iraq a disaster!!!!!!

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    for all you guys who believe everything you this.a different point of view.


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    July 1, 2003 -- WE Americans have the finest media in the world, representing the broadest spectrum of opinions. Our media is feisty, but also self-critical and self-correcting (though The New York Times may win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year). Overall, the American people are very well served.
    But the fierce competition that makes our media so effective can also be its worst enemy. The fight for the hottest headline can lead to peculiar forms of group-think and pack journalism at its worst.

    The Laci Peterson story is a good example. One murder, among many, catches on - and suddenly it's a more important story than terrorism, famine, coups or genocide. Pack journalism leads to a loss of perspective that badly distorts our national priorities.

    Well, journalistically speaking, poor Laci Peterson's in Baghdad now. A relatively small number of foreseeable attacks - predicted by this column months ago - have been blown wildly out of proportion.

    Our troops are doing remarkably well - but the headlines make it sound like a disaster. Last weekend, almost as many Americans died in a residential balcony collapse in Chicago as have been killed by hostile fire in "postwar" Iraq.

    As a former soldier, I don't discount any American casualties as unimportant. But the fact is that, despite real errors and miscues, reconstruction efforts in Iraq are going surprisingly well.

    How bad is it in Iraq? It's terrible - if you're a former Saddam loyalist, ex-secret policeman or Ba'ath Party muckety-muck on the wrong end of Operation Sidewinder. The party's over for Baghdad's bully-boys, and they don't much like it.

    As one pal of mine serving in Iraq puts it, the attacks on U.S. forces are foolish acts of desperation. The last hardcore loyalists - those whose futures and fortunes were tied to Saddam - have recognized how unexpectedly smoothly the U.S. occupation has been going (Saddam's guys don't read the Western press, so they don't realize we're doomed to failure). And they're trying everything they can to disrupt things.

    We shouldn't be surprised that the last embittered thugs are engaging in occasional acts of terrorism against us - on the contrary, we should be relieved that we see so little continuing resistance. After toppling a totalitarian regime that ruled a population of 25 million for over a generation, it's amazing that we face only one or two attacks every few days. We could be suffering hundreds of incidents daily, if the population stood behind Saddam & Co.

    On our worst day last week, when two convoys came under attack, more than 600 other U.S. convoys didn't hear a single shot. Two patrols got into firefights. The other 500 patrols didn't even get hit with a water balloon.

    Are the Iraqis "turning against us"? Bull. Our best sources of intelligence continue to be Iraqis who are glad the regime is gone and don't want it to come back in any way, shape or form.

    The Iraqi population is complex, with varying interests, loyalties and levels of political sophistication. But the masses aren't demonstrating to bring back Saddam, Uday and Qusay. They may find the integrity and diligence of our soldiers frustrating as they try to work their local scams - but they don't miss the secret police.

    Pounded onto the ropes, the last regime terrorists are trying to disrupt power supplies and public services, while assassinating key Iraqi citizens who cooperate with us. But the Iraqi people aren't stupid - uneducated in the demands of democracy, yes, but with the innate intelligence of human beings everywhere. And the Iraqis are survivors. They know who's cutting the power now. They know who's threatening them. The terror techniques employed by the holdout regime loyalists are going to backfire.

    And this administration won't run. It will take months, but our troops will root out the killers. A year from now, we'll still see occasional acts of terror. But we won, the terror regime lost - and the whining of the Democratic leadership won't change it.

    We should be cheering for our troops, not insulting their performance.

    Of course, the beleaguered Democrats, for whom incompetence is an art form, make the Bush administration's weak planning for postwar Iraq look insignificant. Last week, Sen. Joe Biden, one of the key trigger men in the Democratic Party's circular firing squad, disparaged the progress our troops are making in Iraq. He bought into the cheapest headlines, instead of examining the evidence.

    Sen. Biden, who has been wrong on nearly every foreign-policy issue of our time, made the lunatic suggestion that we should beg Paris for French troops to help us out.

    Leaving aside any rancor we may feel toward the French for betraying our alliance, human rights and the fundamental values of Western Civilization, and allowing that Biden might be happier sipping a third-rate Bordeaux on a Parisian boulevard than drinking from the bitter cup of reality in Washington, the fact is that any French involvement would be disastrous. You don't put a rattlesnake in the baby's cradle.

    First, the French can't fight worth a damn. Oh, the Foreign Legion's OK, if you don't mind extreme human-rights abuses. And their paratroopers have a history of refined torture techniques, massacre and mutiny. But the average French soldier is as worthless as the average French intellectual. And the French would have no incentive, whatsoever, to engage in serious efforts to bring Saddam's loyalists to justice.

    Paris is still on Saddam's side, for God's sake. Oh, they don't say it openly. But Chirac & Co. want us to fail in Iraq. And they want their oil contracts back.

    Perhaps Sen. Biden should take a cue from President Bush and make an African tour of his own - to examine the wreckage French support for dictators, mass murderers and cannibal-emperors created in their former colonies. (Check out Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who made paté out of his political opponents - when he wasn't playing kissy-face with former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.)

    Iraq's our baby, and we have the muscle and the moxie to bring it up right. The kid may turn out to be a juvenile delinquent, but it won't be because we didn't do our best.

    In the meantime, we'll hold on to the family-car keys, thanks. And neither the remaining terrorists in Iraq, nor the soulless opportunists in Paris, nor human helium balloons like Joe Biden are going to stop us.

    Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author, most recently, of "Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World."

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