TAL AFAR, Iraq, June 15 - Nine months ago the American military laid siege to this city in northwestern Iraq and proclaimed it freed from the grip of insurgents. Last month, the Americans returned in force - to reclaim it once again.So... total success, followed by another total success? That's, like, super-extra double success! With sprinkles! Awesome!
It is a cycle that has been repeated in rebellious cities throughout Iraq, and particularly those in the Sunni Arab regions west and north of Baghdad, where the insurgency's roots run deepest.Boy, you might almost think that there weren't enough troops in Iraq to actually accomplish the mission. But you'd be wrong - and a Communist.
"We have a finite number of troops," said Maj. Chris Kennedy, executive officer of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, which arrived in Tal Afar several weeks ago. "But if you pull out of an area and don't leave security forces in it, all you're going to do is leave the door open for them to come back. This is what our lack of combat power has done to us throughout the country. In the past, the problem has been we haven't been able to leave sufficient forces in towns where we've cleared the insurgents out."
You'd also think, reading this story, that Tom Friedman doesn't actually read the New York Times. Otherwise he'd know that
[Republican!] officials in Washington say the military has all the troops it needs, [while] on-the-ground battle commanders in the most violent parts of Iraq... have said privately that they need more manpower to pacify their areas and keep them that way.Somehow, however, Friedman will discover why this is all the fault of anti-war liberals. I think Jon Stewart needs to enlarge the membership of the "Douchebag of Liberty" club - Robert Novak can't be President and Treasurer, can he?