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November 07, 2004

Selma and Falluja

Everybody with half a wit knows that the coalition forces will produce a military victory in Falluja. From TPD:

We're going to "win" in Fallujah, at least in the military sense. We'll most likely raze it to the ground. But can we ultimately triumph over all this animosity, from within and outside of Iraq? After all, our winning formula from the very beginning was "hearts and minds."

I would like to remind people that some hearts and minds are not worth winning.

It is my understanding that Samarra and Falluja represent the main cities in the two provinces that stand against Alawi in Iraq. Everybody else can't wait to vote and prove that they can cobble together a functional government with real power sharing. In the meantime, Falluja simmers with militant resentment. And while most opponents to Bush have had a full election season to ignore all kinds of realities, sooner or later they are going to have to recognize that when the other 18 or so provinces vote, there is going to be a greater mandate in Iraq than there is here in America - and once and for all they are going to have to admit that Bush did in fact bring Democracy to Iraq. As Agent Smith says, it is inevitable.

But there remains a particularly annoying fascination with the outlayers, and it is at this point that I as an African American suggest how to look at Falluja. Look at Falluja as the heart of the Confederacy. Look at Al Sadr like the head of the KKK. And look at the international coalition in Iraq as you looked at all of the nations in the world who expressed concern at America's old Negro Problem.

Clearly the severity of the oppression and the militance of the resistance in Iraq is much greater than ours was. But if you asked blackfolks in 50s Selma Alabama if they would mind thousands of soldiers rumbling through with tanks to crush the Klan, I think you know the answer. There is nothing of value worth preserving in the ideology of the anti-coalition militant rebellion in Iraq. It is intransigent and serves only to promote chaos, and Americans are wrong to suggest that simply because they are Iraqis, they deserve more consideration than Alawi is giving them. There is no case for the rebellion that stands any reasonable test, indeed they stand against the necessary progress for Iraq.

Moreover, they have produced no equivalent to MLK. Instead they have consigned civilians to thuggery and cosigned the terrorist kidnappings and executions of various outlaws. For these reasons alone they should and will be crushed.

Good riddance.

Posted by mbowen at November 7, 2004 09:53 AM

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Cobb on Selma and Fallujah from Booker Rising
The moderate-conservative Republican blogger uses the civil rights movement narrative to examine the situation in Iraq: "Look at Falluja as the heart of the Confederacy. Look at Al Sadr like the head of the KKK. And look at the international coalitio... [Read More]

Tracked on November 7, 2004 03:10 PM


I responded to your comment on my site.

Posted by: richard at November 7, 2004 10:50 AM

Your comparison of Selma and Falluja is flawed.

1. The KKK and the blacks that lived among them could tell instantly who was who. We cannot look at a citizen of Falluja and know is an insurgent supporter and who is loyal to the new Iraq.

2. The KKK had several decades to organize within the white society and was accepted by political and religious leaders before the 1950s. The Iraqi insurgents and the Falluja citizens share the same religious beliefs (not in the tactics of creating a new Iraq).

3. If the Administration is correct and the insurgents are mainly foreign-born, why would they care if Falluja were plowed under? The insurgents have gained control of this land and will move onto another area. By destroying Falluja, we indirectly support the insurgents who state that the Americans are here to demolish Iraq.

We need to capture the insurgents and remove them from Iraq but a wholesale bombing campaign will only create more problems than it will resolve.

Posted by: EG at November 7, 2004 06:48 PM

My analogy is flawed because we are at war in Iraq and I believe it serves our purposes to crush the rebellion. So with respect to the amount of militancy I'd allow (at Alawi's request) makes Falluja more equal to Dresden in Germany than Selma.

I'm having a good running argument over at PekingDuck.org

It makes no sense at this point to keep blaming Bush for not 'putting enough troops in' especially when you're agreeing that more Iraqi soldiers should be trained. Understand that this is an admission that no greater coalition is to be had. Arab 'brothers' are betting against Iraqis in the same way they have bet against Palestinians. But none of them can take advantage of a weak Iraq because the US is there and will continue to be there.

In the meanwhile there is nobody who says 'there should be / should have been more troops' who is giving a definitive number or might bother to utter the words 'crush the rebellion'. What else do you expect more troops do except to cause more death and destruction and make the cost of rebellion too high such that the rebels sue for peace.

In war, cities harboring the enemy are TAKEN until all the enemy troops come out of the smoking ruins of buildings with their hands up. What else are more troops, Iraqi or otherwise supposed to do - continue diplomatic relations with the likes of Muqtada Al Sadr?

Falluja will be taken and that's how wars are won. It would be more honest if you said you didn't want this war won than to suggest that 'more troops' would generate a different kind of war.

So I'm saying Falluja knows where it stands as a city - it's the place where the burnt bodies decorated the bridge. To the extent that the militia is of Falluja, it's Falluja's problem. So the city will have to fall, just as Baghdad did. I think it has come to that.

I don't expect a wholesale bombing campaign, but I expect it to be ugly.

Posted by: Cobb at November 7, 2004 08:21 PM

My phrase 'more troops' does not refer to Americans but rather trained Iraqis. I realize that January 2005 is scheduled as election time but if Alawi gave the religious leaders (i.e., Santani) an ultimatum to bring the insurgents out of Fullija in one week or the elections will be postponed until March 05 (which Santani does not want). Then Santani will be responsible for the delay, not Alawi. If Santani does not cooperate then go in. The approach needs to appear that Iraqis are in control. This attack of Fullija looks like Alawi is being forced by the Americans to make this decision.

I do not expect that we will be able to crush the rebellion any more than we have crushed it in Afghanistan. Until the Iraqis see political and economic freedom, there will always be a group of people that believe freedom comes through violence.

If the rebellion consisted of only the town of Fullija, then it could be crushed. But less than a month ago did a bomb go off in the Green Zone. Baghdad is not safe enough for journalists to go out in daylight and forget about nightfall.

Now that we went into Iraq, we need to win it (there's no reason to debate the past). But we need to win it, not pretend we won it by the capture of select cities while the rest of the country is in ruins.

Posted by: EG at November 8, 2004 05:27 AM