Here's some background on Al Faluja to keep in mind.
A) Why is it in the news almost every night? Because it is one of the FEW places in all of Iraq where trouble exists. Iraq has 25 million people and is the size of California. Faluja and surrounding towns total 500,000 people. Do the math: that's not a big percentage of Iraq. How many people were murdered last night in L.A.? Did it make headline news? Why not?
B) Saddam could not and did not control Faluja. He bought off those he could, killed those he couldn't and played all leaders against one another. It was and is a 'difficult' town. Nothing new about that. What is new is that outside people have come in to stir up unrest. How many are there is classified, but let me tell you this: there are more people in the northeast Minneapolis gangs than there are causing havoc in Faluja. Surprised?
C) Then why does it get so much coverage? Because the major news outlets have camera crews permanently posted in Faluja. So, if you are from outside Iraq, and want to get air time for your cause, where would you go to terrorize, bomb, mutilate and destroy? Faluja.
D) Why does it seem to be getting worse? Two answers:
1) This country became a welfare state under Saddam. If you cared about your well-fare, you towed the line or died. The state did your thinking and your bidding. Want a job? Pledge allegiance to the Ba’ath party. Want an apartment, a car, etc? Show loyalty. Electricity, water, sewage, etc. was paid by the state. Go with the flow: life is good. Don't and you're dead. Now, what does that do to initiative? drive? industry?
So, we come along and lock up sugar daddy and give these people the toughest challenge in the world, FREEDOM. You want a job? Earn it! A house? Buy it or build it! Security? Build a police force, army and militia and give it to yourself. Risk your lives and earn freedom. The good news is that millions of Iraqis are doing just that, and some pay with their lives. But many, many are struggling with freedom (just like East Germans, Russians, Czechs, etc.) and they want a sugar daddy, the U.S.A., to do it all. We refuse. We don't want to be plantation owners. We make it clear we are here to help, not own or stay. They get mad about that, sometimes.
Nonetheless, in Faluja, the supposed hotbed of dissent in Iraq, countless Iraqis tell our psyopers they want to cooperate with us but are afraid the thugs will slit their throats or kill their kids. A bad gang can do that to a neighborhood and a town. That's what is happening here.
2) We have a battle hand-off going on here. The largest in recent American history. The Army is passing the baton to the Marines in this area. There is uncertainty among the populace and misinformation being given out by the bad guys. As a result there is insecurity and the bad guys are testing the resolve of the Marines and indirectly you, the American people. The bad guys are convinced that Americans have no stomach for a long haul effort here. They want to drive us out of here and then resurrect a dictatorship of one kind or another.
Okay, what do we do? Stay the course. The Marines will get into a battle rhythm and, along with other forces and government agencies here, they will knock out the crack houses, drive the thugs across the border and set the conditions for the Falujans to join the freedom parade or rot in their lack of initiative. Either way, the choice will be theirs. The alternative? Turn tail, pull out and leave a power vacuum that will suck in all of Iraq's neighbors and spark a civil war that could make Rwanda look like a misdemeanor.
Hey, America, don't go weak kneed on us: 585 dead American's made an investment here. That's a whole lot less than were killed on American highways last month. Their lives are honored when we stay the course and do the job we came to do; namely, set the conditions for a new government and empower these people to be the great nation they are capable of being.
The American burden.
For many opponents of the war there is an unmistakable interest in getting these photographs before the public in order to weaken support for the war. There's no getting around that. I don't mean to imply that most who want these pictures out believe that, or even that that's an illegitimate goal. And there's a long record of governments managing bad news during wartime to keep up civilian morale.
But one needn't oppose the war to find something morally unseemly about the strict enforcement of the regulations barring any images of the reality behind these numbers we keep hearing on TV. There is some problem of accountability here, of putting on airs of national sacrifice and not having the courage to risk the real thing, some dark echo of the Rumsfeldian penchant for 4th generation, high-tech warfare where data transfers and throw weights replace bodies at every level.
Of course, the rationale for this policy of barring these images is that to publicize them would be an invasion of the privacy of the families. And certainly if the issue were one of barring photographers from private funerals, perhaps that notion would have merit. But the idea that the privacy of the families is advanced by barring any sort of public grieving and witnessing of these sacrifices just seems ridiculous on its face -- especially when we are often talking about rows of anonymous flag-draped coffins.
All the arguments aside, there's something wrong about the fact that we're seeing none of this.
« Older Koolio... | Red vs. Blue and Political Sel... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt