05 January 2008

Fallujah is the Model?

NBC reports on how peaceful Fallujah has become in a piece you can see here, Fallajuh in Transition.

Most troubling is how unquestioning they are about how this city has become so peaceful. Quite simply, U.S. Marines monitor all traffic in and out of the city through five check points. Everyone must have a photo ID and bags, purses, and pockets are searched. Violence has dropped by 90%.

I find two things hard to imagine. One, that violence would have much room for expression here. Two, that Fallajuh looks anything like the model of what Americans thought they were buying when sold on the notion of democracy in the Middle East. Imagine that each time you entered your town or city, you had to go through the equivalent of airport security.

There are so many problems with offering Fallajuh as a model of what should be, but I will focus only on one. While this strategy makes the city more peaceful, its success depends on U.S. Marines standing guard year after year. Peace in Fallujah depends on our maintaining a police state indefinitely. As I've previously written, this suggests that even as measures of violence will drop with the troop escalation, this strategy just gets us further into the brier patch.

I don't know how we can reach any conclusion other than this: we've freed the Iraqi people from the militaristic rule of a despot for the militaristic rule of an American bureaucracy. That NBC can report on this as if it is a success is to show how much this administration and the press have distorted the notions of freedom and democracy or even what is worth fighting for.


Anonymous said...

The carpet bombing and assault on Fallujah that preceded this wonderful transition killed an estimated 15,000 civilians, and the US now admits to using "white phosphorous" illegally as a chemical weapon.

This is the sort of thing (ostensibly) that Saddam Hussein was hanged for.

Ron Davison said...

what a difference if only Bush had a sense of shame.

cce said...

You are sooo right. And listening to the Democratic nominees it sounds as if Fallajuh will be abandoned to its warring forces if Obama, Edwards, Richardson or Clinton should take the helm. Good old W has us between a rock and a hard place there. I don't envy any of the presidential hopefuls the job of untangling the mess.

David said...

Oh help, the "we're mowing innocents down" crowd is alive and well on your blog. Any news that's positive has to be contrived, a lie, some distortion. There can be no good anywhere in Iraq and damn NBC for reporting anything but death and destruction. Ours that is.

It's just soooo hard for you (collectively and some personally) to get your minds around this I know. Don't worry though, Gen Petraeus has it figured out just like Eisenhower and MacArthur before him. I admit he wasn't given the job soon enough.

We have never in my experience imposed a militaristic rule run by American bureaucrats (God help us) on any country once our mission was completed (given that it was defined well enough). I don't thnk Gen Petaeus has that objective.

However, because of some americans like a few evident here, even though an action or war wasn't completed, we instead withdrew or surrendered and rewrote history to suit us.

We've always left be it wise or not. I don't think I can change the zany (some, not all) views of you and your regulars but I feel I must weigh in so that in saying or writing it you don't think you're correct.

Ron Davison said...

the hard work of scramling eggs is best done with time machines.

Glad you weighed in. I do think that this kind of force is necessary, given the conditions. For me, though, that's proof that we ought not to put our name on such efforts. This is, like it or not, an advertisement to the middle east about what we're advocating for other countries.