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  xFriday, June 27, 2003

(continued from the previous post)

You don't have to read between the lines of this report too much to discover that the hawks's own war-on-the-cheap plan is responsible for this uncomfortable situation: Going in with too small a force and a decaptiation strategy that destroyed the command structure but left the military relatively free to melt into the civilian population with their weapons. The plan was to decaptiate the regime and then impose order with the existing structure; instead, that structure appears to be turning against us. I certainly hope the hawks have a brilliant idea to alleviate this deadly and unstable situation, but I suspect that McNamara's Wolfowitz's bland assurances and the refrain that the steady trickle of casualties are "militarily insignificant" indicates that these jokers have no clue about how a guerilla war is fought, let alone won.

Iraqi Ambushes Beset Troops
At least 18 U.S. military personnel have been killed in attacks since President Bush declared the end of major hostilities in Iraq on May 1, and there have been dozens of other ambushes. U.S. and sympathetic Iraqi officials expressed concern today that an increasingly organized and well-armed resistance movement is beginning to coalesce around remnants of the former government's security apparatus.

"It's being planned and being planned well by small groups," a U.S. official said. "But we don't see a real command-and-control structure."

I hate to break it to the official, who says there's "no command and control structure" as if it's some sort of advantage for us, I doubt it really is. For one thing, much of our strategy in the war was targeting the command and control structure. It's elementary that, having seen the dangers therein, the Iraqis would break into small, independent cells , each tasked with wreaking as much havoc as possible. There doesn't have to be a "real command-and-control structure" for guerillas to be a threat, as our forces are discovering at their peril.

And when you get right down to it, can you blame the Iraqis? As loyal Americans, we'd do the same thing were we invaded and occupied. Sheesh, haven't the neocon hawks ever seen Red Dawn? The Iraqis never had a chance of resisting the US forces militarily. But when you combine this story with the previous one, you get an ominous picture: The guerillas are adapting their tactics to neutralize our advantages and enhance theirs, and we, apprently, are not following suit.

But it isn't as if these developments come as a surprise; they were a concern a dozen years ago during Gulf War Mark I. The evident failure of the hawks to prepare for this contingency is absolutely staggering in its incompetence.

More good news from the same piece:
Sweltering in 115-degree heat, many Baghdad residents are increasingly agitated by the failure of occupation authorities to maintain basic services. Much of the capital, and other parts of Iraq, have been without electricity or water for days. A number of fuel lines essential to power plants and pumping stations have been sabotaged. Iraqis are using buckets to draw water from the Tigris River, which runs through the city and is so shallow at points that children play soccer on the riverbed.

The popular anger and frustration are being exacerbated by rumors sweeping the city that occupation authorities cut off services to punish Iraqis for the recent attacks on U.S. troops.

U.S. officials have repeatedly tried to explain the reasons behind their difficulties restarting power, including decaying facilities and sabotage, but most Iraqis are unaware of their pronouncements. Without electricity, they cannot watch television, and there is no widely circulated Arabic-language newspaper that reflects the U.S. point of view.

"Rumor has become a fifth column for the Americans," said Sabih Azzawi, who led protests against a U.S. decision, later reversed, to disband the Iraqi military. "Rumors are very dangerous when the situation is so unsettled." Azzawi said Hussein's supporters were behind the anti-American rumors.


(cxontinued in the next post)





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