Saturday, September 11, 2004

Flip flop in Fallujah

California bans necrophilia. Plan your vacations accordingly.

The attempt at the Vietnamization of Fallujah is declared a failure, and the “Fallujah Brigade” dissolved. This was the body created to provide the thinnest of cover for the US’s failure to subdue the city. The US gave a motley group of insurgents, members of Saddam Hussein’s military weapons and vehicles, which they funnily enough don’t seem to be giving back now that they’ve been fired, and put them under the command of a whole series of former generals. It was always unlikely that such a body would serve the interests of the US rather than those of the Resistance, and they haven’t. If they had, the residents of Fallujah would have torn them to pieces. Since Western reporters haven’t been able to get near Fallujah, little has been written about this experiment.

I’ve lost track of the generals appointed to lead the brigade; the LA Times refers to a General Wael as “the brigade’s latest leader,” without mentioning his predecessors, the first of whom was evidently appointed without anyone looking at his file and who then showed up in a Republican Guard uniform and was quickly fired, to be replaced by another of Saddam’s 11,000 generals, who they thought had been an exile, but really wasn’t... for all I know, since then they’ve been replaced once a week, like No. 2’s on “The Prisoner.”

The LAT says the decision to dissolve the brigade was “agreed to by the interim Iraqi government and the Marines,” which makes the decision sound immaculately conceived. Basically, the US just repeated the error it made in dissolving the Iraqi army, only this time the weapons the cashiered troops are bringing with them into the resistance were provided by the American taxpayers. The US has returned to the time-honored method of winning the hearts and minds of Fallujans, bombing the shit out of them.

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