Thursday, April 01, 2004

rebel town
I've never quite made up my mind about the Iraqi "resistance". There clearly is a right of resistance for those Iraqis who choose to take it. If it exists, that right exists at least to some extent independently of those who choose to take it up. But it's a bit of a stretch to support people who take their insurgency cues from the Night of the Living Dead.

The mob character of the violence also seems to tell against the idea that there is a resistance movement at all. It looks more like the direct response of a segment of the Iraqi population to their military occupiers. Flit provides some useful operational background and analysis.

Briefly, US military units in the area tended to stay clear of the town after a number of violent incidents. A new unit is rotated in and tries to make an impact, leading to a nasty firefight last week. Then four private sector military contractors - mercenaries, really - roll into town just in time for the barbecue.

Expat weblogger Fiona at Wires recounts her narrow escape last week and provides interesting details about Fallujah itself. Aparently, Saddam never got a grip on the place either.

Sallah tells us that Fallujah is the only place in Iraq where (even during Saddam’s regime) there was never a ruling Governor. It’s a real rebel town. Based on the traditional tribal system (which still exists). They are very proud and dignified people who WILL NOT accept within their multi – tribal society, working out their own co – existence, that there should be a person promoted to such a position that does not respect this equality and the diversity. The first Governor lasted a day before he was shot dead, the second, two. Rebel town.