Sunday, May 02, 2004

Largely lost in the media coverage of events in Falluja is why we seiged Fallujah in the first place. But a look the reason we were there, our objectives, and the current state of affairs is quite revealing.

After the March 31st killing and mutilation of American contractors in Iraq


the U.S. besieged Falluja:

Speaking in Baghdad, Mr Bremer said the deaths of the Americans and their "despicable" mutilation - recorded by cameramen - would not "derail the march toward stability and democracy" in Iraq.

US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy head of coalition operations, said coalition forces "will respond" to the attack.

"They are going to hunt down the people responsible for his bestial act.

"It will be at a time and a place of our choosing. It will be methodical, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming," he said.

However, after weeks of surrounding Falluja, not only are Americans leaving without having found those responsible for killing the contractors, but it appears they are leaving the city in the hands of Generals and members of Saddam's military, a military which fought two wars against the United States. Are we to expect these men to suddenly come to the defense of the United States now?

But it gets even worse. As part of the agreement,

[Sheik Mohammed] Yassin, a Sunni cleric close to the negotiations, revealed that American forces released two of Fallouja's most prominent detainees — Sheik Jamal Shaker Nazzal and Sheik Barakat Saadon Essawi, a tribal leader. Both men had been arrested late last year for "anti-coalition activities" and Nazzal had sheltered a Yemeni, who was a suspected operative for the Al Qaeda terrorist network, according to the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, which occupied Fallouja for six months before turning over its charge to the Marines last month.

So, we attacked Falluja to get the guys who killed our contractors. Then, we

1.) Gave up on Falluja without finding the killers and
2.) turned it over to Generals and members of Saddam's military and
3.) to sweeten the deal, we let a guy go who we thought sheltered an Al-Qaeda operative.

Please, does anybody have a clue what is going on here? I think our troops are in serious, serious trouble in Iraq, and we are not being told of the gravity of the situation. What else could explain this stuff?

Along those lines, now it's not even clear who is control in Falluja.


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