Saturday, November 05, 2005

It's been a while

I have been sitting and watching events and not saying a whole lot about what has been going on. Part of my reason has been a feeling that I might "jinx" things by saying something. But I believe I have finally had enough so I am going to burn some bits here.

So the numbers are in for October. I am confused by media reports of "expanding" or "increasing" insurgency in Iraq when I am seeing exactly the opposite. During the month of January when Iraq last had a constitutional referendum there were 127 coalition deaths. In October there were 99. While one might not on the surface think that this is a considerable difference (down roughly 22%), one must look at what going on at the time. At the time of the 127 deaths, there were practically no coalition troops in western Iraq. About a week prior to the latest election, we changed from a tactic of "raid and run" in the western towns to "raid and stay". During the last elections there were boots on the ground in the most restive areas of Al Anbar province. Also, the month of October showed a decrease in the numbers if Iraq casualties, both security forces and civilians. There was no "Great Ramadan Offensive". Osama bin Laden didn't arrive in Iraq to lead the insurgents. All the bluster from the insurgents has proved out to be just that, bluster.

Rather than increasing in their deadly activities, the numbers are showing a decreased ability to inflict casualties. There is also some evidence that the tactics of the insurgents are causing a loss of support in the Muslim world. They are increasingly being seen as the homicidal maniacs that they are. The only place that the insurgency seems to be increasing is in the headlines of wire service news articles. It is no wonder that polls are showing decreased support; the people are being deliberately misinformed. It is hard to find good news but you can if you dig around. Often it is in the foreign press.

But the good thing is, nobody in Iraq except Al Qaida is reading the US headlines and that might actually be a good thing. It might cause the insurgents to begin to believe their own bluster or to believe that everyone here does. This might cause them to overlook the indicators of their demise which are appearing daily. The daily number of attacks are down. The number of casualties from the attacks are down. They have been increasingly unable to intimidate people into stopping the political process (many more Sunnis participated this time than last time). Coalition forces are now camped inside the towns they held only a couple of months ago. Their leadership seems to be getting picked off daily. Private citizens are coming forward to report insurgent locations and caches. The last attempted spectacular attack (they have been able to pull off two spectacular attacks per month until now) floundered when attempts to breech the security of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad failed and they were only able to kill some innocent passers-by.

What is also very important is that during the January elections, coalition forces were busy in places like Tikrit and Mosul. These areas have now been turned over to Iraqi forces. This frees up US forces to concentrate more force on Al Anbar. At the same time this is taking place, Iraq has issued a recall of the old Iraqi army junior officers. All who were serving up to the rank of Major are being asked to return. It is too early to tell how that is working out, but it could serve to deflate any non-Al Qaida insurgency even more. It is a very important move, though, because once those guys get into uniform again, our forces aren't "occupiers" anymore to them, we become trainers and logisticians. We become their supply system until their own supply system is up and running. There is more to building an army than just putting troops into uniform and handing them a rifle. You have to feed them, clothe them, provide clean socks and underwear. For an army to operate completely on its own, it needs a logistics system to keep that army fed, clothed, and supplied.

So, the bottom line? If you read the mainstream media, you are being lied to. You are being intentionally misinformed. Why this is so popular these days, I have no idea. The truth is that from today forward, things are going to start going very badly for Al Qaida in Iraq. Let's hope they keep drinking the Kool-Aid, reading our media, and don't notice. They might just "expand" themselves right into oblivion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:07 PM PST  
Blogger crosspatch said...

The above comment was spam so I removed it. I won't remove real comments.

3:20 PM PST  

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