Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Why is this man still walking around?"

Good stuff on how blowing Fallujah in April 2004 has led to continuing troubles.

After the four American contractors were burned and hung from that bridge in Fallujah in April of 2004, we took a step back. Perhaps afraid that we would be perceived as retaliating in anger, we waited and tried to let that problem solve itself.

It didn’t. Fallujah, already a dangerous nest for the Sunni insurgency, metastasized into a city of terror, a base from which Baathist and al Qaeda butchers launched their war on Americans and on the people of Iraq.

The Iraqi forces that were supposed to keep a lid on Fallujah were subverted and the honest ones murdered, and Fallujah’s citizens were subjected to a nightmarish Taliban-style regime. One rebel told reporter Hannah Allam: "When the Marines stepped back in April, the foreigners grew stronger, so they persuaded their friends to come and help them hold the victory."

Finally Fallujah became a problem we could no longer ignore. In November, our Marines surrounded the city and in vicious, house-to-house fighting, crushed the insurgency amid their fortified mosques and bomb factories and torture chambers. About 1200 of the enemy were killed, at a terrible cost of 51 Marines and eight Iraqi troops.

What have we learned from Fallujah? If nothing else, we’ve seen that evil unchallenged only grows stronger.

Read it all.

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