Iraq: October 12, 2004

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 Several weeks of  smart bomb attacks, and ground forces raiding locations in and around Fallujah have taken a noticeable toll on the terrorist  network led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and headquartered in Fallujah. Al Zarqawi operates like al Qaeda, but is an independent operator. There are pro al Qaeda organizations in Iraq, and these guys don't get along with al Zarqawi's people. The source of some information on al Zarqawi's organization may be coming from rivals. But the information is coming, daily and in great detail. American pilots and ground troops have been getting accurate information on the location of al Zarqawi hideouts for several weeks now, and have killed over a hundred al-Zarqawi followers, and destroyed much equipment (radios, bomb making components, documents). Al Zarqawi is still in business, but he and his people are hunted men.

Going into places like Fallujah and taking control is not as much of a problem. Keeping control is difficult, because the current government has a bad case of "the Iraqi disease." This affliction causes Iraqi politicians to believe their troops and police are more capable than they are. Although Saddam had this problem when facing foreign armies, he had a better sense of proportion when it came to terrorizing his own people. The current government is willing to just put civilians into police uniforms, give them a week or two of training and put them on the streets. American commanders are having a hard time pointing out the obvious; that this doesn't work. The cops and troops require more training, and the officers even more so. The Iraqis like to believe in magic, and have a hard time admitting that magic doesn't work.  Saddam's followers don't believe in magic, they believe in terror, and terror does work. 

 

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