10 dead, two days
10 dead, two days
Saddam is being interrogated by the US, the right-wing media has forlorn hopes of the war ending soon, yet, according to CNN, the resistance made it a Christmas to remember with repeated shellings of the Green Zone. CENTCOM called it weak and ineffective, but if early reports are correct, someone fired an RPG into the Green Zone, and if that's true, everyone should be worried shitless.
We're talking a couple of hundred yards, and as these things go, taking RPG fire is bad. But to cap it off, there was a second shelling that night. As well as four dead GI's from the day's combat.
It's now to the place where every word the government says about Iraq is either wrong or a lie. Guerrillas never got within RPG range of MACV, or of Soviet HQ in Afghanistan. Yet, we're supposed to believe that the US has a handle on security issues in Iraq? They're flying Apache missions into central Baghdad. One day, either they're going to waste a bunch of civilians or come crashing down as a Strela hits them from close in.
This is the environment they expect to have elections and a trial of Saddam in? Who are they kidding? We know Bush wants to flee the occupation, but come on, without a better security situation, you're inviting a civil war to erupt. You can't even safeguard the police, much less leading Shia clerics, former Baathists or the Green Zone and you expect to secure elections? Fact is, US troops can't even monitor a polling place in most of Iraq without catching sniper fire. Without basic security, elections are a either a pipe dream or future fraud. If you can't do something as fundamental as protect the country's main pipeline, any talk of elections is a fantasy.
What the media misses is this: without security none of the US's plans are likely to happen. And we cannot provide security. With our plans for death squads and ignoring Ayatollah Sistani, we are laying the groundwork for a massive explosion of rage.
Iraq reminds me of Maximillian's failed conquest of Mexico. He tried to impose an imperial state and created the groundwork for his own defeat against the Germans in 1870. It was such a hairbrained plan, and so disastrous, that you have to wonder what the hell he was thinking. Hoping the US would be distracted by it's own civil war, that they could recolonize Mexico? It was falling apart as soon as it happened, but by 1865, the US Army was pressuring the French seriously and their battlehardened and trained army was able to force the French to see the light, that and covert help to the Juarez government.
A Newsweek columnist said that at every point along the way our expectations in Iraq have been dashed. They didn't leap at being liberated, they didn't rush to help us and they aren't turning on the resistance. Why? Because we invaded their country and killed their relatives. Things are so disorganized that we had to leave policy up to squad leaders. Which may speak well of them, but can only lead to further chaos. Units change, policy changes arbitrarily. Which leads to resentment and further violence.
I fear that 2003 was only prologue for the violence we'll see in 2004 in Iraq.
posted by Steve @ 3:40:00 PM