Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
It could have been New Yorkers.. it could have been my sister.

I can't tell you how angry I am at the Iraqi residents in Falluja today. (See
4 From U.S. Killed in Brutal Assault by a Mob of Iraqis, N.Y. Times, Mar. 31, 2004, at A1 available at

Frankly, and my anger may be getting the best of me a bit, but it's a good thing I'm not in charge of any serious military ordinance in Falluha, Iraq area today, because tomorrow the city would be obliterated in the old Roman-verus-the-Carthaginian-style of raising to the ground and then salting the earth so that the name "Fallujah" would forever be known as the barren, empty place where the wrath of the U.S. landed on barbarians who view it as proper "resistance" to burn alive dying civilians, dismember them with shovels, encourage 10-year old boys to stomp on the blackened heads, and drag the bodies for a miles to hang the desecrated charred remains from a local bridge.

That bridge would be gone, the guy swinging that shovel in the press pictures - gone; everyone appearing in the footage - rounded up; the people of Fallujah within a ten block area of the atrocity - dispersed, their houses raised, and capped by concrete. At least one message driven home would be "You say this is the fate of the infidels', to which we respond, would you rather see America at work helping you? Because do this, and this will be your fate." Admittedly this is a strategy born of anger, and cooler heads argue a broader-picture response - e.g. U.S.S. Clueless, here.

But I've about had it with the touchy-feely "hearts and minds" campaign. That's fine, but when it's time to kick some serious ass, it's time to do so swiftly and hard. And I'm glad to see that Gen. Kimmitt agrees. In his briefing on April 1, 2004, in response to the question of "[w]hat kind of response might we see out in Fallujah" he answered "we will respond. We are not going to do a pell-mell rush into the city. It's going to be deliberate, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming. We will not rush in to make things worse. We will plan our way through this and we will reestablish control of that city and we will pacify that city. . . We will be back in Fallujah. It will be at the time and the place of our choosing. We will hunt down the criminals. We will kill them or we will capture them. And we will pacify Fallujah." That's what the American people want to hear. And when one reporter said "I was in Fallujah today and people were saying, 'Yeah, the Americans were scared to come back in.' Does that not send out a bad message of tolerance of violence?" General Kimmitt's response was short and sweet: "Ask them after the Americans have come back in."

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