Ralp Peters this morning, on the Fallujah precedent:
We bragged publicly that we would avenge the mutilation of those four contractors at the hands of Fallujah’s thugs. We told the world we would not stop until the city was cleansed of insurgents. And, of course, we swore we would never negotiate with terrorists.
What did we actually do? We negotiated with terrorists, re-empowered Saddam’s thugs in uniform and ran away as quickly as we could go. The Marines insist they could have won, had they been allowed to fight. That’s unquestionably true, but, as North Vietnam’s senior general once pointed out about a different war, it’s also irrelevant.
The diplomats claim we backed down to spare the innocent people of Fallujah. But they didn’t lift a finger as the city’s Arab fanatics drove out Fallujah’s Kurdish population. And how does it benefit the average citizen to leave gunmen in control – protected now by Ba’athist thugs who tell us mockingly that there “aren’t any foreign fighters in the city”? Right. And there are no politicians in Washington.
Our threats have begun to sound as hollow as those made by Khadafy in his prime. Our power means nothing unless we are willing to use it decisively. The truth is that those heroic young Marines who died in the initial combat encounters in Fallujah lost their lives for nothing. Frightened, politicized leaders squandered the advantages gained by their sacrifice.
And our enemies are telling the Muslim world that they fought the U.S. military to a standstill. For once, they’re telling the truth. It doesn’t matter that they won politically, not militarily. They won.
The whole thing is here.