Marines choke on Falluja

Watch as the marines adopt the terminology of the vietnam war (and its success). At first, they seemed to be really intent on getting this one right (meaning there were careers -- and egos -- tied up in the success or failure of the strategy being shifted to west of Baghdad), but it also seemed certain that it would gonna cost the Marines in terms of casualties if they wanted to put "boots on the ground" and develop ties with locals. They started out strong, but then it wasnt long before the shit hit the fan:
"Conway: Over an 11-day period, we had three of our convoys hit and one serious incident happen in the same general vicinity east and northeast of Fallujah. ... We said enough of that. We're going to control that stretch of bad road. ... We went in to occupy that stretch of ground where we have been having trouble, and they attacked us. We started taking fire from some of the buildings adjacent to that roadway. So we had to clear a row of buildings on the northeast side of Fallujah so we could stop receiving fire. That we killed a number of Iraqis, there is no doubt, but we certainly can't allow Iraqis to think they can control a section of vital roadway like that and ambush our convoys at their discretion."
Hmm. And this interview took place one day before the security contractors were hit on what we have to assume was that same stretch of road. If news reports are any indication, you have to wonder how the Marines can pacify Falluja when they still cant get inside without shooting their way in.

So you have to wonder where the Marines' plans are now. They may have gone up in smoke, especially with the recent blockade of Falluja... which is more like the tactics lessons they are getting from Israeli on occupation. Meanwhile, to ease the political pressure, the marines have stopped reporting any details of casualties, just as the casualty rate is going way up in Falluja.

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