have another go at "guess which cup is the ball under."

Abrams tanks and night vision googles are fine; they let you capture real estate. However, until the coalition learns the lessons of fighting guerrilla enemies offered by battles from Hue to Tora Bora they will not be able to quell the insurgency.

Not a lot of fun, but true.

No comments: