War by other means in Iraq
Today the Iraqi people went to vote on whether to approve the draft constitution. The only major disruption was an electrical blackout in Baghdad, and hardly any bomb attacks were carried out. I'm confident that most Iraqis know what kind of future they want for their country, and it does not include murderous thugs from the Ba'ath Party or Al Qaeda. Sunday's Washington Post has the reactions of various Sunni people, many of whom fear the proposed constitution will leave their country divided. Au contraire. Even if the constitution does not receive strong popular support, the fact that the Iraqi people are getting used to expressing their will in a peaceful way constitutes, ipso facto, a major victory in the long-term war against Islamo-fascism. Ironically, the armed might of the United States is of secondary concern right now, as Iraq tries to substantiate the age-old liberal (!) hope that "the pen is mightier than the sword." The sight of brave Iraqi citizens proudly showing their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots is one of those special heart-warming occasions that remind us what all the sacrifices have been for. Any comment from Cindy Sheehan?
Offensive in west Iraq
U.S. Army forces launched an offensive in western Iraq two weeks ago, and the Iraqi government has now established firm control over the towns of Haditha, Haqlaniyah, and Barwana. The name "Operation River Gate" refers to the Euphrates River, which is apparently being used as a covert conduit. See Belmont Club for more.
It is no coincidence that this offensive, like the one in Tall Afar last month, took place very close to the Syrian border. I would bet that U.S. agents and/or Special Forces teams are already operating across the border in Syria, disrupting the flow of supplies and recruits to the resistance forces. Syria has already been identified as a rogue regime, and we are at war against fascism in the region, so it makes perfect sense. The suicide committed by the Syrian interior minister, who was implicated in the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri back in February, is a sign that the regime of Bashar Al-Asad may be beginning to crack.
Bush talks to troops
The television news reporters jumped all over the rehearsed responses by U.S. soldiers in preparation for their chat on Friday with the Commander-in-Chief, but there is no indication that they were coached on what to say. It's amusing, because The Today Show, GMA, and the CBS Morning Show all routinely let their guests rehearse, which is obvious from the rapid, to the point delivery they universally give in response to questions. For the perspective of an Army medic who was there (in Iraq), see: 278medic. (via Instapundit) Read it, and you'll agree, Katie Couric should be ashamed of herself.
Is Al Qaeda failing?
A letter purportedly from Al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman Zawahiri, criticized Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi for alienating the Islamic world by engaging in gruesome mass murder against other Muslims. It was intercepted by U.S. agents. Zawahiri expresses frustration that Al Qaeda's strategic goals are being thwarted by inappropriate tactics by insurgents in Iraq who are beyond his control. That is one of the downsides of resorting to terrorism: Like nuclear weapons, it is an extreme measure that can easily get out of hand without achieving the desired objectives. See Washington Post.