"BAGHDAD, Iraq – Bomb blasts killed six Marines in western Iraq, and U.S. forces killed 29 militants in U.S. offensives aimed at uprooting al-Qaida insurgents ahead of the country’s vote on a new constitution, the military said Friday." Yahoo News
"My Time In Hell" was a book and then a television production about the Second World War in the Pacific. Lee Marvin, a WW2 combat marine narrated the TV show. At the end he said that as they died off it would be appropriate for the survivors to announce their arrival at the Pearly Gates with the words. "Another Marine reporting, sir. I’ve served my time in hell." Now they have hell on the Euphrates. They, and their Navy medical corpsmen brothers deserve the gratitude of us all.
Yesterday, the president spoke. He said many things, but the one that stands out in my mind is his repeated insistence that the enemy in Iraq is ONE and that this enemy is the international jihadi movement. Recently, a new chief military intelligence officer in Baghdad has taken to saying the same thing. Everyone I know who is recently back from Iraq says that this is not true, that in fact AQ Iraq and its allies are a small portion of the total strength among the insurgencies although they make a lot of noise and kill many. I think the president and the general in Baghdad are wrong about this. I think it is clear to everyone fighting the insurgents that what the president and the general have said is untrue.
Why would they say that?
The president’s rationale for intervention in Iraq has disintegrated into progressively more embarassing disarray. WMD? Out. AQ-Saddam Alliance? Out. Fight them there rather than in Cleveland? Madrid and London pretty much defeat that argument. Fightng Terrorism wherever we find it? the number of lethal terrorist incidents is dramatically up the last two years. What is left? What is left is the assertion (made yesterday) that Iraq is THE central battlefield in the war against religious fanatics (now specifically Islamic) who are the most fell enemy the human race has faced in millennia, and who threaten the very existence of life as we know it. It is interestng if a few thousand jihadis from 3rd world countries are that potent. Interesting.
In any event, this assertion is the president’s last ditch defense against those wish him ill as well as those afflicted with sadness because more marines and soldiers are reporting for duty in heaven every day.
If the majority of the insurgents are Iraqis fighting us for specifically Iraqi reasons, then the president’s argument over Iraq falls to bits. He doesn’t have many more places of refuge in his rhetoric.
The military intelligence general in Baghdad?" Oh, well…