BAGHDAD, IRAQ (15 JUNE, 2003) – In order to isolate and defeat remaining pockets of resistance seeking to delay the transition to a peaceful and stable Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force 7 initiated Operation Desert Scorpion today. ... Combat operations will be followed by synchronized stability and humanitarian operations designed to assist a transition to Iraqi self-rule. These include engineer and civil affairs initiatives to repair damaged infrastructure, support the growth of police forces and local government and improve the lives of Iraq’s citizens.
It's what is implied by this statement that's interesting. There's a follow-on pacification effort behind the military strike. The US isn't passing through: it's taking over at the grassroots. The police forces and local government officials who come in the wake of Desert Scorpion must root out the Ba'athists. Their lives literally depend on it.
It's also interesting to note that ever since the US forces started going on the offensive, now that they have the capacity to both police Iraq and attack, that casualties from Ba'athist attacks have declined. No combat deaths in Peninsula Strike or Desert Scorpion so far. The best the Ba'athists have been able to do is damage a truck (lead story in the Independent) and a helicopter. The Left will say, 'but this is the start of another Vietnam!'. The Left should remember that the US Army never lost a single major battle in Vietnam. And this time, there are no sanctuaries in Cambodia or Laos. The better analogue is US operations against Communist guerillas in post-World War 2 South Korea. Without Lyndon Johnson and with Harry Truman, guess who won that one? And the Left, by the way, are no longer players on the world revolutionary stage. They are has-beens, now suceeded by radical Islam. It's time to take down that flyblown poster of Che Guevara, boys. Even grandpa can't remember who he was.
Pans in the Fire
President Bush is calling for the "international community" (read Europe) to clamp down on Hamas. As the Belmont Club has often asserted, Western Europe is a major political theater of operations in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In order to defeat the terrorists, the United States must successfully wage political warfare in Europe. Pushing the Israelis back gives him the leverage to ask the Euros, how 'bout it, bub? In the same speech, President Bush encouraged the demonstrations in Iran, calling them a step on the road to freedom. President Bush has stepped into the glare of the casino lights and put his money on a color. Now history is spinning the wheel. He may have some idea where the wheel might stop. Either that or he will keep betting on the same color at double the money till it comes up. Will Iran go back to the 8th century or will it pop into the 21st. How 'bout it, bub?