Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Iraq's Auschwitz; The CIA's Waterloo

"Fallujah had been suffocated by the Mujahidin. Anyone considered suspicious would be slaughtered. We would see unknown corpses around the city all the time." - Fallujah resident and survivor.

"They would wear black masks, carry rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs, and search streets and alleys. . .they executed five men one day and seven another" - Iyad Assam, 24.

The picture emerging from the aftermath of the Fallujah battle is one not of the suppression of a popular insurgency, so benignly described by Chris Matthews, but as the liberation of a terrorized populace who were subject to the imposition of the pure Islamist creed.

The discovery of human abattoirs, executed and discarded corpses, and the primeval decrees of the Mujahidin Advisory Council conjure up the horrors of another dark era in humankind's presumed march toward enlightenment: Fallujah is Iraq's Auschwitz.

Can we now retire the canard that Iraq is not central to the war on terror?

Do we need any more evidence that this is a civilizational clash which requires victory, not accommodation?

But our friend Mr. Chirac says our policies are making things worse. Landing at Normandy and driving through the Rhine made things worse too.

Meanwhile, it's clear that the careerists and establishment-types in the CIA have finally been called into account. The Global War on Terror is likely to get more hot, not less, and the methods required to ferret out Islamist thugs aren't likely to pass Frank Church's rules of etiquette.

The timidity of the terror war in the 90s, and the intelligence failures of 9/11 and Iraq show the limits of technical intelligence gathering and clinical analysis - Bush and Goss are cleaning house to make way for a new generation of risk-takers. From Iraq's Auschwitz to the CIA establishment's Waterloo, the war rages on.