air america - minor talking point...,
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another herculian effort to address nothing...,
fallujah and the lofty pinnacles of america's editorial boards [*]:
"Even the most starry-eyed should now realize that we have committed this nation to a very tough struggle in a brutally inhospitable place populated not by incipient democracy-lovers but by people who have for generations settled disputes with bullets and bombs and who are still intent on doing so."
Thus intones the editorial page of the Atlanta Journal Constition, not even bothering to viel an openly racist response to outrage. Demonstrating that we all understand eachother this response falls into lockstep with the expectation of the editorial page of Arab News: "many Americans will take the crazed mob in Fallujah as typical of all Iraqis", though I wonder if they were expecting mainstream editorial pages to bite the hook.
There's a virtual parade of editorials marching out from the mainstream press concerning Fallujah, all repeating - almost word for word - the same story. We must "stay the course" and "face with resolve" this terrible burden, killing people in what we consider a more humane and less grizzly manner. We must increase the number of troops (impose the draft or hire mercenary armies) whom we should be less unwilling to sacrifice (more willing to treat more like sandbags), have more honest accounting of the pricetag which is nevertheless a "petty concern", supplicate the shi'ite clerics, and even, most radically, "surrender some pride and degree of control" in order to enlist non-existent international support. This is hardly enough a change in policy to succeed, and if this is the best we can offer we might as well abandon hope.
The WaPo repeats all the above, additionally declaring that the al-Sadr militias "must be disbanded and disarmed before they, too, begin targeting U.S. troops and allied Iraqis", a move that would ensure that they join the insurgency, likely bringing many poorer Shi'ites along with them.
Newsday has the audacity to cite "international law" as justification "to bring the culprit before a military tribunal for swift justice". I expect Newsday has plans to publish an editorial endorsing that Rumsfeld be brought before an international tribunal for his complicity in the genocide of the Kurds, correcting for the double standard.
USA Today's editors, among many others, refer allegorically to the "humanitarian mission to Somalia" - you know, the one where "CIA officials privately concede that the U.S. military may have killed from 7,000 to 10,000 Somalis" in response to this kind of attack. Perhaps we also must be less unwilling to sacrifice more innocent Iraqi lives. Clearly, from what we've seen, there are many who supported the war who think exactly that.
While the SacBee observes that the "insurgents objective, like that of all Iraqis, is an Iraq free of foreign domination" they fail to bother noting the fact that the Bush administration's objective - being exactly the opposite ("the U.S. Embassy, now the largest in the world, is likely to exert influence on the interim Iraqi government", etc.) - is a rectifiable problem in American policy. They shrink from so much as even suggesting that it might be a problem.
This brings us to the Denver Post, which argues that Bush and Kerry "have signaled to terrorists that the strategy of mayhem and horror cannot succeed". They haven't: niether Bush nor Kerry have signed onto the objective of a popularly ruled Iraq free of foreign domination - both acknowledge the insane necessity of incubating a pro-Western Iraqi government - and so they continue signalling to Iraqis that further bloody resistance is necessary to rid Iraq of American influence.
Not one of these editorials endorse positive changes in policy that the Bush administration is very likely to more than third-heartedly persue. Not one of these editorials endorse changes in policy that would sufficiently alter the face of the occupation and concievably give the mission a snowball's chance of succeeding. To pacify a city that hates you, one might suggest, just leave it. I find it most astounding that not one of these papers so much as mention Iraq's economy and the CPA's illegal mis-management thereof: what should be the core concern beyond security is left out completely.
Meanwhile, in Canada...