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View Diary: White Phosphorus, Continued (102 comments)

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  •  Vendetta (none)
    It seems this was a vendetta to make up for the original failure with Falluja.  The original taking of Falluja was a miserable failure with the military taking a huge casualty hit.  A bad mark on the administration, ergo "We lost it once we are damn sure not to lose it again."  

    IMOHO By the second invasion, the novelty of civillian deaths (and the outrage thereof) had past.  Therefore, the original care to protect the innocent for publicity's sake was thrown to the wayside.  

    •  I'm not really sure... (none)

      Why we invaded at all. Why not just siege the city and make the inhabitants come out?

      Seriously, why go in at all. We control the desert. If a place becomes a hive of activity, just establish a perimiter, and make everyone come out. Then you can sift through the people, and when you're confident that everyone is out, you can search the city too. Seems like a no brainer. It's not fast, but we had plenty of time. Over the course of a year or two, it would have worked everywhere except the one or two cities too large for it.

      And if the insurgents hand stayed there, and killed the population, well then at least it would be on their hands, not ours.

      •  Ethnic Cleansing (none)
        is a time-honored method to gain control of oil-fields.  And it's working in the Sudan, too (as we speak).

        Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

        by Kingsmeg on Fri Nov 25, 2005 at 10:23:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  On whose hands? (none)
        Laying siege to the city may well have resulted in more deaths as it seems likely to me that there would have been virtually no survivors and remaining innocents would have died of starvation & dehydration (the insurgents are unlikely to allocate food rations to innocents rather than to themselves) or by being murdered by the insurgents. It's unlikely that the insurgents would have allowed people to leave since every one that left would have somewhat increased the chances of an assault. Remember, this opponent often seems to consider their own individual deaths as a noble result.

        If we had done this, I suspect there would have been tens of thousands of posts here over the one or two year siege that would have complained about how our siege was killing innocents and causing horrible deaths either by starvation & dehydration or at the hands of the insurgents. I suspect the prevailing attitude here would not have been that the deaths would have been "on the insurgents hands".

        •  I was assuming that most people would be able.. (none)

          To make it out of the city. Offer food and water for anyone who crosses the lines, set them up in tents or whatever for the few weeks while you empty the city. Heck, many of them could be sent off to live with their relatives nearby. The insurgents would have a hard time keeping people in, and if they did, at least it would be them firing on the population, not us. There is something to be said for that. If the insurgents left with the population, that would be fine, because they would have to leave their weapons behind. Sweep the city with metal detectors, and search it carefully, then let the people back in, and put checkpoints around it to keep weapons from infiltrating back into the city.
      •  Don't understand your point (none)
        "We control the desert."

        We control the desert?  If that were the case the war would have been won.  How exactly do you come by your "control" theory? And if that is the case well surely the war would have been won.

        "If a place becomes a hive of activity, just establish a perimiter, and make everyone come out."

        Great idea, lets establish a Green Zone.  Yup that has been done... Too bad the rest of the country is a c;uster f;;k.

        •  I don't think you're quite understanding... (none)

          On the open desert, resistence is futile. This is very much been shown. Where are the problem areas? They are the cities, not the desert expanses. You cannot defeat a technologically and numerically superior force in the open desert, you need obstacles, like a city or a mountain range.

          Consequently, I would think that the strategy would be self evident. The individual cities in Iraq are largly separated by expanses of desert, those are easy to secure. Just surround each city, request that the people come out. As they do, give them a once over with a metal detector, and then wait until the city is depopulated, and sweep through it. House by house, get the owner of the house to go inside with you and search it for weapons. When you're done, leave those people alone, and move to the next block. In this manner, cities can be "cleaned" one by one, and all that would be required is some checkpoints in the desert to prevent contamination between clean and dirty zones. It wouldn't work everywhere, but it would probably work fairly well in any city as small as Falluja.

          I'm not saying it would be easy, merely that I don't really know why we would ever feel the need to enter a city that wasn't emptied of people first.

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