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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | July 07, 2003

"Desperate" Iraqi resistance picks off GIs at will

There's been some laughable spin out of Iraq, but none more so than Bremer's assertion that the Iraqi resistance is "desperate" -- as indicated by their increasingly bold and deadly attacks.

Nah, the resistance roams the country at will, doing what it pleases with the US presence and its Iraqi lackeys. Not a sign of desperation, but a sign of confidence. Not good for our servicemembers.

And then Bush, playing his desperado bit, egged on the opposition, "Bring them on" (a taunt now repeated by Gen. Tommy Franks from the safety of his Tampa headquarters). And they've come.

Three more Americans were killed in the last 12 hours. The first was the soldier guarding Baghdad University (though some reports indicate he was engaged in some sort of "community outreach" program). This killing, similar to many recent attacks, give lie to the notion that the Iraqi resistance is "desperate" -- the assailant merely walked up to his target in broad daylight, shot him in public at close range, and casually strolled away as onlookers looked to other way.

The other two also died in combat, one of them while sparring with gunmen, the other when his vehicle was hit with an RPG.

The families of all our sons and daughters lost in this senseless war need to get an audience in front of King Bush and ask if he hoped for an inspired challenge to the occupation when he issued his callous challenge to the Iraqi resistance.

Steve and others keep trying to analogize this war with other guerilla ventures in the past. I don't see any analogies. Guerilla fighters, almost by definition, strike at night, under cover of darkness, away from the eyes of their enemy and any civilian informers that might give them away.

What we see in Iraq is the exact opposite -- an enemy so self-assured in itself and in its popular support that it doesn't even pretend to hide. It strikes in the day, out in the open, with hundreds of witnesses. Fearless of any real retribution. Able to casually slip back into friendly crowds that not only will refuse to give him away, but will actively provide cover.

Bush issued the challenge. The Iraqis are obliging. That's not desperation, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted July 07, 2003 07:06 AM


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