Sunday, June 05, 2005

On Tenacity

Re-reading an account of the Brit 14th Army's defeat of the Japanese in Burma in WW2 reminds me of the tenacity being shown by coalition troops in Iraq as they confront and destroy a brutal and resourceful enemy.

The Brits started WW2 against the Japanese as they start all wars - badly. Poorly led, they quickly lost Singapore and Malaya, and the Japanese advanced through Burma to threaten India. Then the Brits sorted themselves out. Ordinary enlisted men become fearsome jungle fighters. The Japanese soldiers were clever, courageous and cruel - executing prisoners as a matter of routine. So the Brits made themselves better, living in the jungle 5 weeks at a time, weilding their beloved bayonets freely, and fighting cleverly and creatively. The Japanese fought to the end and then surrendered. And received the same treatment they'd meted out to Brit prisoners. War Is Hell.

But, like all battles there were tragedies and reverses as the enemy adapted to new tactics.

So it is in Iraq. The enemy is just as cruel, and is better supplied. And this time our soldiers have to deal with a hostile lefty MSM (hat tip Instapundit) that reports every upset and suppresses news of every advance.

But my judgment is that the enemy is going down. The "insurgency" is fueled by Syria and Iran, and both counties are feeling serious US pressure. And the ever-creative, ever-resourceful allies are destroying the enemy.

U.S. Marines said yesterday they had discovered a massive underground bunker complex with 50 caches of weapons and ammunition and living quarters fitted out with air conditioning, a kitchen and showers.

In the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi forces said they had arrested a key terrorist leader linked to Syrian intelligence, who was responsible for numerous beheadings and car bomb attacks.

The Marines said the bunker complex, discovered over the past four days in Anbar province west of Baghdad, included a recently used "insurgent lair" containing air-conditioned quarters and high-tech military equipment, including night-vision glasses.