Monday, April 05, 2004


I think there are two things to note concerning the severe rioting in Iraq -- 1) we have sustained over 600 dead and thousands of wounded thus far. This is without much resistance from the Iraqi majority population: the Shiites. I'm not sure calling the cleric an "outlaw" and killing a bunch of Shiites is the best way to pacify an angry community. And we continue with the wild west metaphors -- from the AP: Paul Bremer, the top U.S. administrator in Iraq, declared al-Sadr an "outlaw" -- and I'm not sure why nor what we're supposed to get out of it. Yes, dead or alive. Yes, savage indians mercilessly slaughtered by fearless cowboys (did I say Indians? Iraqi's). Yes, John Wayne cocksure and swagger, a true American, but hasn't most of the world seen our Old Westerns too? I'm not to sure they have the same perspective on the whole situation.

2) They named the operation to paciify the neighborhoods most active in the rioting "Vigilant Resolve." They are going into a poor neighborhood, imagine say Watts, with overwhelming force to quell the "rioters". This is not like in the states, say the Watts riots, where everyone will go home once they see the guns -- this is Iraq, an Iraq that is probably close to open revolt, and the image of tanks in their neighborhoods while calling their spiritual leader an outlaw is probably just upping the ante. The thing is, we don't have the troops needed to truly bring secruity there. If the Shiites get nasty, it could become a whole new war. There are 25 million people. Let's say 5 million get involved in the insurgency in some form (supporting guerrilas or whatever) we only have 130 thousand troops there. And I can't see it staying in the Sunni triangle long. It would spread quickly throughout Iraq. The question must be asked whose being vigilant and how can we resolve this thing without making it FUBAR?

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