It looks the like the Battle of Fallujah is on
Saying a prayer tonight for our brave boys and girls over there, and for the real freedom fighters of Iraq (i.e. the police and National Guard, at least 30 of whom were killed today, God rest their souls) as well. The birth of a new democracy nearly always requires great sacrifice, but only a fool would deny that history shows the successes have more than paid back the costs.
It appears from early reporting we are making effective use of armor and Urban Close Air Support. The AC-130 has revolutionized close combat, putting enemies at a near-unbelievable tactical disadvantage. Our biggest problem is that some of the enemy is so frightened they run away before we can kill them.
I expect the battle will be short and very one-sided. I think the biq question is: can the Iraqi forces hold Fallujah in the aftermath? Signs are positive, including our recent success in Najaf and Sadr City that everyone seems to have forgotten as soon as they happened. As in Najaf, the insurgents aren't very popular even in their bases of support (government by thuggery alone just doesn't win you many friends) and most Fallujans just want to get on with life; if we kill off the committed rebels and discredit the the power of the rest, the city should be relatively governable.