Printer friendly version

March 31, 2004

The Mogadishu Strategy Can't Be Allowed to Work

The pictures of those Fallujahideen savages in Iraq evoked such an emotion that holding comment seemed prudent. (For one thing, I've the presence of mind to note that, by "savages," I mean to indicate only the specific people involved.) How we should react officially is complicated. Above all, we cannot retreat. However, we don't want to respond such that deprivations push fence-sitters and otherwise malleable Iraqis toward the scumbags.

Dan Darling offers a reasonable suggestion:

Might I suggest that Fallujah be cordoned off immediately, strict curfews imposed, and house-to-house searches instituted after 24 hour weapons amnesty, after which time anyone found to be possessing such weapons be promptly arrested. Then announce that any planned improvements or reconstruction efforts to the town will be indefinitely suspended and those resources redirected to communities whose populations are more supportive of the coalition's efforts. Offer a $2,000 reward for the perpetrators and make it quite clear to the general populace that the only thing they're going to get is food until they cough up the perpetrators.

He goes on to suggest hanging the perpetrators from the same bridge as they hung the American citizens. That, I'd say, goes a bit far. We want to present a clear difference in choices between ourselves and the return of the Ba'athists. But it might present some worthwhile symbolism to hang something there... a sign, an effigy of Saddam, or something.

Posted by Justin Katz at March 31, 2004 10:44 PM
Middle East