Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Nice work fellas.

From the Christian Science Monitor (may only work from .mil):

The battle for Fallujah will go down in history as a textbook example of urban warfare. The US military used the most advanced technology and the best street-fighting tactics to hunt down the entrenched insurgents while keeping civilian casualties to a minimum.
But the message of Fallujah isn't the prowess of the United States but its tenacity.
Having failed last April to retake that small Sunni city, the US could not again afford to appear weak to the would-be voters of Iraq. With elections planned for late January, Iraqis had to be shown that the US military, along with the fledgling Iraqi Army, will keep eliminating safe sanctuaries for hostage-taking terrorists and bombmaking insurgents.
At the height of the battle, President Bush predicted more insurgent violence ahead. Indeed, even though more than a thousand of them were killed in the battle, many insurgents - including top leaders like Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - had already fled. But as long as the US and its allies keep them on the run, and more important, separate them from civilian supporters, the US has a chance to convince Iraqis that such battles will be won and that it's worth standing up against the insurgents and for democracy.

A General Officer recently made a good point that the response of the clerics to last week's assault was nothing like the fatwahs they tossed around last April (you may remember a punk named al-Sadr who gained a following then; we haven't heard from him in quite a while).As for the reason, maybe the clerics see that we're a bit more determined this time; maybe they want to make sure to be on the right side come election time; maybe they see Iraqis joining the security forces and those security forces effectively clear mosques of weapons caches (which were found in every mosque in Fallujah). Who knows.