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The New York Times confirms that Pentagon analysts have concluded that the apparatus of the Saddam Hussein regime has financed, advised, and even led the insurgencies inside Iraq. In fact, intelligence shows that the insurgencies are the result of pre-war planning, as many had suspected:
A Pentagon intelligence report has concluded that many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the guerrilla attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, who planned for the insurgency even before the fall of Baghdad.
The report states that Iraqi officers of the "Special Operations and Antiterrorism Branch," known within Mr. Hussein's government as M-14, are responsible for planning roadway improvised explosive devices and some of the larger car bombs that have killed Iraqis, Americans and other foreigners. The attacks have sown chaos and fear across Iraq.
In addition, suicide bombers have worn explosives-laden vests made before the war under the direction of of M-14 officers, according to the report, prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The report also cites evidence that one such suicide attack last April, which killed three Americans, was carried out by a pregnant woman who was an M-14 colonel.
This report should end the silly representation by some in this country that the insurgency demonstrates some sort of grassroots groundswell of Iraqi opinion against the US. Iraqis dislike the idea and experience of occupation, but they know better than we do that for us to evacuate Iraq entirely would leave them at the mercy of the same regime we deposed. They are not fools, but they worry that we are.
The report details how the M-14 structured cells to operate independently in case their leadership was killed or captured, and it also reports on the tactics of terror and intimidation employed by the Ba'athists which have kept Iraqi civilians from cooperating fully with the CPA and the provisional Iraqi government. Until the CPA takes decisive action against the Ba'athist remnants -- and the report makes clear that insurgents in Fallujah and nearby Ramadi are led by this group -- we will not have accomplished our overall goal of freeing Iraq from Saddam's grip, either personally or by proxy.
On the positive side, they cannot defeat us militarily; they are far too weak for that, which is why they've adopted the Hamas/Islamic Jihad/al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade tactics described in the article. Their only hope is in outlasting us, by demonstrating a stronger political will than the CPA. Their very existence demonstrates Ba'athist futility, otherwise, these same units would have stood and fought as the Coalition rolled across Baghdad. As I posted earlier, we cannot allow Saddam's remnants to chase us out of Iraq by nitpicking us into losing our political will, the only possible strategy in which they could win. The resultant loss of prestige would guarantee high-yield terrorist action against the US for decades to come.Sphere It View blog reactions
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