Friday, April 02, 2004

"Fallujah will be pacified" 

Wednesday certainly witnessed some gruesome events in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Although truth be told I am not sure that the brutal treatment those four Americans got is any more gruesome the what has happened to countless Iraqis who had bombs dropped on them by U.S. planes.

But predictably, the events in Fallujah have raised a hue and cry. The Wall Street Journal has editorialized that we are not meeting out enough punishment to the Iraqis. A letter published in the NYTimes says "What in the world does it take to get us to view these cheering mobs as the enemy? Why isn't our military taking them out?" "There will be price extracted, there will be a response and it will be obvious to all" says Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. And general Kimmit in Baghdad blusters "we will be back in Fallujah. Fallujah will be pacified."

Isn't pacifying Fallujah and the rest of Iraq been what the US has been trying to do for the past year? Isn't that what the US has been trying to do by putting barbed wire around entire towns and refusing to let men leave? Isn't that what all the house to house raids with doors kicked into and inhabitants blindfolded and handcuffed were supposed to accomplish?

Is it more of a scorched earth policy that they have in mind now? Like carpet bombing the place? Or maybe they can adopt the Israeli tactics of collective punishment. They can just go through the city and start bulldozing all the houses until finally the residents of Fallujah come to their senses and turn these "barbarians" over.

In truth, that probably is where all of this is headed. And it is also true that those brutal tactics will almost certainly fail. They failed in Algeria, they failed in Vietnam, they failed in Afghanistan, they failed in Palestine, and they will fail in Iraq. History is very clear on this point - when a people is determined to be free of a foreign occupying power no amount of brutality will be able to subjugate them.


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