Jewish World Review April 30, 2004 / 9 Iyar, 5764

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Memo to White House: Crush the insurgents in Fallujah already | It is puzzling to many Americans, myself among them, why the Bush administration is hesitating to crush the insurgents in Fallujah. Arabs tend to regard forbearance as weakness, and the standoff has been portrayed in most Arab media as a victory for the insurgents.

It is understandable why the Coalition Provisional Authority is approaching the Muqtada al Sadr, holed up in the Shi'ia holy city of Najaf, as if it were walking on eggshells. As former CIA Middle East operative Reuel Marc Gerecht put it: "if we lose the Shi'ia, we lose Iraq."

But the foes we face in Fallujah are Baathists, Sunni Muslim extremists (most of them foreigners) associated with al Qaida, and just plain criminals. None of these are beloved by Iraqis in general, or by the Shi'ia in particular. And these are foes who must be dealt with before the transfer of power if a fledgling sovereign Iraqi government is to have a reasonable hope of survival.

A hint of why Bush is keeping the Marines on a leash appeared Monday in a story on — of all, places — the web site of al Jazeera, the Qatar-based television network suspected of being a mouthpiece for Osama bin Laden. "The cease fire brokered by Iraqi mediators in the Iraqi city of Fallujah appears to have weakened the fighters battling U.S. Marines while also creating divisions within the Sunni Muslim community," al Jazeera said.

The al Jazeera story quoted a communique from a group calling themselves the "Iraqi resistance in Fallujah" as saying the truce was "an inspiration of Satan because it shifted the balance power in favor of the occupation forces."

Donate to JWR

In the initial days after the murder and mutilation of four private contractors March 31st, hundreds of Iraqis, both Sunni and Shi'ia, flocked to Fallujah to join the resistance, al Jazeera said.

But news of the ceasefire "disorganized the guerrilla movement and the solidarity movement ran out of steam," al Jazeera quoted a supporter of the resistance, Abd al-Jabbar Kubaisi, leader of a group called the "National Iraqi Coalition."

The truce was brokered by the Islamic Party and the Association of Muslim scholars, who have come under fire from more radical elements of Sunni community for dealing with the Marines.

The insurgents have not abided by a key element of the truce, that the insurgents turn in their heavy weapons. All that's been turned in so far has been junk, Marine spokesmen say.

A more critical element of the truce — which didn't go into effect until April 27 — is a ban on carrying weapons outside. This means that any Iraqi carrying an AK-47 is fair game for Marine snipers, whether or not he shoots first. Marine snipers are very good.

Also on April 27, the Marines began joint patrols with Iraqi police and Iraqi Civil Defense Force soldiers. The web logger "Wretchard," whose web site, "the Belmont Club," is must reading for those who want serious strategic analysis of the war on terror, likens this to the use of the Philippine Scouts in repressing the Moro rebellion in the Philippines a century ago.

The most disheartening development in Iraq has been when trouble flared up this month, half the Iraqi security forces either turned tail or turned traitor. MajGen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the First Armored Division, said "about 40 percent walked off the job because they were intimidated and about 10 percent actually worked against us."

The most encouraging development is that half the Iraqi security forces did their duty. Democracy can succeed in Iraq only if Iraqis are willing to take risks to protect it.

If the Iraqi police and Civil Defense troops, stiffened by the presence of the Marines, perform as well in Fallujah as the Philippine Scouts did in the 1913 battle of Bud Bagsak, where Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing broke the back of the Moro rebellion, a decisive turning point may be reached, Wretchard thinks.

"The Iraqi nation will be born or fail in Fallujah, but if they succeed, the words 'Anywhere, Anytime' (the motto of the Philippine Scouts) will be translated into Arabic," he said.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives

© 2003, Jack Kelly