As I suspected, all is clear as mud at this point. Yeah, the coalition is rolling in. Yeah, some Iraqis are surrendering, some are not, some are fighting in civilian clothes, some are faking surrenders and then shooting a la Japanese practice in WWII. Some of the places in Iraq our soldiers are being cheered as liberators, some, apparently, not.
Not owning a TV is helpful in situations like this. The noise to signal ratio is astronomical. I don’t need to see the same visual images 70 or 100 times. That adds nothing to my comprehension or analysis of what is going on.
The only noteworthy items I can cull so far from the blizzard of “news” are (1) the Iraqis are apparently torturing and/or executing captured troops, and (2) Chirac is still going on about the “illegal” war and insisting that the U.N. run Iraq after the war. The first, if true, is absolutely terrible. But, it is not surprising. That is their ordinary way to treat people whom they have in custody. But it is really stupid. They think we are weak, cowardly people who will be intimidated and scared off by their mistreatment of our prisoners. But all it will do is make ordinary Americans really, really mad. I am sure our leftists and “peace” protesters will be sympathetic to the torturers, and say that they have been driven mad by Bush’s aggression, so their atrocities are “society’s fault.” But no one else will think like that. On point two, NRO’s corner had a post about French people jeering at the photos of dead Americans. Laugh now, laugh now. We will neither forgive nor forget. Which leads me to Chirac. It is remarkable that he is persevering in his opposition. I think he is scared shitless about the way this is working out. Good. That man is the enemy. His government is the enemy. I hope our government acts accordingly as soon as opportunity permits.
Several European friends are all sending me emails indicationg their disgust with Bush, etc. It seems the whole world is against Uncle Sam on this one. This realization caused me to pause and reflect, and I reached the conclusion that the many well-intentioned and thoughtful people who oppose the war are entitled to some sense that those of us who support the war have tried to understand their feelings and have taken their concerns seriously. Upon further reflection, I concluded that the best way to share my own feelings was to offer all such people what is deepest in my heart at this moment — a nice big Jacksonian “fuck you.”
Here’s my prediction for the next week based on almost nothing: This thing is not going to be anything like painless. There will be hard fighting. Many in Iraq are going to lose everything when Saddam goes, so they have nothing to lose. They’ll fight to the death. So, the sooner our people kill such people, the better off we’ll all be. But it won’t be easy.
Then, much painful work will remain to be done, in an atmosphere of severe international hostility. Bush is going to have a tough time. But, hey, he wanted this job. Go get ’em, tiger.
Here is a thought a little ahead of time. The anti-war crowd is extremely well-organized, networked, and effective. They are actually putting on larger and larger demos. When our troops come home, the people who backed the war will have to do a better job of organizing demonstrations and getting people onto the street. Otherwise, there is going to be nothing waiting for the returning troops but crowds three ranks deep shouting “murderer,” and a hail of flying spit from the anti-war crowd.
Let’s not let that happen.