[News item: Fox News reported on November 10 that 500 terrorists had been killed in the fighting in Fallujah. Commanders on the ground assured the media that there were "no known civilian casualties."]
[News item: "Our attack is made easier by the fact that about 75% of the civilian population has fled. There is little reason to restrain the use of air power, heavy artillery, and tanks." ~ Former DoD Neocon Jed Babbin]
Just Outside Fallujah, Iraq, November 10, 2004. U.S. Commanders trumpeted "tremendous progress" in an experimental psy-ops program called "Operation Preemptive Democracy," implemented for the first time this week in Fallujah.
"We have definitely exceeded expectations," said Colonel Savvi Corhapi, who commanded the effort. "A month ago everyone expected all of Fallujah to boycott the January elections. Now, we are going block by block to register prospective voters and to educate them in the basics of democracy. It’s a really fulfilling, thrilling experience for all of us to be a part of."
Fouglas Deith, a Defense Department observer involved in planning the operation, was on site to observe. Mr. Deith explained how the program works.
"Well, we knew there were a lot of anti-democratic diehards in the city — you know, people who just won’t vote, not matter how good the candidates are, because, well, in their way of thinking, the whole election process is a sham full of nothing but Yankee occupation-force stooges. So first of all, we look at the old census tracts and identify those anti-democratic elements — we call them "terrorists" — and for several days we pound the hell out of their neighborhoods with artillery fire, strafing by fighter jets, and — usually last on the list — razing what’s left of their neighborhood with tank-bulldozers armed with 55-mm cannon."
When asked how the terrorists could be identified with such pinpoint accuracy, Deith chuckled. "It was easier than we thought. At first, back at the Pentagon, some of the guys — you know, the combat veterans, some of the process types, the bureaucrats — said we should go through great pains to identify and isolate the violent terrorists from the innocent civilian population. In the end, I’m glad to say, we liberal-arts type guys won out. We figure, hey, we studied logic in college, let’s use it! If a guy is still in Fallujah today, after all the hellfire we’ve been raining down on this town, you just figure, he’s there because he wants to kill us when we come in to do our voter survey. So we waste him — no questions asked.
"Why just yesterday," Mr. Deith continued, "we took out a major mosque — pretty crowded with terrorists, that’s for sure — because most of those religious types don’t believe in the separation of mosque and state — bigots, extremists, you know, they’re everywhere, just everywhere. Now, these folks would never vote for a secular government, but that’s what Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Chalabi want, so that’s what they’re gonna get. We figger, if these religious extremists were left to their own devices — I mean, that is to say, if we didn’t kill’em now, well, they’d come back in a couple years with guns and mortars and try to kick our ass, just prayin’ the whole time. So we waste’em now. Pretty straightforward."
At that point, Corhapi interrupted to tell Deith that three square blocks in the ibn-al-Hassan precinct had just been leveled, with a total of 43 terrorists killed.
"Lessee," said Deith, paging through his census tracts. "Who lives there? Hassani, ibn Hassani, Mohamed ibn Hassani, Mohamed ibn Mohamed — how many blocks did you say?"
"Three, sir," said Corhapi.
"Ok, Ok, (humming to himself) — OK, here it is. How many terrorists killed, 43?"
"Ohhhhkayyy… that means the ibn Hassani’s must’ve left town. Everybody but one … probably the grandma. Oh yeah, here she is, "non-ambulatory." Boy, you can say that again! But everybody else adds up just right, six families, all related — terrorism is tribal, you know, it’s amazing to us Westerners — thirteen adults, with grandma, and, umhh, 30 kids. Got it. Total of 43, you can take it to the bank. That means we can register the Ibn Hassani’s to vote in January — if they ever come back. Better get to work building an apartment for them on that block you obliterated, Captain."
"Er, it’s Colonel Corhapi, sir. Yes sir, I’ll get to work on that right away, sir, with the planning crew."
When asked about the immense disproportion between Iraqis with rifles and mortars and U.S. tanks, fighter-bombers, and hi-tech weaponry, Deith grew solemn.
"The president fervently believes that democracy can succeed here," he said. "The Good Book talks about purification through fire. Can’t you see, that’s exactly what we wanna do, democratize and purify through fire — intense, unrelenting fire. The result will be a strong, deep faith in democracy, rooted in hope. These people have seen so much evil, so much suffering, that we have to purify the population with our program." He paused, then continued: "Of course, where that doesn’t work, we use fear."
In a private moment, this reporter asked Deith the tough question that’s on many readers’ minds. "You know, Mr. Deith, the 31 kids, uh, how do you account for them being, uh, terrorists?"
"Easy, Mr. Smith, and it’s Deith, D-E-I-T-H, Fouglas H. — some people always insist on getting it backwards. Title is Deputy Assistant to the Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Truth’s Defense Cadre. Spell that right, please."
"Sure will, sir."
"Now, where was I? Ah yes, the children. Well, this is where Defense has benefited so much from new blood — fresh thinking, you know. Most soldiers, even most officers, have never heard of Plato, not unless they have kids! [Harsh laughter] Play dough, get it??!! Well, they’ve never heard’a Plato, much less read him. But Plato, he really believed that education was what made the man. Now, we’ve been looking at what these kids in the ibn-al-Hassan district were learning, from their folks, in the schools, in the mosque — and we applied the Bush doctrine — pre-emptive, you know — because we can determine with more than 99% accuracy that those kids would grow up to be terrorists. One out of a hundred, maybe, would have been an interpreter, an informer, maybe a cop. But most of them, by and large, would have been terrorists. So we kill them now. After all, the president wants us out of Iraq someday, and who’s gonna kill’em when they grow up if we’re gone? So we’re just using forward-projection preemptive-thinking gaming techniques, it’s something they developed at the War College."
When asked how the voter registration drive was going, Deith was ebullient. "Terrific, terrific. By the time we’re finished here — another week, another ten days — there won’t be a living Iraqi soul left in Fallujah. We’ll find and kill every terrorist by then — pretty much anyone who’s left in town, I reckon. And don’t forget, we’ll have the whole place surrounded. That way, when people start straggling back in from the desert, where they’ve been hiding, some of’em for weeks, well, they’ll be pretty hungry, y’know, so we’ll work off of Saddam’s old food-rationing roster, check’em off, give’em a tent and some grub, and make sure they go to the polls in January. You don’t vote, you don’t eat. Bingo Gringo, hundred-percent turnout!"
Deith beamed, surveying the artillery and planes leveling the city. You could tell he was proud, a man who likes his work. As he took a breath to address a new subject, his assistant, a comely DoD analyst, popped her head out of a nearby tent. "O Fuggie, Fuggie, Wolfie’s on the satellite phone for you!"
Deith winked, and turned to go, framed by the pounding dust and fire of Fallujah behind him.