De Plane...De Plane

August 19, 2004 

Just two bits of advice for President Bush...give no quarter.  If the President continues down his compassionate conservative path, the lame duck ex-president can wake up on Wednesday morning November 3 and read my lips.  Sometimes a man just has to stand up and be a  You know...the way John has Teresa do it for him. 

Facing two enfants terrible, that little Tattoo-looking Moqtada al-Sadr to the East and Rambo Kerry to the West, it’s High Noon for G.W.  I knew Maureen Dowd would love the cowboy imagery. 

Recent history has proven that the word of Islamic terrorists, and Democrats alike, isn’t worth two bits.  During the initial stages of the Afghan invasion in 2001, American forces bottled-up the Taliban in the White Mountain region of Tora Bora on the Pakistani border.  Taking a break to sip a cool one at the 19th hole, the American commanders honored a 48 hour cease-fire...arranged between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance.  

By the end of those 48 hours, the Taliban leadership had escaped destruction by slipping over the border into Pakistan and...regrouping.  Three months later, the Pakistani military was convinced that it had al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, cornered.  So, Pakistan declared a cease-fire with the al-Qaeda leadership to discus surrender terms.  Al-Zawahri used this opportunity to slip back over the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan.   Life came full circle. 

Najaf’s little Tattoo, the warrior cleric al-Sadr, has America dancing a game of musical chairs to the same tune.  He keeps begging to be killed, but every time he’s in the crosshairs, he declares another cease-fire and the U.S. accedes.  And...during every cease-fire, he refortifies his redoubt, the “Holiest of Muslim Shrines” (the Imam Ali Mosque) while American leadership sits on its thumbs and American troops continue to die. 

Look at the latest timeline.  Last Thursday, U.S. marines drove to the heart of Najaf in what was described as a “final” assault on Sadr and his Mahdi insurgents.  After a failed series of previous cease-fires, Sadr’s forces resumed their unrestricted terrorism on August 5th.  By August 12th, the Americans were close to finalizing the problem in Najaf.  Except.... 

Well, it seems that the brave little Tattoo and his forces are hiding in what even the New York Times describes as “...intensely populated neighborhoods and...mosques used as armories....”  Therefore, “American commanders worry that the mosque could be damaged...causing outrage among Shiites....”  BooHoo, BooHoo. 

For his part, Sadr is adamant that he“...will remain here defending the holy shrines till victory or martyrdom.”  G.W. might accommodate the bulbous little cleric by making Sadr’s wish...Bush’s command.  Kill the S.O.B. and devastate the rabble of his Mahdi Army.  An accomplishment which should take less time than it takes John Kerry to blow-dry his coif. 

The current dilemma in Najaf is a redux of this past April.  When Sadr et al attacked in April, American commanders reacted with overwhelming resources and vows to end Sadr’s insurgency.  But, cowered by the thought of offending the peaceful Muslims with an attack on the Imam Ali Mosque, the Americans agreed to cease-fire talks that afforded Sadr the opportunity to, “build his militia and advance himself as the authentic leader of Shiite resistance to American military occupation.” 

This time around things were different.  Poised on Thursday to finish Sadr’s reign of Najaf, the Americans agreed to a cease-fire on Friday.  Coincidently, little Tattoo sought the cease-fire after his home had been bombed and he had been wounded the previous day.  So much for “fighting to the last drop of blood”.  Everybody’s’ blood except his own. 

By 4:00 pm EDT on Friday, Sadr renounced “Iraq’s dictatorial interim government” and the cease-fire.   Once again Sadr was taunting the Americans with his nonsense bravado about fighting U.S. forces “until death or victory”.  The result of the sensitive U.S. resolve to respect fortified Muslim shrines made perfect sense to the New York Times, “That confrontation...has tightened Mr. Sadr's hold on the imagination of millions of Shiites as the leader of armed resistance to the American military presence in Iraq”. 

Chances are better that Elvis is still alive than they are that a Muslim will honor a cease-fire.  America’s enemies use cease-fires as opportunistically as career criminals scream “police brutality”.  Cease-fires are a creation of western European gentleman...not Muslim terrorists.  In terms of lives and dollars, this is nonsense America can no longer afford. 

If the Shiites in Iraq are unwilling to deal effectively with Sadr, than the U.S. should quit yakking and start whacking.  And...if the Shiites have a hard time with that...America can always turn to the Sunnis.  Bin Laden’s surrogate in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, understood the Shiites well enough, “They are arrogant only with the weak and can attack only the broken-winged.”  If an al-Qaeda lieutenant understands that the Shiites are cowardly liars, who am I to disagree? 

The sooner both Sadr and Saddam part this earth, the better it will be for both Iraq and America.  Without the prospect of either spectre waiting in the wings, the Iraqis might get serious about their future.  And being convinced that America not only has power, but is willing to effectively use it, might cut through the Iraqi BS and save some lives on both sides. 

All of this waffling is getting the President, the Americans and the Iraqis nowhere except deeper in the muck.   

One would think that G.W. might forget the media; forget the Democrats; and certainly forget the Iraqi BS.  A leader’s job is to lead.  If Sadr had been effectively dealt with in April, this would all be water under the bridge by now.  The sooner the cancer is excised, the better the patient’s chance at a recovery. 

Or, the President can continue to give his enemy quarter.  When his father cooperated with the Democrats and raised taxes, the Democrats read his lips and removed him from the White House.  While G.W. quietly sat out the Democratic convention, his thank you was, “Breaking with tradition, Senator John Kerry plans to campaign...during the Republican National Convention.”  How many times do we have to shoot ourselves in the foot to prove how sensitive we are?  


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