Wednesday, April 07, 2004
The fighting has begun in Fallujah and elsewhere as the coalition forces are attempting to stamp out the insurgency that has been causing so much trouble in the Sunni Triangle. They are also trying to rein in the al-Masr militia, the private army of a radical Shiite cleric.
Make no mistake, these are the battles that will decide whether our efforts in Iraq succeed or fail. Fallujah was relatively untouched in the initial fighting. Those Sunni, many ex-Baathist sympathizers, have not truly tasted defeat. And the al-Masr militia, funded in part by Iran, must also be quashed if Iraq is to be free of trouble in the future.
But despite these ongoing battles, the overall picture of Iraq is positive. The Kurdish north is thriving. The senior Shiite leaders are no fans of al-Masr and, although not saying so, are happy to see them taken down.
The US and her allies MUST stay and finish this job. If we do not, the ramifications are immense. At the least, terror organizations will see that America can't stomach casualties in her armed forces. That will make our word worthless and open us up to attack upon attack.