Saturday, May 07, 2005

What About the Borders

If this article in the NYT is correct, incidents such as the one reported by Michael Yon are haveing a real impact. They are starting to drive a wedge between the interactions of Iraqis & coalition forces as well as interfere with day to day living.

The Iraqis are wary of being friendly with the coalition forces for fear of attack,
....her family had supported the Americans but now avoided any type of contact with them, mostly out of fear of suicide bombs. "They say they want to kill the Americans, but they kill us more," she said, her face contorted. "It's a narrow street," she said, pointing to the road outside. "Why do they patrol civilian areas?"
This is exactly what these guys are hoping to do.

Michael Yon shows an excellent example of how these thugs operate. The high civilian death tolls are deliberate. They not only affect Iraqis, but also American soldiers, who are not bloodthirsty killers like these insurgents. The accompanying picture is worth a thousand words, it shows how distraught & heart broken Major Mark Beiger is at the sight of the injured little girl. No doubt incidents like this contribute a large amount to the stress levels of our troops.
The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers.

The fact that they can chose to attack children tells us just what kind of people they are. They are terrorists & they are evil. These are the same people who hijacked four planes full of unarmed people & crashed two into the Twin Towers full of civilians.

Now, we are fighting dirty terrorists so the fight will have to be dirty. I think that most clear thinking people understand that. While they are hampering the hearts & minds efforts by trying to sever the ties between Iraqi civilians & American forces, there are still many things we can do. One of them is showing the truth about these cowards. The Iraqis are doing a good job of that with the hit TV show "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" shown on the American sponsored channel which shows,
Captured insurgents start by admitting to crimes, such as killing Americans or Iraqi civilians. The insurgents also admit that they have not committed the attacks because of religion or national defense, but because their families are threatened, or that they are paid for the attacks, or both. Some admit to taking the money from attacks, then to getting drunk or hiring prostitutes.

But, there is one possibility that I have not heard being discussed. As in Afghanistan, most of the insurgents are foreigners who came into the country recently, specifically to fight jihad. So, why not prevent them from entering the country in the first place. Secure the borders. It's something we fail miserably in our own country, with devastating consequences. Perhaps we could begin doing this in Iraq where they still don't have an ACLU chapter. Maybe this will help to tip the scales on the domestic debate on the border question (yes, I realize the issues are different in both places, but doing it in Iraq can nullify the argument by some that it simply can't be done).
The most important areas to focus on are the borders with Iran, Saudi Arabia & Syria. Not only do they account for a majority of Iraq's border, but these are the places from which these guys come from. These countries aid & abet terrorism by providing a sizable number of recruits & turning a blind eye to such activities when they are not encouraging them. The border with Kuwait, due to their experience in the first Gulf War should not be problematic. The border with Turkey, made up of predominantly Kurdish populated areas, should not be a problem either, as they hate the Bathists with a passion, for obvious reasons.
Yes, this would be an enormous undertaking, but if the Iraqi Armed Forces & Police were trained to do this job, coalition forces would not be overly taxed. Any effort put into border security would pay off dividends internal security. It could help to not only stabilize the present situation, but also create a better future for Iraq. Of course I am not an expert on anything in this area, this is simply my opinion, please feel free to offer me the benefit of your expertise.
Hat Tip: Greyhawk, Michael Yon

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