We were pretty unhappy with the decision not to “shock and awe” the city of Fallujah following the killings of American contractors and the subsequent uprising. I think we still are. However, Brendan Miniter of the WSJ’s Opinion Journal makes a plausbile case that our actions in pacifying Fallujah represent a success story. Says Miniter, “now none of the mosques in Fallujah are calling for jihad, local politicians are coordinating with coalition forces in rebuilding city infrastructure–the Marines have approximately $500 million to spend in Iraq–and the Fallujah Brigade is patrolling the streets. Ninety percent of the intelligence the Marines get on insurgents comes from Iraqi sources.” Moreover, “the Fallujah Brigade doesn’t have free rein. The Marines constantly test it to make sure it is fulfilling the coalition’s goals. These tests include submitting to civilian rule, taking large-caliber weapons off the streets, ensuring the rule of law is prevailing in the city, working with and positively influencing city fathers, and adhering to all the Geneva Conventions and rules of war that the Marines themselves must follow. So far the brigade is passing these tests.”
Hawks like us may still wish that we had taken a more aggressive approach. But from the mainstream media’s ordinarily non-hawkish perspective, the scenario Miniter describes should be viewed as an outright success. Assuming that the mainstream media were willing to acknowledge and report success in Iraq.
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