Fiasco in Fallujah

FIASCO IN FALLUJAH….Remember the decision back in April to withdraw U.S. forces from Fallujah and replace them with an all-Iraqi “Fallujah Protection Army”? Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work:

“The Fallujah Brigade is done, over,” said Marine Col. Jerry L. Durrant, who oversees the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s involvement with Iraqi security forces. “The whole Fallujah Brigade thing was a fiasco. Initially it worked out OK, but it wasn’t a good idea for very long.”

….With the demise of the Fallujah Brigade, the Marines are left with no attractive options for rooting out Fallujah’s entrenched insurgency, a movement that has spread to surrounding villages and left the interim Iraqi government without control of the nation’s largest cities west of Baghdad, the capital. Thousands of Marines remain based as close as two miles from Fallujah, but the insurgents — local and foreign fighters backed by firebrand Sunni Muslim clerics — have had several months to dig in and make it more difficult for American or Iraqi government forces to launch a ground attack.

It’s increasingly clear that President Bush has no idea what to do in Iraq. He’d like to turn it into a democratic beacon for the Middle East, but he doesn’t know how. So all he can do is chant “stay the course” and hope that no one catches on to how bad things are on the ground before November 2.

Israel has infinitely better intelligence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than we do in Iraq, and even so they haven’t been able to halt the guerrilla warfare and suicide bombings there in 30 years of trying. Increasingly, it looks like my worst fears are coming true and Iraq is becoming America’s version of the West Bank: intractable, deadly, and accomplishing little except acting as a breeding ground for ever more terrorists.

Wrong war at the wrong time indeed.