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The War Nerd July 8, 2004
 
Fallujah I: The Gaza Strip Snap-On Kit
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 3
 
You can imagine the effect this had on the locals in this country town. They might be slow, but they ain't stupid. They drew the right lesson: when we ask the invaders for proper compensation, they give us the high hat -- but when we start killing their soldiers, they're suddenly all over us, offering all this CalTrans beautification crap. And they weren't buying. They took the money, but they kept the guns and RPGs coming at us too.

By this time, see, it wasn't just the locals. Everybody from Tangier to Islamabad knew that if you wanted a nice, jihad-friendly small town with some of the best American-game hunting in the world, all you had to do was come to Fallujah. And they came.

That's another funny-in-a-sick-way side of the story: when the locals started shooting us, we said it was all "foreign agitators." Well, it wasn't. Not back then. But by spitting on the locals, we turned Fallujah into Disney World for freelance killers. The whole "Have Quran & Burial Shroud, Will Travel" crowd took the next bus there.

By this time we were playing catch-up and they were playing catch -- our bullets that is, bloodstains all over those nice new "civic improvements" we bought them. The stuff we were offering was so lame, so chickenshit and hopeless, it makes you cringe. Like: after our climbdown in July 2003, we made a new rule: from now on, we'll knock first before smashing the door in our house-to-house searchers.

Seriously. That's what I mean about the whipsaw effect: kill you, then pat you on the head. Blow up your house and then put in a nice sidewalk with petunia plantings in front of the smoking ruin. It's insane. And worse: it's weak.

All this was leading up to the great big battle of Fallujah that was supposed to happen in April 2004, one year after we fired up that demonstration. Remember the four contractors' carbonized bodies hanging from that bridge? Well, remember how we were going to send the Marines in to clean up, once and for all? Ever wonder why that didn't happen -- why we're actually sending planes in to bomb houses in Fallujah instead of going in and kicking ass like we promised?

That's the second half of the story, which I'll tell you next time. It's got some of the most amazing -- and if you're a patriotic American depressing...really, really depressing -- twists and turns of any war story I ever heard. So stay tuned.

Oh, yeah, gotta remember to give equal time to the "good news" out of Iraq. OK, here it is: those oleanders we planted in Fallujah are looking really nice.

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Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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