Tuesday, October 26, 2004

All the News That Fits

Senator Kerry continues to add more whoppers to his already impressive repertoire. In addition to his prevarications about secret Bush plans to reinstate the draft, suppress the black vote, and take away social security, to name just a few of his recent flights of fancy, he has added two new fictional claims. He insists now that prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom he met with the members of the U.N. Security Council and held in-depth discussions with them on the crisis, a claim that the representatives of the relevant nations have flatly denied, and he is also currently resurrecting a bit of phony news from the spring of 2003 and presenting it not only as if it is a recent development but also as if it were true.

In fact, it's neither. The allegation he's making is that 380 tons of high explosives were looted from a storage facility in Iraq and that this shows the incompetence of George Bush as Commander in Chief. Actually what it shows is the desperation of the left in general and Kerry in particular to find anything with which they can bamboozle the ignorant to get them to vote for the Democrats.

The fact is that when our troops first arrived at the facility on their march to Baghdad in May 2003 the munitions had already been removed (See Kerry Spot for the details). These explosives, which had been identified by the I.A.E.A. and sealed prior to the invasion, were not there when we arrived. Saddam had probably trucked it to Syria before the outbreak of hostilities. How this reflects on the competency of the president is something Senator Kerry has not yet explained.

Kerry, of course, wants the voters to think that the looting occured after the facility was under our control, but there's no evidence to support this and lots of evidence against. There's also a huge logistical problem involved in trying to move that much material under the noses of the American military. Captain's Quarters has the math involved in undertaking such a heist.

A worse aspect of this is not just that Kerry continues to fault our troops and the President for the missing ordinance, but that the New York Times dusts this story off right before the election in order to discredit Bush.

That's dishonest enough, but there's even worse. CBS, the network that aired Dan Rather's fatuous forgeries a few weeks ago in an attempt to make Bush look like he'd disobeyed orders while serving in the National Guard, was planning to run the story on the missing explosives on October 31st so that the Republicans wouldn't have time to respond to it.

If anyone has demonstrated incompetence in these last months it has been John Kerry and his allies in the liberal media who have shown that they are utterly incapable of telling the truth. They keep trying, like Wile E. Coyote, to destroy the road runner, only to have their stupid lies repeatedly blow up in their faces.

Why anyone trusts either the paper of Jayson Blair, the network of Dan Rather, or the candidate these media outlets endorse to provide them with the truth is perhaps a question only a psychiatrist can answer.

Pacifying Iraq

The Strategy Page offers some fine insight into American/Iraqi strategy for dealing with the insurgency in general and for Fallujah in particular. A few excerpts:

During the April, 2003 invasion, Saddam's enforcers began to flee back to the Sunni Arab homeland, north and west of Baghdad. Those that didn't flee at the sight of advancing American troops, soon left when they realized that the Shia Arabs and Kurds were now hunting down enforcers. By the end of 2003, nearly all of Saddam's thugs were back in places like Fallujah. There, tribal chiefs, long on Saddam's payroll, soon found themselves in the company of many heavily armed Saddam supporters. Guess who started calling the shots? The Baath Party had a plan for what to do if the country were overrun and occupied by an enemy (most likely Iran, but the United States was a possibility as well.) Baath had money, and people who knew how to do terror.

Baath Party operators had been working with criminal gangs, running criminal operations (officially sanctioned, or on the side) and terrorizing the population for decades. The Baath people also knew they had an edge over the Americans, as Baath could, and had, done whatever they wanted to get their way. The Americans, for all their nifty weapons and gadgets, had to operate according to rules of conduct. American troops could not kidnap people to get their children or siblings to carry out attacks. The Americans could not summarily execute anyone who failed in a mission, or refused to do what was asked.

But the Baath Party plan didn't work exactly as expected. The Americans were aggressively recruiting and training new Iraqi security forces. This had to be done from scratch, since no one but Saddam loyalists worked security while Saddam was in power, and all those people were Sunni Arabs whose loyalty was now questionable. But the new government, and coalition police and security experts, persevered. Trying to work out deals with the tribal chiefs didn't work, mainly because Baath and al Qaeda threatened to kill any chief that made peace with the government.

So the government began to shut down the "little Fallujahs" around Baghdad. This was good practice for the Iraqi troops and police. The Iraqis would need all the practice they could get before taking on Fallujah, for that's where those who escaped the Iraqi dragnet, in places like Samarra and many other smaller towns, run to. While the Iraqi and American units flush the thugs out, Fallujah itself is being hit with smart bombs and raids in the suburbs by ground troops.

Sometime before the end of the year, Fallujah will fall, and the Baath Party enforcers, and the al Qaeda terrorists will have to scatter. That will make the bad guys more vulnerable, and less effective. That, of course, is the objective.

The wild card in this prediction, of course, is how much patience the American people have to see this task through to the end. We'll know the answer to that on November 3rd.