Today, the 22nd day after the beginning of the ground war in Iraq, the Pentagon is announcing that no major Iraqi forces remain.
Caution demands that victory not be declared until all shooting stops. Just yesterday snipers firing from a Baghdad mosque killed one marine and injured twenty others.
These “pockets of intense resistence” are significant and can be deadly to the individual soldiers that encounter them. But the complete crumbling of organized resistence is certainly a major, maybe THE major signpost on the road to victory. So I figure its time for some random thoughts:
Nonembedded journalists in Baghdad…
Shepard Smith went off on some insensitive emailers the other night on FoxNews. One emailer called the journalists in Baghdad “evil” and that he had no sympathy for them or even their families when they were killed – that they should have gotten the news from Centcom. “Shep” said that the emailer was basically calling for a U.S. government controlled media.
Certainly those emailers were way out to lunch. But I think that there is a valid criticism that can be made of those Baghdad reporters. Subjecting themselves to the restrictions required of them to get access was a deal with the devil. Peter Arnett’s infamous sycophantic interview was in his mind a small price to pay for the access he hoped to get. At least until he was fired.
Can you imagine the stink that would have been raised had Centcom required minders? What if they had required interviews with all the reporters in which they had to swear allegiance in order to gain access? There would have been a huge outcry. Perhaps the “Shep’s” emailer was suggesting that he would prefer U.S. government controlled media over Iraqi government controlled media. I’m glad we don’t have to choose.
But this is just reason number 1002 that it is good that we are quickly finishing this war. The devil is dead and so all deals are off. Hopefully the Baghdad reporters will pick up their integrity, dust it off, and report what really happened.
Looting…The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Its good that the Iraqi people have so widely accepted Saddam’s demise that they no longer fear marching into his public buildings, even his palaces, and carting off his stuff. And certainly with Saddam’s possesions, this is just. It’s just a small rebate on Saddam’s looting of his people.
But lawlessness is always bad because there is no natural stopping point. There is no way to insure that only “good” looting takes place. In fact, apparently hospitals are now being targeted. Fox and Friends reported this morning that city blocks in Baghdad were forming mini-militias to keep the looters away from their neighborhood. These militias are armed with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades – not your father’s neighborhood watch.
If this is not brought under control quickly, Baghdad could fall into urban warfare where individual blocks battle each other for territory. Imagine the ugliness of our soldiers having to pacify an entire city of gang bangers. I think the curfew that is about to go into effect is a good first step.
Publicly Chirac is unrepentant. On Tuesday he said “The reconstruction of Iraq is a matter for the UN and it alone.” Privately he has to know that he has made a colassal blunder. Even if France had dirty deals with Saddam during the last ten years the U.S. would still have forgiven France if they had come clean and supported us. Now its coming out.
[Western intelligence officials] said the "crude forgery" received by U.N. weapons inspectors suggesting the Iraqis were trying to buy uranium from Niger as part of their nuclear program was originally put in intelligence channels by France. The officials wouldn't speculate on French motives.They won't speculate, but I will. France inserted the forged document hoping it would be initially accepted and then discredited. They were hoping this would discredit the whole idea of Iraq developing nuclear weapons. They might even have hoped that the U.S. would be blamed for forgery.
And now it appears that marines have found plutonium in Iraq.
Apparently the French public is beginning to understand the magnitude of anti-American tarbaby they’ve slung themselves into. Even the liberal French newspaper Liberation has called Chirac "the king of peace without a crown."
I had a dream the other night of Chirac in a cave in front of a group of cups and goblets. He picks the one labeled “appeasement.” He drinks then dries up and blows away while an old knight templar says, “he chose poorly.”
mrstg87 -at- yahoo /dot\ com