The Deployment Diary

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Fallujah

I've been following the Fallujah situation closely. Since the arrival of the former Saddam General, I've been really confused.

I'm not really sure what to make of all this. I happened to mention it to my husband tonight on the phone. He'd not heard about the General arriving in Fallujah. I told him when he checked his email, to browse a news site to catch up with what is going on. He said he barely has time to read my emails, much less go read news. I guess I'll send him some articles on email so maybe he can print them out and catch up when he's trying to go to sleep or something.

Ok, back to the purpose of this. I'm having such a hard time understanding what is going on and why, I thought I'd write out my thoughts. Sometimes if I write about it, a light bulb will go off lol. I'm pretty sure that will not happen on this topic. There just seems to be so many possible reasons we've done this and I have a feeling we won't know the complete picture of what is going on behind the scenes for years possibly.

When I first read about a former Saddam General arriving in a Limo (and I can't remember if the news reported that or I read it on a blog - so don't quote me on that one), then these idiots dancing in the streets showing the "V" sign for Victory with their weapons and of course shouting about that peaceful religion known as Islam - well, I was pretty darned disgusted.

My opinion is that normal every day Iraqis want a democracy, they want freedom - and they despise terrorists as much as we do. However, those we are fighting only understand one thing and that is brute, overwhelming force. Anything less in their ego, fanatical religious mentality, is victory. Anything less and they regroup and come back for more. To many of those we are fighting, this is a religious calling where better opportunities, kind smiling soldiers and an outstretched hand of friendship will never work. It's not about anything but a Jihad (sounds like a rap song lol). Those people must die and until we kill them, they will keep trying to kill us.

So, pulling our Marines back, putting in some Iraqi special force that is made up by people we have no background on, lead by a former General in a murderous regime - well, it makes little sense to me. I'm still not sure if what they are doing will work, if what they are doing has a bigger picture to it we just cannot see or know right now. Only time will tell I guess.

Since the first headlines came in through email updates I'm signed up for about the General and our repositioning farther out of the city, I've searched for commentary online to try to make some sort of sense of it. Until tonight, I really couldn't find a plausible reason for us giving deadlines and saying they have days to hand over their weapons or we are coming in - only to do exactly opposite of what we said we were going to do.

If I had to guess, the best reason I've heard so far was said by someone on Fox News tonight. He said the General is in the town and was taking control of matters. Here soon, the Marines would be doing patrols in the city also. The goal was for coalition forces to move freely throughout the city without being fired upon. This way, we could finally get IN the city to start working on schools and roads and improving the infrastructure of the town.

From my understanding, little to no reconstruction has happened in the cities of this area. You can't rebuild anything if you're constantly under fire. So, if we could get in there and start improving things, possibly it could turn the tide of this area by providing jobs and improving the standard of living. These towns are shit holes - literally. People just throw their garbage on the streets. The water is dirty and unhealthy due to sewage problems - and the list of just basic needs that are not being met goes on and on. By improving things as we have in other areas, maybe they think this will finally take care of the area and cut down on attacks. By having Iraqis in control of the city - Iraqis trained to fight terrorists, it takes the American face off of the operation and quite possibly, someone would take a job for the police force, the Army or a reconstruction job instead of $1000 to leave an IED on the side of the road.

Another idea is that even the little bit of action we've taken in the area thus far has us looking bad to the main stream Iraqi. It has even caused Kofi (I robbed the Iraqi people) Annan to tell the US to use restraint in Fallujah. The press saying we bombed a mosque when we bombed a WALL outside a mosque. Maybe we just have to try every possible thing we can before we bomb them back to the stone age where these terrorists still reside. We've tried negotiating. We've called in the Governing Council to try to negotiate. I think even Bremmer went to Fallujah or met with some from Fallujah. Heck, even clerics around the country went to Fallujah to try to negotiate. I guess we can't remember that we do NOT negotiate with terrorists. Possibly, we're trying this General and Iraqi force as the last resort. When the Marines do the first patrol and come under fire despite our efforts, we finally dust off the copy of Shock and Awe and remember how it is that we win wars. How we can topple an entire regime and sit outside ONE city for a darn month and still be no further along baffles me.

Maybe they are trying this Iraqi force thing out in Fallujah - where there's not a whole heck of a lot to lose. Sunnis already hate us due to their position and power going in the can with Saddam. There's nothing special about this area other than this is where Saddam's biggest support came from. Whereas, the Shias thus far have been middle of the road. They don't love us, they don't particularly hate us yet. They just want us to hurry up, get done and get out. However, they are the majority of the population and Sadr is holed up in one of the holiest cities in the region - Najaf. We can't go in and get him because some terrorist or follower of Sadr (also terrorists in my opinion) would blow up one of those "holiest" mosques and blame it on us. Then, we'd have even bigger problems. Maybe they've decided to give this Iraqi force lead by this General a chance to clean up that area. If we're making good progress, do something similar with Najaf...I read somewhere a small group in that area have started targeting some of Sadr's militia.

Oh well. Lots of maybes lol. I have no clue. It's very thought provoking and I've worried about it and read about it a lot over the weekend. But, it has an eerie sense of either we have a darn good plan that we can't elaborate on but it will turn the tide of this entire thing, OR Rumsfeld has no clue, the State Department has their hand too much into war fighting - and election year politics are framing military decisions.

I don't want to think about the latter. I've always respected Bush for allowing the military to do the military's job and not micromanaging. I've thought Rumsfeld was a great Secretary of Defense by making military leaders answer tough questions and think outside the box. But, these latest events give the impression that we're a bunch of hot air, we haven't got a plan and we're now trying to fix a flat tire with a band-aid.

I still have faith that there is a plan, that Bush puts our national security before politics, that Rumsfeld has his Generals making sound decisions and the State Department is not running a war. For a more interesting and intelligent read on the topic, I'd suggest Belmont Club's latest analysis, Retreat, Hell!.

Update: Belmont Club is providing a link today for information regarding the small group that is reportedly targeting Sadr's militia. You can read more here: Mystery group wage war on Sadr's militia

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