Monday, December 15, 2003

War News for December 15, 2003 Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed while disarming roadside bomb near Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers wounded in two separate ambushes in Kuwait. Bring ‘em on: Four Iraqi policemen wounded by car bombing in western Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Eight Iraqi policemen killed in suicide bombing in Husseiniyah. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded in bomb ambush at “undisclosed location” in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed near Tikrit. Bring 'em on: Police station attacked with small arms, RPGs in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Uprising reported in Fallujah. Analysis: Lieutenant AWOL’s obsession with Saddam Hussein. Saddam’s capture may have little effect on insurgency. More here, and here. Capture cuts both ways. "So this arrest cuts both ways - many Iraqis who feared that Saddam would return to power might now be more willing to be seen to be helping the occupation; equally, as a Baghdad businessman, Faris Al-Hadi, put it, there are many Iraqis who support the resistance, but who were not prepared to help it while Saddam was on the run, lest they be seen to be supporting the former dictator." Report from Fallujah. Cheers to jeers in Iraq. "'It's great that he's caught, but it wasn't him who screwed up the petrol and the electricity and everything else so badly, so now a canister of gas that was 250 dinars costs 4,000, if you can get one,' said Ghazi, a 52-year-old dentist, from his car as he queued with hundreds of other drivers waiting for petrol." Commentary Opinion: Partitioning Iraq would exacerbate Bush’s blunders. Opinion: From Thanksgiving to December 14, 2003. Casualty Reports Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq. Rant of the Day The media has been treating the capture of Saddam Hussien like it’s VE Day. I’ve been following this war every day for the last seven months, and I’m a trained and experienced tactical analyst. I don’t see every spot report or intelligence summary; in fact, all I see are the press reports I find on the web. In the last seven days ending Saturday, there were an average of 21 attacks on US troops every day - and that doesn’t count attacks on Iraqi police the US command knows about and it damn sure doesn’t include the clandestine insurgent surveillance, logisitcs and communications functions we don’t know about but are still happening. There were four suicide bombings directed at US facilities last week. Every one was directed against a high-payoff target: a US division headquarters or a troop cantonment. All those activities are being coordinated, and the coordination is getting better. The insurgency is spreading. During Ramadan, there were an average of 35 attacks every day against US troops. That was quite an accomplishment from a tactical point of view. The ambushes are got much more sophisticated. Somebody coordinated all that activity; somebody recruits, somebody else runs supply, some other yahoo arranges target surveillance, and somebody’s in charge. If you bring me Saddam Hussein, an ADC or maybe his operations officer, and a shitload of communications gear I’d say you got something important. Bring me Saddam Hussein in his dirty pajamas, needing a bath and a shave, and I’d say you ain’t got shit because you just confirmed that the “dead-enders” aren’t important anymore. Worse, Saddam Hussein ran that country for 23 years. No dissent was tolerated. Iraqis remember what happened in 1991 when people rose up. I’d say that as long as Saddam remained uncaptured, he remained an implicit threat to any Iraqi who might want to rise up again. People feared him even while he was hiding. I doubt anybody fears L. Paul Bremer in the same way. I think in the next 30 days we may see the beginnings of a real civil war. Maybe for Lieutenant AWOL’s main priority - his precious political ass - that’s good. Now he can cut and run, handing over control to the IGC and calling it success. But it’s going to be a withdrawal like the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948 or the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan. Company commanders and platoon leaders in Mosul, Sadr City and Najaf are going to hand over the firebase gate keys to the local warlord and hope they don’t get shot up too bad while they haul ass for the nearest aerial POE. But for the rest of us it’s going to suck. I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’re going to long rue the day we ever let Lieutenant AWOL change the regime in Iraq. As for the story of the capture, it’s really starting to smell funny. I really wish our press would start to ask questions instead of just parroting a story from an administration that has a long and established pattern of scripting, embellishing and lying.


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