Iraqi Bloggers Roundup

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Lovely Ivory Coast

by littlewhy

So the long-awaited final attack on Fallujah has arrived. Anyone puzzled by the timing? There was no reason we had to wait until a week into November before this high-risk attack was attempted, was there? I think this should have and could have been done months ago, but apparently it was more important to protect Bush's re-election chances than people's lives. I know it could be argued that we had to wait until sufficient Iraqi forces were ready to go--but are they really that much better than they were a month ago?

I certainly hope this works out in the end. As I write, the Marines and some Iraqi elements have already pushed a kilometer into the city. There won't be any more negotiations or any more cease-fires (at least I hope so.) Maybe this time we'll have learned the meaning of the word "surround" and we won't have flocks of thugs escaping, as happened in Samarra. No Al-Jazeera is inside the city this time, broadcasting live pictures of the latest civilian deaths. Also, the Arab world is for some reason fascinated by Arafat's death (who cares?) and are less interested in Fallujah.

Nobody is more excited than Alaa the Mesopotamian, who has put up a flurry of posts:

It should also be finally realized that providing security is something different from military action and much more difficult. This was the problem right from the start. The American and allied forces are superb as fighting forces against visible enemies, but when it comes to maintaining security and civil order; well, we have all seen what happened!

Oh, he is so right. Will we learn from the past? There aren't enough troops to provide tight security and conduct combat operations elsewhere. Eventually these forces will have to leave and fight in Latifiyah, Baqouba, Ramadi, etc. The Iraqis will have to control Fallujah, with minimal help. The trouble will be this: the fighting will end and the city will have to be opened for refugees to return, and for commerce and aid and reconstruction to flow. That will make it easy for the thugs to sneak in and a situation similar to Mosul will arise. Alaa puts it best when he says:

in the final analysis it is a political problem and if military action is necessary its successful outcome can only be assured if a political solution is found after breaking the back of terrorism and insurgency.

So will we have the sense this time, to keep order and provide major humanitarian help? I hope those refugees from the city aren't all squatting in an open field somewhere with no one to turn to. We're Uncle Sam, damn it, and the poor and huddled and whatever should always be able to turn to us.

Zeyad put up a post about Fallujah as well, but unfortunately referred to it in a skeptical manner as "The Final Solution." Yikes! I guess he doesn't know what that means? Perhaps he does know and used it ironically, because he reports the frightening information that Shi'ites would be happy to see Fallujah razed to the ground.

He also tells us of the laughable 'negotiations' that were going on with the Anbar thugs. They wanted all the Shi'ites kicked out of the government, and all the Ba'ath security apparatus reinstated: the secret police, army, ministries, Republican Guard, everything. It reminds me of something I read once on an Iraqi blog (I think it was Hammurabi Sam) that Ba'athists never negotiate until they realize that they're all about to die--then they suddenly want to talk!

Notice that the Iraqi Islamic Party has withdrawn from the government to 'protest' the assault on Fallujah. Apparently they felt that the thugs had some reasonable demands? Or maybe they thought that the suicide car bombs were just a way of saying thanks? If the media makes a big deal of this, ignore it. The IIP is just another name for the Muslim Brotherhood, the same people who brought you the Ansar Al Sunna, Hamas and Al Qaeda.

Please pay attention to the fact that absolutely everything that Imperialistic Uncle Sam is doing in Fallujah is exactly the same as everything currently being done by those defenders of soveriegnty, the French. The French always have some criticism of Iraq, Fallujah, etc. They always have some great plan, like including the Ansar Al-Sunna in the Egypt conference. But faced with the same situation in the Ivory Coast, suddenly military force is the answer! The Legion is right now smashing the thugs in Ivory Coast with all the subtlety and care of a sledgehammer. More power to them, but let's not hear anymore about Uncle Sam's careless use of massive firepower.

Why is it that the members of the Association of Muslim Scholars are not arrested? They've declared the assault on Fallujah "an illegal and illegitimate action against civilian and innocent people." They also said that "the gassing of Kurds was merely the destruction of traitors" and "the massacre of Shi'ites was merely justice for apostates" and also that "Saddam was the lion of Islam who dealt death to the enemies of Allah and Bush is a big pooh-pooh head."

Okay, I made those last three quotes up. But why can't Allawi use his emergency powers, which he finally invoked, to put these guys behind bars?

Hilariously, Zarqawi says victory will come in Fallujah with Allah's direct intervention. Maybe the giant spiders will be back to help! I'm not making this up. During the siege in April, it was commonly known across Iraq that angels on horseback, genies on magic carpets, and giant spiders appeared to attack the Marines. I swear I'm not making that up!

I hope Zarqawi is caught in the city, but it is probably wishful thinking. There was plenty of opportunity to escape with all the refugees, and that could not be helped. Like Osama bin Laden, he's always eager for someone else to die in jihad.


I'm still suffering from the Blue State Blues, so soon I'll be putting a post in Winter Soldier in which my invisible friend Harvey explains the election results. In the meantime, please see the post Time and Chance, which is a comparison of Iraq the Model and Riverbend.