rumsfeld: iraq not a guerilla war
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denied yesterday that the occupation forces were facing a guerilla war in Iraq. Unfortunately, one of the reporters present quoted the Pentagon's own definition at him:
Q: According to the Pentagon's own definition --
Rumsfeld: I could die that I didn't look it up!
Q: -- military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy- held or hostile territory by a regular -- (Inaudible.) -- indigenous forces. This seems to fit a lot of what's going on in Iraq.
Rumsfeld: It really doesn't. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld didn't elaborate on exactly how the situation in Iraq "really doesn't" look like a guerilla war, however.
But a recent poll shows that while Rumsfeld is in "Five O'Clock Follies" mode, the public is starting to figure out that the Administration's prosises about a quick and easy dust-up in Iraq were about as good as any of the Administration's other promises -- sweet sounding but somewhat, ah, divorced from reality.
Only 56 percent of Americans think current U.S.-coalition efforts as going well, according to a new CNN/USA Today Gallup poll. That is much lower than the 70 percent in late May and the 86 percent in early May who thought things were going well.
The poll of 1,003 adult Americans, which was conducted last week, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
U.S. troops in Iraq have been conducting raids north of Baghdad since Sunday in a sweep known as "Operation Sidewinder." The raids are the latest effort to stop hit-and-run attacks that have killed 23 Americans and six British soldiers since President Bush declared the end of major combat May 1.
Forty-nine percent of respondents are not confident that the United States can stop such attacks on U.S. forces, but three-quarters believe the number of combat deaths since April were to be expected given the dangers in Iraq.
The article has some interesting graphic that suggests the continued intractability of the Iraqi situation, and the continuing casualties among our fighting forces are leading the public to no longer share Rumsfeld's optimism.