Patrick Cockburn returned to Fallujah after being absent for a few years in order to examine what has happened to the Iraqi city in its fight against terrorism. There was definitely an absence of bombings and random killings, and although he counted 27 manned checkpoints, it was clear al-Qaeda and other militants had lost their ability to dominate the city. Cockburn spoke with the police chief who had previously been in the Saddam Hussein army. Col. Feisal’s brother controlled a 13,000 man which is part of the Sunni Awakening Movement. In visits to hospitals, Cockburn repeatedly was told about lack of medicine, clean water and electricity. The doctors also complained “The American provide us with nothing. They bring only destruction.”
There is little doubt the surge has lessend the ability of militants to proceed with their bombings and murders at the same rate as previously. But, as Fallujah indicates, the struggle for peace in Iraq is far from over. The United States has poured immense money into military development and far less to economic assistance. People lack jobs, they lack access to clean water, and they have sporadic use of electricity.