On War #83
By William S. Lind
As I noted in a recent column, the Marines have blanked the news from the Sunni triangle since taking over much of that area. A front-page story in the August 29 New York Times lifted the veil, and what it revealed was not pretty. The war in the Sunni triangle is shifting its base from the Ba'ath Party, which still operates within the framework of the state, to religious elements which do not.
This is exactly what Fourth Generation theory predicted would happen. The minutes from the January 23, 2004 session of our Fourth Generation seminar read:
This is the development the Times now reports:
Last spring, the Marines made a deal with the Ba'ath Party in Fallujah: Keep the place quiet and we’ll let you run it while keeping our hands off it. As has so often been the case in the history of war, it was the right move, too late. Throughout Iraq, the balance had already swung away from the Ba'ath and any other forces that might have been able to re-create an Iraqi state, to non-state, Fourth Generation elements. The experiment in Fallujah was worth trying—the only other option was destroying the city in order to save it, as we recently did in Najaf—but the Ba'ath was by then already a fading force. Of its Fallujah Brigade, the Times writes:
Instead of the Ba'ath, what we now face in Fallujah is a genuinely dangerous opponent. Its idol is not Saddam, but Allah. The Times reports that:
By invading Iraq, the United States in effect took Fallujah and much of the rest of Anbar Province from Saddam and gave it to Osama bin Laden. If that is George Bush’s definition of victory, it would be interesting to know what he would consider a defeat.
From the standpoint of our forces in Iraq, the main problem the third stage in the war there presents is that we have no one to talk to, no one to make deals with. As we saw in Fallujah in April, it was possible to make a deal with the Ba'ath—a deal the Ba'ath genuinely wanted to carry out, though it proved unable to do so. Mullah al-Janabi and the thousands like him will have no interest in talking with us, unless we tell them we need their assistance in converting to Islam.
The minutes from the January meeting of our seminar concluded:
William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation
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Jill Sutherland Farrell
The Free Congress Foundation is a 26-year-old Washington, DC-based conservative think tank, that teaches people how to be effective in the political process, advocates judicial reform, promotes cultural conservatism, and works against the government encroachment of individual liberties.