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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Peace in Fallujah? For now, anyway 

Agreement reached to end Fallujah siege

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) U.S. Marines announced Thursday an agreement to end a bloody, nearly monthlong siege of Fallujah, saying American forces will pull back and allow an all-Iraqi force commanded by one of Saddam Hussein's generals to take over security...

The Fallujah deal came after intense international pressure on the United States to find a peaceful solution to the standoff that killed hundreds of Iraqis and became a symbol of anti-U.S. resistance in Iraq, fueling violence that made April the deadliest month for American forces.
First off, international pressure doesn't necessarily mean "words of wisdom from statesmen who mean well." In this case, international pressure means hurting the cause of peace by falsely assuming that the Fallujah insurgents are dealing honestly. This agreement is absolutely not a "peaceful solution to the standoff." It's a break in the action. It is simply a delaying tactic by the thugs who gather like cowards in mosques and then hide behind civilians when attacking our Marines.

You want a Vietnam analogy? Today, you finally have one. The only valid comparison between Iraq and Vietnam is the use of "peace agreements" to resupply for the next fight, and the gullibility of the international community in believing that such agreements serve the cause of peace.

Exhibit A:

''Violent military action by an occupying power against inhabitants of an occupied country will only make matters worse,'' U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned. ''It's definitely time, time now for those who prefer restraint and dialogue to make their voices heard.''
And I bet he assumes that the insurgents of Fallujah are among "those who prefer restraint and dialogue."

Annan is dead wrong about that and about one other thing. When he says that violent action by the U.S. against the inhabitants of Iraq will only make things worse... he's right. But letting them get away with murder will make things worse, too, and for a longer period of time. And notice Annan's language? We're taking "violent military action" against "inhabitants." Uh huh. If your local police department shoots a guy who fires at them first, do the headlines read "Police attack inhabitants of town?"

You're dealing with a group of people who do not represent the will of the Iraqi people and who will only stop fighting when they are all dead, so if we really want peace, we should just finish the job.

The Marines know all of this. Maybe they're entering this agreement knowing that it will fail, so next time the international community won't be so willing to put its faith in the word of terrorists.

UPDATE: I disagree with Rusty Shackleford that restricting the press and imposing a Dresden-like solution on the Fallujah problem is the way to go. But he's right on with this point:

We assume that our holding back will be received as some sort of gesture of magnanimity. It will not. For Arab nationalists it will be seen as proof of superior Arab will.
As he says, the Arab world considers the Six Day War as a victory! (And I'll add the Yom Kippur War to the list. Not to mention Desert Storm.)

They live in a world where anything short of complete and utter destruction is seen as a victory.
He's right about that. So, the only solution is to actually defeat the insurgents, to the point where they, and the Arab street, has absolutely no doubt that they were good and properly ass-kicked in combat. Anything that even remotely resembles a pullback will be seen by the insurgents as a cowardly retreat in the face of brave, manly Arab resistance.
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