Old 04-29-2004, 14:01   #1
Roguish Lawyer
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The Iraqi Insurgency

From http://OpinionJournal.com

Best of the Web Today - April 29, 2004
By JAMES TARANTO
Saddam's Bitter-Enders http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/29/po...pagewanted=all

"A Pentagon intelligence report has concluded that many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the guerrilla attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, who planned for the insurgency even before the fall of Baghdad," reports the New York Times:

*** QUOTE ***

The report states that Iraqi officers of the "Special Operations and Antiterrorism Branch," known within Mr. Hussein's government as M-14, are responsible for planning roadway improvised explosive devices and some of the larger car bombs that have killed Iraqis, Americans and other foreigners. The attacks have sown chaos and fear across Iraq.

In addition, suicide bombers have worn explosives-laden vests made before the war under the direction of of M-14 officers, according to the report, prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The report also cites evidence that one such suicide attack last April, which killed three Americans, was carried out by a pregnant woman who was an M-14 colonel.

*** END QUOTE ***

This isn't the first indication of a postliberation pro-Saddam insurgency. Last June the Washington Times http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030...1144-1219r.htm reported that "a document from the Iraqi intelligence service in Basra--which was captured in April as coalition forces gained control--orders agents to start campaigns of sabotage, looting and murder should Iraq lose the war."

What to do about all this? Reports like this one, from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer , are not encouraging:

*** QUOTE ***

U.S. military officials in Iraq said that because of political sensitivities, overall policy decisions about the standoff in Fallujah are being made by the White House, and Marine commanders have been reluctant to make public pronouncements about what should be done. But privately, many say they believe the only way to eliminate the insurgency is through a series of large raids.

They note that a cease-fire agreement signed April 19 has largely been ignored by people in the city. Although the deal called for such heavy arms as mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to be surrendered to the Marines, all they have received is a small assortment of rusty, inoperable weapons.

More significantly, Marines note, insurgents were supposed to stop attacking U.S. positions. But front-line Marine posts are fired on almost daily in some places, prompting the Americans to respond with everything from sniper fire to precision-guided 500-pound bombs dropped by Air Force fighter jets.

"The only way to ensure that we really get these guys is for us to go in and take them out," a Marine officer said.

*** END QUOTE ***

It would seem that the politics would be easier to sort out if the Marines were allowed to win the war first.
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