About two days ago a suicide car bomber drove underneath an overpass that had been fortified by our Fox Co. as an observation post that could observe a major Iraqi interstate for miles in both directions. When he was underneath the bridge he detonated the truck he was driving, destroying the bridge and seriously wounding 8 Marines.
My company, Golf, has been helping with the recovery process. But here's my question. This overpass is now lying in rubble across six lanes of interstate that connects western Al Anbar to Baghdad. It is heavily used by both commercial and personal vehicles. Why are we fixing it? I ask the question for two reasons. A) what's going to stop another suicide bomber and B) why don't we begin to make the Iraqi people pay for their tolerance of terrorism. The people in the surrounding area know what happened. Perhaps not all of them could point a finger at someone, but they would know how to find out. But we give them no incentive to help us. They know we are going to clear that rubble, and they know we are going to rebuild their bridge, because the Marines and coalition forces are trying to "win hearts and minds". How about we win this war first, and then try and win popularity contests. I understand they go hand in hand, but only to a point.
The people here respect guns. That's it. They don't respect smiles and gift baskets. The terrorists come into our AO with guns and an attitude, and they are winning the PR battle. Bottom line.
I vote that we leave that bridge strewn across six lanes. Let them dig it out if they want to.