Friday, June 22, 2007

Killing the Enemy, Contemplating Peace

Here is more from Michael Yon's on the spot reporting in Baqubah.
The combat in Baqubah should soon reach a peak. Al Qaeda seems to have been effectively isolated. The initial attack on 19 June achieved enough surprise that al Qaeda was caught off guard and trapped. They have been beaten back mostly into pockets and are surrounded and will be dealt with. Part of this is actually due to the capability of Strykers. We were able to “attack from the march.” In other words, a huge force drove in from places like Baghdad and quickly locked down Baqubah.

...I have been with LTC Fred Johnson for several days. LTC Johnson seems to recharge on sunlight or moonlight and can run a man into the ground. After seeing the humanitarian need building with no action to abate it underway, Johnson was very unhappy. He immediately started jerking choke chains on the people who are supposed to be handling humanitarian need, trying to avert having it build into a crisis.

This is where the inept local Iraqi commanders come in. I’ve seen them in meeting after meeting, over the past few days, finding ways to be underachievers. The Iraqi commanders have dozens of large trucks and have only to drive to our base to collect the supplies and distribute those supplies to the people displaced in the battle. Our troops are fully engaged in combat, yet the Iraqi leaders were not able to carry that load without LTC Johnson supplying the initiative. The Kurds would have had this fixed yesterday. The Iraqi commanders in Mosul would have fixed this.

The American commanders and troops seem quite capable of wiping out the enemy when allowed. Of course their hands are tied for many political reasons, and eventually they will naturally need to hand over the non-Kurdish parts of Iraq to Arab leaders.

Anyone who has read any of the Al Fin blogs dealing with demographic topics will understand that the writers on these blogs have little esteem for Arabs. Given the general incompetence and lack of initiative of most Arabs, it is difficult to expect very much out of Iraq in the long term.

Perhaps the best scenario for Iraq's people is that Iraq not fall under the control of the type of Islamists who have made Iran and Saudi Arabia the hellholes they are. Even worse would be a Talibanisation of Iraq. Anything is possible, depending upon the political climate in the US in the next few years. Jimmy Carter is, after all, recommending that the US embrace Hamas in Palestine. Is Hillary Clinton's position really that much different than Carter's? Probably not.

Today Gaza. Tomorrow Hamburg or Paris.

The "cut and run" types believe that anything is better than war. How little they know of the genuine choices and possiblities. "Peace" can easily become more hellish than war. Look at Cambodia under Pol Pot, China under Mao, Russia under Stalin. Imagine a Hitler's Germany that never invaded the rest of Europe, but still went about exterminating all the Jews it could get its hands on. That would have been "peace", but a hellish peace.

Cut and run types have gotten this far by avoiding the difficult questions. Why should they change that now?

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