June 23, 2004


Army unit claims victory over sheik (Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times, 6/23/04)

Once he had targets, Gen. Dempsey could then map a battle plan for entering four key cities — Karbala, Najaf, Kufa and Diwaniyah. This would be a counterinsurgency fought with 70-ton M-1 Abrams tanks and aerial gunships overhead. It would not be the lightning movements of clandestine commandos, but rather all the brute force the Army could muster, directed at narrowly defined targets.

Last week, Sheik al-Sadr surrendered. He called on what was left of his men to cease operations and said he may one day seek public office in a democratic Iraq.

Gen. Hertling said Mahdi's Army is defeated, according the Army's doctrinal definition of defeat. A few stragglers might be able to fire a rocket-propelled grenade, he said, but noted: "Do they have the capability of launching any kind of offensive operation? Absolutely not."

The division estimates it killed at least several thousand militia members.

This article should be read in full to see the Army react quickly with new tactics to a new situation, ending with a devastated enemy and our victorious army. Also, note the great help received from the Iraqis, including clerics, then remember the universal pessimism with which Sadr's "uprising" was greated in the western press.

Posted by David Cohen at June 23, 2004 2:04 PM

Allow me to be the first to welcome the return of the Powell Doctrine.


Posted by: H.D. Miller at June 23, 2004 2:09 PM

Pessimism - bullpuckey! The Western press was elated that the black-dressed radicals were going to stop the Army and George Bush in their tracks.

Too bad there weren't some embeds with those tanks, although this is the real fighting of the war, not the muted resistance of the invasion. The reporters would not have enjoyed it nearly as much.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 23, 2004 2:57 PM

Not to worry. They'll soon find other evidence of quagmire. (I have a feeling all the reasons have been prepared in advance.)

Besides, they've claimed quagmire so often and so convincingly (at least to themselves), that a quagmire it must be, even if there's no proof.

(Wonderland is alive and well.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 23, 2004 3:16 PM

Barry, Jim - the quagmire attitude was expected from the left/media, what was unexpected was the same argument from the pro-war/right. I've noted before bloggers and others are yelling quagmire because Sadr hasn't been killed. We'll have to see a steady and long decline in US casualties and violence before these pro-war/right come back to support the war.

Posted by: AWW at June 23, 2004 3:50 PM

Too bad that Dan Blather is no Walter Cronkite. If he was he could just surrender for us and it would be all over.

But, of course, Dan is not the 'most trusted man' in the known universe and GWB is no LBJ.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at June 23, 2004 4:27 PM

Back in April weren't we told that the activities that month were just a foretaste of what we would be happening as the turnover got closer. Well, it's about a week to go, and as far as I've heard, it's really, really quiet. So unless the bad guys are hoping that the turnover includes a massive US withdrawal, the people who've never been right (from brual Afghan winter onward...)still have a perfect record.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 23, 2004 4:59 PM


Can Harry and Derek come out from hiding under the bed now that Sadr has proved a paper tiger?

Posted by: oj at June 23, 2004 5:37 PM

We're always stupidly missing our only opportunity to avert catastrophe somewhere.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 23, 2004 6:56 PM

This is how the WoT will look. Somewhere, an insurgency will rise up. We will engage them and kill great numbers of them. We will lose some of our own, but will have a 100 to 1 kill to loss ratio. Their leaders will die, go into hiding, or back down. As OJ says, this is what victory looks like. Our idiot leftist press thinks that open conflict means we are losing. We want open conflict, when they come out into the open we can kill them.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 24, 2004 12:25 AM

Well, there is an element on the Right that believes that if you aren't flattening the city and killing all in an attempt to intimidate, you aren't quashing the rebellion correctly.

As I said before, it wasn't necessary here.

Posted by: John Thacker at June 24, 2004 2:07 AM

But they will come back.

Some time. When the guard is down. When you're not looking.

Know it.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 24, 2004 8:13 AM

We must be waiting for the new Govt. to request we clean out Falujah once and for all. Probably also waiting for the critical mass of terrorists to coalecse there or elsewhere in the triangle, for the economies and concentration of our forces.

That will be the main event. It will come to pass.

Posted by: Genecis at June 24, 2004 1:23 PM

I'm out, Orrin.

I'm not there, but two different descriptions of Fallujah are available for choice. And one says that the streets there are controlled by black hats.

I never had any worries about Muqtadr overcoming the US Army. Overcoming the Iraqi army (or civil government), though, is another matter.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at June 24, 2004 7:28 PM