It took over a year and goodness knows how many dead but somebody finally figured out how to do things in Iraq.
Bellon asserted that previous attempts to win trust from Iraqis suspicious of US intentions had telegraphed weakness by asking, ” ‘What are your needs? What are your emotional needs?’ All this Oprah [stuff],” he said. “They want to figure out who the dominant tribe is and say, ‘I’m with you.’ We need to be the benevolent, dominant tribe.
From the story it looks like we are doing things right in Fallujah. One more hunk of evidence:
“They’re never going to like us,” he added, echoing other Marine commanders who cautioned against raising hopes that Fallujans would warmly welcome troops when they return to ruined houses and rubble-strewn streets. The goal, Bellon said, is “mutual respect.”
This will scare the hell out of the liberals but…
Ultimately, the fate of Iraq rests not in our hands, but in the hands of Iraqis. We need to settle things down before a government can be built. I’m sure a bunch of whiny liberals will go apoplectic that we are building a police state– blind to the fact that this is a temporary measure.
(ooops a single quote is turning into a rant)
“I think our expectations have been too high for a nascent government to be perfectly organized” and ready for such a complex task, Colonel Mike Shupp, the regimental commander, said at his headquarters in downtown Fallujah.
EXACTLY- Let’s face reality. The people of Iraq are screwed in the head democracy (freedom) wise. They’ve never known it, how can they be expected to reproduce what they have never seen? That is not to say they are incapable and certainly not to say they are unworthy. Just to say that we need to be more pragmatic.
Read the whole thing. It sounds like we are learning a few things. I’ve long contended the way to win in Iraq was to teach the locals that we can be their best friend or their worst nightmare. Goodness knows we have the budget and the firepower to be both.
But so far we’ve spent more time on the “best friend” part and failed to gain the respect of the Iraqis. Sadly, a condition of life over there is that fear is a tool. I’m not saying we need them to fear us but a little heathy respect will go a long way.