There comes a time when reality will have to set in.
There are many reasons I didn’t support this war from the start. One of the big ones was I thought that the US, because it went in without UN consent or even NATO support, would be seen as occupiers and imperialists rather than liberators and freedom fighters.
This battle for Fallujah is exactly demonstrating my point.
The military might of the American forces is totally inconsequential as was the military might of the USSR in Afghanistan because, as was the USSR, the Americans are now seen as occupiers and the insurgents/terrorists as liberators.
While this view may not be the view of the majority in ALL of Iraq… it certainly is in key places… and has certainly grown since the fall of Saddam.
Even the British, who have employed a much different tactic in their area of influence, and have until now been seen in a much more positive light by Iraqis in and around Basra are coming under fire and their reputation is starting to deteriorate.
Unfortunately, nothing that can be done before the elections. I realize an effort must be made to bring Fallujah and other insurgent strongholds under some measure of government control before the elections in January. That is simply common sense.
And yes, they will probably be successful in bringing Fallujah under enough control that elections will be able to be held… but the insurgents themselves will simply move on. Go elsewhere, regroup, and strengthen.
As they did in Afghanistan.
As the North Vietnamese did in Vietnam.
The only thing that can “solve” this problem is the Iraqi government itself.
Once a government is actually elected by the Iraqi people I hope the US announces, unequivically, its’ intention to withdraw all forces and bases from Iraqi soil once the Iraqis have an Army capable enough to repel the insurgency and tell the Coalition to leave.
This is the only way they (the Iraqi government and US/Coalition) can start to regain the trust of the Iraqi people and show them that they are not there as occupiers, or imperialists, but rather to assist the Iraqis to get back on their feet.
Notice I didn’t mention the UN.
Why? Because the UN need not be involved. I would prefer if they were, but the Bush Administration (and US electorate) have an obvious disdain for the UN, and if they did come in with peacekeepers it would probably be seen as a loss of face to the US.
They need not do that… the US went in alone and as such took all the responsibility. So it is their choice whether to use the UN or not. The Iraqi people probably wouldn’t feel much better with the UN either…
They simply want their country back.
For a more indepth perspective of what the US is actually up against in Fallujah check out This excellent blog
Fallujah is a TAZ. A temporary autonomous zone that is being used by global guerrillas for regional operations. It isn’t a central hub of the insurgency, because there isn’t any central hub. The insurgency is a decentralized entity composed of many small networks that coordinate their activities through the open source bazaar. A good definition of Fallujah (and other locations like south Wazirastan) is that it is:
- A lawless zone
- that is locally controlled and
- fiercely independent.