Saturday, July 23, 2005

Iraq: More proof that we're winning 

Yessiree, the insurgency is in its "last throes."

Not. This story from the Times is full of odd details, straws in the wind. None of it's good:

They just keep getting stronger.

Despite months of assurances that their forces were on the wane, the guerrillas and terrorists battling the American-backed enterprise here appear to be growing more violent, more resilient and more sophisticated than ever.

"We are capturing or killing a lot of insurgents," said a senior Army intelligence officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make his assessments public. "But they're being replaced quicker than we can interdict their operations. There is always another insurgent ready to step up and take charge."

At the same time, the Americans acknowledge that they are no closer to understanding the inner workings of the insurgency or stemming the flow of foreign fighters, who are believed to be conducting a vast majority of suicide attacks. The insurgency, believed to be an unlikely mix of Baath Party die-hards and Islamic militants, has largely eluded the understanding of American intelligence officers since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government 27 months ago.

On Tuesday, masked insurgents gunned down two moderate Sunni leaders who had been helping to draft Iraq's permanent constitution. The killings, carried out in the middle of a busy Baghdad street in heavy traffic, appeared to be calculated to squelch the voices of moderate Sunnis, and to prevent anyone else from stepping forward.

The immediate effect seemed to play right into the insurgents' hands: moderate Sunni leaders announced that they were suspending their efforts to help draft a constitution, laying down several conditions for their return.

Insurgents have killed moderate Sunni leaders before, but the shootings of Mejbil al-Sheik Isa and Damin al-Obeidi on Tuesday were especially striking: the men were killed after months of coaxing by Iraqi Shiite leaders and American officials intended to bring moderate Sunnis like them into the constitutional process.

In Baghdad, it is commonly understood that the recent success of the insurgency lies in part in the weakness of the Iraqi government. The Sunni leaders who were slain, for instance, were traveling with a single guard, whom one of the Sunni leaders had provided at his own expense. Pleas by the two Sunni leaders to the Iraqi government for protection had apparently gone unheeded.

Then, on Thursday, the rebels struck again, kidnapping the top Algerian diplomat in Iraq and a colleague. ... As with the slaying of the moderate Sunni leaders, the kidnappings have seemed, so far, to have secured exactly what the insurgents wanted. No Arab government has yet sent an ambassador to this country.

One other recent development in the insurgency - and a possible explanation of its ability to bring in recruits from around the Arab world - is the reach and sophistication of its public relations.

Most of the main insurgent groups - like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Ansar al Sunna - regularly post updates of their exploits on the Web. Scarcely a day passes when one of the groups has not announced another attack with either video or printed notice.
(via Times)

So, lemme get this straight:

1. The insurgents are as strong as ever.

2. The insurgents have great PR and a steady flow of recruits.

3. American intelligence knows nothing about them.

4. The insurgents, because neither the American military, Negroponte's death squads, nor Allawi's government can provide security, have recently scored two major successes: (a) delegitimizing the effort to write the Constitution (needs to be done next month, remember) and (b) delegitimizing the Allawi government internationally by denying it consulates.

So maybe somebody can find the pony in here; I sure can't. And maybe some future historian can explain to all of us how Bush cured American of the VietNam syndrome once and for all by getting us bogged down on an urban battlefield in the middle east. Stalingrad, anyone?

In other Iraq happy talk, recruitment is tanking. Remarkable, isn't it, how all the spokesmen say that it's "war" that's the problem, instead of saying that it's this war, and the lies that got us into it, that are the problem. Also, nobody's making any sacrifices but the troops (and the dead Iraqi civilians, of course), and the troops are noticing. Why this would be surprising, I don't know; the deal Bush made with the country is pretty clear: "Go shopping," he said.

And to top it all off, as farmer points out (back) our soldiers are fighting and dying so that the sharia can be enshrined as the basis of Iraqi law. WTF?

At this point, someone is probably asking, "But lambert, what is your solution?!" Well, I know what Rove's solution is: Cut and run by the 2006 midterms and blame liberal traitors (back). But as a member of the reality-based community—and I know this sounds like a cop-out, so if someone has a better idea I'd love to hear it—I just don't see how proposing a solution is possible; the entire situation is so polluted by Republican disinformation that I don't see how it's possible to make any judgment about it.

So, the only solution is to get Bush outta there, first. Then we can start cleaning up the lies and go from there.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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