'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, November 08, 2004

Operation Phantom Fury? 

Christ, who's naming these things, George Lucas? Maybe when they invade Ramadi it will be called Operation Revenge of the Sith...

In other making-fun-of-the-name-Phantom-Fury-related news, I like the headline on this Jim Lobe piece, "'Phantom Fury' Poised to Become Phantom Victory" which, you know, pretty much just states the obvious, but, hey, somebody's got to say it:

With Monday's launch of 'Operation Phantom Fury' to regain control of the key insurgent-dominated Sunni city of Fallujah, the administration of U.S. President George W Bush appears to be moving toward another ''phantom victory'' in its broader quest to achieve a stable, pro-western Iraq.

While experts here are united in the conviction that the 10,000 - 15,000 U.S. troops and a reportedly diminishing number of Iraqi auxiliaries will militarily crush the estimated 1,000 - 4,000 insurgents who remain in the city, they also believe the eventual outcome will mark yet another political setback to stabilising the country.

In particular, the operation, especially if bloody and protracted, will almost certainly further alienate the Sunni population, who constitute about 20 percent of Iraq's 25 million people, not to mention the much larger Sunni communities in neighbouring countries, including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

''The entire Arab public opinion, which had hoped for Bush's (electoral) defeat, has been watching developments carefully'', noted As'ad Abukhalil, an Iraq specialist at the University of California at Berkeley. ''But now they will see the scenes of carnage on live TV contrasted with the celebratory ambiance in Washington, DC.''

The campaign also threatens to split the interim Iraqi government whose president, Ghazi al-Yawer, has opposed a major offensive and last April threatened to resign after hundreds of civilians were reported killed when U.S. Marines last tried to take Fallujah.

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