realistic options for fallujah
turns out, fallujah is still on the map. does anybody else see this as a problem? how many american soldiers have died there over the past few weeks while we maintain this ridiculous one-sided cease fire? the folks over on the hill better figure this shit out in a big frigging hurry, it's bad politically and it's a horrible reality. american soldiers are dying because we're playing this asinine game of detente. the way i see it, there is four options, each with their pros and cons:
carry on with the "cease fire" (aka the ostrich defense): it is my opinion that this has gone on quite long enough, as stated above. the situation will only get worse, not better, and the longer we stand around with our fingers in our ears pretending we don't hear the screaming from overseas the worse it will get. it has the political upside of being able to claim it's not your fault because you aren't doing anything (see: bill clinton), but last time i checked we had a cowboy in office. time to show some gunslinger, or get the hell outta dodge.
pull out (aka the vietnam defense): this has the upside of no more deaths for us, and no more deaths caused by us. this is a big upside, but there are several cons...first, it sets a dangerous precedent (see: mogudishu) that if you hit us hard enough, we'll run. second, leaving the town to it's own devices is an almost guaranteed civil war that would arguably be our fault, and would be bad for the country as a whole. politically, george bush gets a big stain on that gunslinger image that, no matter how much the french hate, is a big part of why people like him. we want a pussy in office, we'll vote democrat. it is also an admission on his part that he may have bit off more than he could chew here, vindicating the aforementioned pussies in what they've been saying all along.
bomb 'em (aka shock 'n awe v 2.0): pull back, pull out all american troops, and flatten the city. there's a show of strength for ya. if overwhelming force is what is called for, we can certainly bring it. and it's worked in the past (see: dresden) to break the back of an enemy, but i don't think this is one of those situations. neverminding the moral implications of mass random violence, it's guaranteed to get rid of all the terrorists in fallujah, but also guaranteed to piss off a bunch of other folks, and not just the french. i don't buy much into the "stop, you're just making them angry" schtick, but there does come a point where an individual can only stand so much before they fight back, and i think leveling a city of 30,000 may be that breaking point for many people. why not just bomb parts? what parts? there is no military targets there, so just leveling out a part of the city has the dual downsides of not ending the problem (they're still there) and pissing off everybody in the city. and of course politically, george bush can write off all but the most extreme hawk votes, and i don't think i could handle the increase in the whine factor from the left.
infantry assault (aka snatch & grab, or the avon method): now, i don't mean patrolling the streets, waiting for them to come to us. i mean taking the city, section by section, kicking in every door and checking every house. no more "please, mr. terrorist, give us your guns and bombs," go in and find them. find the people that have them, and find the people that use them. the downside of this is the high risk of american deaths, almost a few are guaranteed, and some civilian deaths. would it piss some folks off? sure, but they'd get over it. it sucks to have booted american troops trampling your newfound civil rights, but at least you're still breathing. the american casualties could potentially be very high, but how many have died trying to maintain a friendly peace?
it's time to move forward in this war, standing still isn't really standing still, since the situation continues to fester, to deteriorate, all around us. it is past time to decide how we, the world police force, want to react to difficult situations in the 21st century...by sticking our heads in the sands, or by appeasement and retreat, or by bringing the fight to their home field. we'll win, every time, if we have the balls to do it properly. there is nothing out there today that can stop the american military, if the politicians decide to use it. not as a bandage, or as a shield, but as a sword, the thing that our military is best at being.