The Corner

Greetings From Baghdad

An officer currently stationed in Baghdad writes:

Jonah,

I’ve been reading the news reports about the uprisings here in Baghdad and

the killings in Fallujah. The reports are true, but what is frustrating is

the reporting about the U.S. military’s reaction to these despicable acts.

In Fallujah, I suppose we could have sent armor into the city supported by

ground troops to get the bodies back and break up the resulting

“demonstration”, but when we met opposition from the locals should we have

overwhelmed them with superior firepower? That would have played very well

on the nightly news shows – “U.S. troops massacre local populace killing

hundreds to liberate 4 bodies” or some such nonsense. Everyone here on the

ground was disgusted and ready to go up and open the big can of whoop-ass,

but the problem is that even in Fallujah there are people sympathetic to us

and who deserve freedom. These cretins hide among them and there is nothing

to distinguish the good guys from the bad. The tactical response currently

occurring will hopefully cause more of the cretins to scurry around in the

open so we can kill them and move forward to the 30 June deadline.

Another aspect that needs to be kept in mind is that the locals expect more

from the U.S. The power generation capability is back at least to pre-war

levels and the fuel distribution networks and rail networks are closely

monitored, but being “as good as Saddam” is not what is expected. I think

after the initial euphoria, things settled down and the reaction now is more

along the lines of “What have you done for me lately?”. I hope that once

the security situation is stabilized more businesses will locate here and

capital will flow in. The establishment of a judiciary to enforce property

rights will also be a leap forward. At that point I hope we can turn the

previous question back on them and ask “What have you done for yourself

lately?”. We need to stop people from asking government to solve their

problems … but I guess we’re facing that same thing in the U.S. so I can’t

complain too much about that.

Sorry about rambling, but it has been a long night and I desperately need

sleep. Hope everything is going well with you and your family….