Iraq: October 8, 2004


 American commanders have identified about two dozen Iraqi towns where anti-government forces are strong. The plan is to cripple the enemy organization one town at a time. The process began in Samarra, and is now being applied to several small towns in Babil province south of Baghdad. In those few towns where the hostile gunmen are pretty much in control, like Fallujah, a long period of negotiations take place with the pro-government notables in the town. The terrorists and Baath Party groups have already warned that anyone taking part in these negotiations is subject to punishment. But you can't just go kill the religious and business leaders in these towns, as that would enrage the most powerful families, clans and tribes in those areas. The government, the locals and the anti-government groups all know that the "resistance" is a lost cause. The leadership in Samarra were quick to make a peace deal with the government. 

But a minority of Iraqis have bought into the fantasies that American is there to steal their oil, and that the war in Iraq is the beginning of a new Christian Crusade (the last real one was over 500 years ago) to conquer the Middle East. Most Iraqis are tired of this nonsense and are increasingly willing to take risks to restore order. The government is using this shift in attitude to gather information on the anti-government forces and attack them. In Babil province, American and Iraqi troops are making dozens of raids, and uncovering weapons, ammunition and bomb making supplies, as well as arresting hundreds of suspects.

Fallujah continues to get several smart bombs a day, making life uncomfortable, and dangerous, for the terrorist organizations headquartered there. The al Qaeda groups are increasingly unpopular in Iraq, because the terrorists continue to set off suicide bombs that kill mainly Iraqis.  


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