Sometimes, you have to kill the patient to save it, right? This morning's LA Times front page headline said it all.
Iraqi City Lies in Ruins
Rebels are reportedly making their last stand in Fallouja. The next step, reconstruction, could cost the U.S. tens of millions of dollars.
Even as small groups of guerrillas continued putting up fierce resistance here Sunday, U.S. commanders were preparing for the next phase of the operation: the complete reconstruction of a city that has been devastated in battle.
"It's a monumental task," acknowledged Marine Maj. Timothy Hanson, one of the first civil affairs officers on the scene to assess the scope of destruction in the city that had become the tactical and inspirational capital of the Iraqi insurgency.
Reconstruction of Fallouja is on hold as the fighting persists, especially in southern areas of the city, where some of the most die-hard guerrillas are reported to be making a last stand. Some have burrowed underground, prompting U.S. forces Saturday to drop a 2,000-pound bomb - the most powerful munition used here to date - on a tunnel complex.