Monday, November 19, 2007

Marines Seek Exit, Other Challenges

It was a shock to read four weeks ago a snippet in the news that the commanding Marine in Iraq had requested that his Marines be withdrawn from the country. The MSM was then still so full of bad news that it was easy to imagine a less than positive tail to the story.

Well, a tail there is. It turns out that the Marines are looking to reduce their attention to civic improvements and city-building in order to find more terrorists to deal with in the historic Marine fashion.

In other words, Ramadi and Falujah and the rest of Anbar Province are larely settled and the Marines are looking to get back into fighting. Their request:

Send us to Afghanistan and let the Army tend to refurbishing the neighborhoods we've settled.
Imagine the difference in story treatment if The New York Times had used its 28 paragraphs and 1,340 words on October 10th to report that Iraq has become too peaceful for America's premier "kill people and break things" force. A possible headline
Their Job Done in Anbar, Marines Ask to Join Fight in Afghanistan
Iraq is almost done, victory there, though neither complete nor certain, is in sight. But it's important that we remember that Iraq has always only been a battlefield in the war. In fact, it took al-Qaeda's poorly considered decision to make a stand in Iraq to make that country truly significant in the longer perspective. As fly-paper, Iraq has attracted thousands of al-Qaeda warriors and allowed us to deal with them there with the tip of our spear, a much better alternative than what might have been.

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