Elephants and Mice
by Daniel Sargis
29 April 2004
If the U.S. can’t act decisively, what level of security does that offer the silent majority of the Iraqi population?
So the insurgent
plagued city of Fallujah is under siege. For the past week, “a fragile
and often violated cease-fire” has been buying time for what the Americans
hope will be a “political solution” in lieu of an invasion. Hasn’t
Iraq already been invaded...or was that the Mr. Rogers version.
In all likelihood, this cease-fire will end with the same results as the
2001 Tora Bora cease-fire and this year’s cease-fire in the White Mountain
Afghan border region of Pakistan. The terrorists agree to these silly
things and just never honor them. Cease-fires are one-sided timeouts
where the terrorists regroup and/or escape. The Americans just sit
around and either get shot or kidnapped. The United States has become
a squeaking elephant.
In December of 2001, al-Qaeda representatives negotiated a cease-fire with
commanders from the Northern Alliance in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan.
The hope was that, “...the al-Qaeda fighters will descend from the canyon
to an alliance checkpoint where they will disarm and be searched.”
After endlessly negotiating the terms of surrender and an additional 48 hours
added to the cease-fire deadline, “Talk of surrender...vanished in a hail
of bombs, artillery and gunfire.” Al-Qaeda used the cease-fire dodge
as, ‘‘a trick, apparently designed to give senior leaders a chance to escape....”
And vanish they did.
In March of 2004, the Pakistan military thought it was hot on the trail of
al-Qaeda number two...Ayman al-Zawahri. Since the Afghanis had allowed
al-Qaeda leadership to escape from Tora Bora in Pakistan in 2001, payback
was in order. The Pakistani army declared a cease-fire with the al-Qaeda
fighters near the Afghan border. The hope was that Pakistani tribal
elders could negotiate the terrorists’ surrender. Al-Qaeda fighters
used the cease-fire opportunity to duck into their tunnels and escape back
into Afghanistan. Are we starting to see a pattern here?
A skeptical person might think that both our Muslim friends and enemies are
playing games with the good intentions of the U.S. In each of these
cease-fire fiascos, Americans sat around reading rule books and returned
fire only if threatened. In each of these situations, the cease-fire
was used as a vehicle to save terrorist lives at the expense of American
lives. We are an elephant clutching the Marquis of Queensberry Rules...afraid
of angering a mouse.
The situations in Fallujah and Najaf are little different. The U.S.
is presently operating under what is euphemistically referred to as a cease-fire
in both Iraqi cites. The U.S. wants to pacify these two cities and
avoid inflaming Iraqi public opinion. Predictably, “Marine commanders
said they had little doubt insurgents were likewise using the pause to dig
in for combat.” These folks play soccer with decapitated American heads
and the U.S. fears “inflaming Iraqi public opinion?” Let’s all retire
Cutting to the quick...what kind of sick game is this? America is afraid
of bombing mosques that have been converted into armed fortresses.
The terrorists hide behind their religion like a bully hides behind his mommy’s
apron. If these mosques are such holy places and if Muslims are such
peace-loving people...how can they, the Iraqi Muslims, allow insurgents to
desecrate their holiest places? If the Iraqis care so fervently about
holy shrines...let them keep them holy.
Once the word of God is replaced by the crack of an AK-47...a Mosque becomes
just another building. And...it isn’t worth the politically correct
slaughter of American forces. Did a little religion prevent predominantly
Christian pilots from firebombing Dresden’s Frauenkirche (Our Lady's
Church) in WWII? Did a fear of angering civilians prevent the wholesale
destruction of Berlin in the final days of Nazi Germany?
The dirty little secret that nobody wishes to discuss is that America is
not at war...this country is being sucked into another idiotic and politically
orchestrated peace-keeping mission. Every time the U.S. tries its hand
at peace-keeping...the results are dead Americans and natives dancing on
those dead bodies...Good morning Mogadishu.
A military is meant to fight wars. If the Iraqis fail (and they have)
at capitalizing on the opportunity to put their own house in civilized order...then
the U.S. is left with no choice.
Commencing with the barbaric slaughter of four Americans in Fallujah, the
U.S. military should have been unleashed to decisively quell the insurrection
with swift soldierly action. Putting U.S. troops in the murky quicksand
of imaginary peace-keeping will only cost more lives on both sides of the
It is fairly straight-forward. Fortify a mosque and the mosque becomes
a fortress. Political correctness in war always seems to be practiced
by those who are not doing the dying. Bullies are to be slapped silly...not
enabled. Or has America become an elephant living in fear of a mouse.
And speaking of mice.... What business does the U.S. have in Iraq if
its game plan can be frustrated by the bulbous little Moqtada Sadr?
Sadr, the warrior cleric in Najaf, seems mesmerized by his egocentricity.
Or, in his own fantasy, “The Americans should know that the people will unleash
the fires of hell against them if anything happens to me.” Perhaps
Sadr is begging for a lesson in the true “fires of hell”...those that come
from the belly of an AC-130.
The future of Iraq and U.S. credibility will be decided in the next several
days. If the U.S. can’t act decisively, what level of security does
that offer the silent majority of the Iraqi population? Ever wonder
what might have happened if the Soviets had stalled their advance on Berlin
while Hitler threatened the “fires of hell” from his Bunker? If you’re
going to fight a war...you better have the guts to win it!
Daniel Sargis, a freelance writer, is a principal in a private investment development company. His website is dansargis.org.
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