Wednesday, November 17, 2004


It's not just a river in Egypt.

Not surprisingly, the editors of the Wall Street Journal are still not reading their own paper nor, apparently, anyone else's. In an editorial this morning, they scoff at the very idea that our actions in Fallujah could possibly do anything other than keeping freedom on the march. They dismiss out of hand the possibility that the violence and destruction visited on Fallujah - and soon on other cities - could possibly encourage other Iraqis to take up arms against the US and Iraqi forces.

So coalition forces strike the city of Fallujah, and Iraqi insurgents respond by attacking in Mosul, Baquba, Kirkuk and Suweira. This, we now hear, proves that the more insurgents the U.S. kills, the stronger the insurgency grows. Call it the Obi-Wan Kenobi school of international relations: Strike him down, and he'll only become more powerful.

In real warfare, of course, killing the enemy means there are fewer enemies to kill. And in one week in Fallujah, and at the cost of some 40 American soldiers' lives and several Iraqi ones, about 1,200 insurgents were killed and another 1,000 taken prisoner. The insurgents have been denied their principal sanctuary. Their torture chambers -- a stark indication of what they intend for all of Iraq if they're allowed to prevail -- lie exposed.
Note that they even drag out that old bogeyman from Saddam's day: "torture chambers." So removed from the reality of the situation are the editors that they have not yet come to accept that we are an occupying force - note the quotation marks below;

Beyond whatever tactics the Iraqi insurgents may employ, their strategy is to convince Americans that there is no bottom; that their cause enjoys huge popular support; that it feeds off the resentments that "occupation" inevitably engenders; and that it can go on undeterred by whatever damage U.S. forces inflict.
Finally, exhibiting what is coming to be typical conservative behavior, they completely ignore events that have a profound effect on the topic at hand so that they don't have to change their minds given changing information. You know: "flip-flopping." There is not a word to be found in the editorial about the video of marines shooting wounded POWs inside a mosque in Fallujah. They acknowledge neither the event nor the profound - and negative - effect that action is likely to have on the situation.

It's no surprise, as I said. But it is instructive.

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