Snatching victory from the jaws of half-victory

Ralph Peters explains why the U.S. must crush Moqtada Sadr and his “army” without mercy or restraint, and why it must also bring about the complete subjugation of Fallujah and the defeat of any terrorist who raises a gun. Peters’ reasoning is straightforward: “Any ‘settlement,’ any halt short of the annihilation of the killers who want to destroy the future of Iraq, will be read throughout that troubled country and the greater Islamic world as a resounding victory for the terrorists. They’ll be viewed as having defeated the U.S. military, stopping it in its tracks. Reality is immaterial. In the Middle East, perception trumps facts. Only uncompromising strength impresses our enemies.”
Peters compares the pressure on President Bush to show restraint in Iraq to the pressure on his father in 1991 not to push on to Baghdad and oust Saddam Hussein. If Bush follows his father’s example, Peters warns, the results will be equally disastrous.

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