according to the left, Scott Ritter, and the Jordan Times– the cartoon I posted here is an accurate portrayal of the media disinformation campaign mounted by the opponents of the war. I am surprised all of our troops have not thrown down their weapons and run from the battlefield, since they “are achieving small victories at a very high price”
and they are “now seen by ordinary Iraqis as having made victims of those they say they want to liberate.” See for your self- the Iraqis are clearly terrified:
Private First Class Joseph DeWitt, 26, from Suffolk County, N.Y., carries a young Iraqi boy who was injured during a heavy battle between the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi forces Tuesday near the village of Al Faysaliyah, Iraq.
An Iraqi child gestures to an American as other children look on, at a water distribution point in Umm Qasr, Iraq, Wednesday.
Except all of this is nonsense. No one thought this war would be over in 5 days. No one thought that there would be no casualties. No one knows what is going to happen in the next week. What we do know is what we have seen on the ground, and that seems to be that we have blanketed the majority of the nation with coalition troops, with little or no opposition.
There are sporadic engagements and harassment from militia, but there has yet to be a single large-scale battle. Before someone protests that if it is going so well, why the casualties- count the casualties, and then count how many have been killed by accidents, a wrong turn, and Iraqi execution of surrrendering soldiers (and this is in no way intended to diminish the sacrifice of those brave men). Some degree of realism is required when evaluating the progress of the war. Coalition warplanes are enjoying a shooting gallery in their kill boxes, and the Brits are essentially engaging in target practice in southern Iraq. Yes there has been resistance, and yes, this is going to get tougher, and yes, at points the resistance has been tougher than expected, but by no stretch of the imagination are we losing. By no stretch of the imagination are we (qualitatively) outmanned, out-equipped, or out-prepared. Yes, the civilian population of Iraq has been slow to fight back at the numerous Hussein lyalists wreaking havoc in the southern cities, continuing to oppress the people. Stories like this may explain why:
The Marine general said that what has surprised him most about the first week of fighting is the extent of war crimes carried out by the Iraqi regime. In addition to the execution of POWs, he said, Iraqis have used civilians as human shields, stored weapons in schools, set up command posts in hospitals and pretended to surrender only to open fire.
In one case, an Iraqi woman was hanged after she waved to coalition forces, Pace said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “To do it so blatantly so early, not only is it a surprise, but to me it’s disgusting.”
And it is intentional, and it is an attempt to keep control. They are suppressing the population with fear- they are going to have to be confident we are coming to their rescue this time- we let them down once before. But fine, you don’t trust me- how about our troops on the ground- everyone supports our troops, even when they don’t. Listen to their interviews on CNN and MSNBC.
This story may also help to explain Iraqi hesitation:
The last time the colonel saw Baghdad in flames and American tanks rolling across the southern Iraqi desert, he was sure Saddam Hussein’s time had come. Feeling that the hated regime was crumbling and encouraged by Washington to rise up, he picked up his Kalashnikov and went into the streets of Baghdad to help make it happen.
Twelve years later, as he flicks through TV channels at a friend’s house, the former Iraqi army colonel is seeing the same panorama again. But he also remembers what followed the 1991 uprising:
Washington’s sudden cease-fire and the regime’s bloody crackdown on the rebels. Sharing a prison cell with rats for a year. The face of his beautiful wife when she told him that the government had forced her to file for divorce. Getting the confiscation papers for his house in the northern city of Mosul. Being kicked out of Iraq into the semi-autonomous Kurdish area of Iraq. (Hat Tip: The Command Post).
The intent of this is not to persuade you that this is going to be easy. It isn’t. But you have to recognize that there are a signficant number of people who have a vested interest in calling this war a failure, no matter how successful it is. I’ll let you figure out who they are- but it is clear, every time they open their mouths. To many of the sewer trout out there, this war is nothing more than aplatform to re-fight the 2000 election and to set the stage for 2004. This is not about WMD to them. This is not about liberating Iraq. This is about their visceral hatred and mistrust of ‘Shrub’ and ‘Rummy’ and the ‘neo-con cabal.’ Remember that, please.