Is Iraq lost?
The pace of combat in Iraq is growing and the level of sophistication of the attacks are hardly that of a "dying" regime. Anyone who can make a Stalin's Organ from parts and not kill themselves is hardly part of a doomed movement. The people who built that weapon can and will build others and they're clever in doing so.
This isn't just terrorism. Most terrorists couldn't find Paris if they were standing on the banks of the Seine. They're half-assed ideologists who are lucky if they can blow up an empty building. These folks are professionals. They have good, reliable intelligence which they can act on. The have a time lag of a couple of hours, but they can and do go after US officials. It's not organized or well directed, yet, but time is on their side.
It's clear that most Iraqis want peace and stability. Most don't trust the resistance groups. But there is enough support for them so that they can operate with impunity. Someone sets up a freaking rocket launcher in a public park and no one sees this?
The US has overestimated the support its had in Iraq since the very beginning. The ridiculous idea that the Shia were our allies when they really wanted us to hand them power without much fuss. As was the idea that Saddam and his sons could direct a resistance movement from hiding. He wasn't exactly Charles De Gaulle, you know.
The reaity is that the Iraqis are at best tepid in their support and with each day, the resistance gains support. It's absolutely critical to understand that the resistance would be unable to stay alive without massive support from the locals. The Iraiqs, shpuld be getting decimated every time they go out to shoot it up with the US. Instead, they hit, run and take relatively few casualities. Which should be of massive concern.
One of the things not mentioned widely in the US media, but should be, is that most of our technical means of surveilliance don't work. In a report for the Army, the equipment can pick up special ops in the field, but they can't let you know who's a guerrilla and who isn't. The US, to this day, is unsure of who exactly the enemy is. There's always the fog of war, but this is ridiculous. How do you fight an enemy in the dark?
The US thinks they can defeat the Sunni guerrillas, a feat Saddam never completely managed, given the number of uprisings which occured and the bribes paid, before Sadr and the Sunnis get their act together. The problem is that the resistance has been and remains nationwide, and I suspect, fueled by occasional smugging and extortion. So money is not really a problem for them. Also, given the tribal nature of Iraq, few people would betray their kin to the Americans, especially when the Americans cannot protect them.
The fact is that the resistance, which is probably more widespread and popular than the Americans can imagine, is getting closer and closer to pulling off an assassination of note. The UN Bombing was an attempt to kill Bremer, but the timing was wrong. They fired rockets at Rumsfeld's plane but missed. Now, they rocket the main HQ of the US in Baghdad. These are not accidents or coincidences. They are well planned and organized assassination attempts lacking last minute data. They cut down that gap, and when cell phones start working in Iraq on a large scale, they will, and people are going be hit hard.
It's really time to ask how we get out of Iraq before we lose Iraq. We can't impose our will and the clock is running. We can't get things working fast enough and the CPA is a massive circle jerk society. talking to each other and living behind fortress walls. The Bush Administration has burdened us with a mess of a scale of which we still cannot imagine.
Imagine every urban renewal project attempted and why they failed. Then ramp up the scale to include an entire country. That is the reconstruction of Iraq. Billions being stolen while the locals stew. Except in this case, they have enough weapons for 400,000 men plus 200,000 reserves.
posted by Steve @ 10:37:00 PM