“‘We Won’: Fallujah Rejoices in Withdrawal

That’s the WaPost’s headline above a story on the jubilation of masked men with checkered headscarves as the US withdrew from the city of Fallujah.

They’re right, of course. They won. We lost. The Battle of Fallujah is George W.  Bush’s Somalia. It’s a return to the failed policies of 1883 when we left Lebanon in shambles after our Marines were killed.

The Battle of Fallujah is what happens when you use expensive weapons to try to shock or awe an intractable enemy that must be killed. We didn’t blink–we ran.

The WaPost reports:

‘As the militiamen drove through Fallujah in trucks and congregated on deserted street corners, residents flashed V-for-victory signs and mosques broadcast celebratory messages proclaiming triumph over the Americans.’

Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, the highest ranking Marine in Iraq, praised the outcome of events in Fallujah. He wasn’t alone in his assessment of the operation as a success:

‘Although the militiamen were scheduled to take over checkpoints and patrol duties from Marine units Friday, many of those tasks appeared to go unfulfilled Saturday. Several of the militiamen, clad in street clothes and toting battered Ak-47 rifles, said they were still waiting for orders from their commanders. But as they waited, many said their first priority was to rejoice.’ 

Despite the difficulties of staying the course, I hadn’t thought that George Bush would go wobbly. The public’s obvious distaste for John Kerry seemed to augur that GWB could do the right thing and carry the country with him.

Of course, the assault on our policies has been ferocious. Ted Koppel’s politically motivated reading of the names of those who died in Afghanistan or Iraq was just one example of the forces arrayed against the administration policy.

Mark Steyn points out that, had Koppel read the names of those who fell in, say, the War of 1812, he would have had to ask for more air time. But, of course, Koppel won. Looks like the anti-war movement’s display of the flag-draped coffins of US soldiers had the desired effect. 

It’s important to say a few words about the American ‘atrocities’ with regard to Iraqi prisoners. The left is aflame with the ‘atrocity’ story. Here’s how my lib pal Art Levine presents the story: ‘Army thugs were allowed to torture Iraqis. Higher-ups let it happen. Sy Hersh (who else?) has obtained a secret Army report about the brutality at Abu Ghraib.’ (You can get to the New Yorker through Art.)

The US military people involved will (and should) face court martial. But get a grip’if Saddam had been torturing those prisoners, he wouldn’t have just pretended he was going to electrocute them. The wires would have been attached.

But none of this matters, if we’ve let the American left rob us of the chance to end the Vietnam analogy once and for all and, oh yes, to change the Middle East.