Sunday, December 04, 2005


American Commanders Discover that Iraqis Live in Iraq

If anything should make one despair, it is articles like this: US Army admits Iraqis outnumber foreign fighters as its main enemy ...Iraqis, rather than foreign fighters, now form the vast majority of the insurgents who are waging a ferocious guerrilla war against United States forces in Sunni western Iraq, American commanders have revealed. Now, "outnumber" would seem to suggest that intelligence has to differentiate between, say 45% Iraqi/55% foreign and 55% Iraqi/45% foreign, while "vast majority" sounds more like 80% Iraqi/20% foreign. But the long climb down has one more rung: Of 1,300 suspected insurgents arrested over the past five months in and around Ramadi, none has been a foreigner. Now, 100% Iraqi, 0% foreign would seem to be a fairly simple thing for intelligence to discover. By analogy, it's as though there were a serious dispute as to whether an item first claimed to be yellow, then conceded to be possibly orange is ultimately discovered to be red. Monty Python would have a lot of fun with this. Next we hear this: "The foreign fighters are staying north of the [Euphrates] river, training and advising, like the Soviets were doing in Vietnam," he said. Now this is such a peculiar formulation that it grovels for closer attention. Like, apparently, the spokesman is edging toward saying the terrorists are in Kurdistan? The one part we supposedly control. Yeah, sure, part of Anbar is north of the Euphrates, as is Nineveh and Salahuddin. But given the fact that Mosul has been a center of fighting, what exactly is the man saying? And then there's this: The insurgents have the support of most locals. "They have the ability to move freely around the city," said Capt Twain Hickman, the commander of India Company of the 3/7 US Marines battalion....Col Gronski said the local nature of the insurgency meant that even even the few civic leaders prepared to work with the Americans view the fighters as legitimate. "They see them as resistance. " OK. So, now we discover that the people we are routinely told are "terrorists" and which most of us call "insurgents" are actually resistance fighters, at least as far as Sunnis are concerned. And why are they fighting? Could it have anything to do with the theft of Iraqi oil money and American aid money by Republican cronies? Some Iraqis in Ramadi now adhere to Zarqawi's radical Islamist philosophy, but for most the insurgency is about removing the occupiers, Col Herbert said. "Their family and tribal honour has been impugned if we're on their ground. They're almost duty bound to fight." Unemployment, which is over 50 per cent, and widespread intimidation are also fuelling the insurgency. "It's economic," said Lt Col Robert Roggeman, who commands the 2/69 US Army battalion. "Two hundred bucks to shoot at an American, 50 bucks to lay down an IED." So, oh, well, yes, it could have something to do with something more than terrorism. Seems these "ragheads" actually have a sense of honor and actually want to work. It's wonderful our military is discovering these things. It's just too d--n bad it's nearly three years after Junius Caesar sent us on the most disastrous military camppaign in 2,014 years.
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