Iraq: November 10, 2004


American and Iraqi troops have cleared hostile gunmen from most of Fallujah, losing about twenty dead in three days of fighting. Enemy dead are over 500, with many uncounted  bodies blown apart by bombs or buried in rubble. Enemy plans to lure American troops into ambushes and areas rigged with bombs rarely worked. American intelligence of the city was good enough to detect most of these traps, and troops advancing into Fallujah caught most of  the rest. Apparently, about two thousand gunmen stayed in the city to fight, and die. Many of the more experienced fighters, and their leadership and technical people, had previously fled to other parts of Sunni Arab central Iraq. But there are no other towns where such anti-government groups could operate as openly and effectively as they did in Fallujah. The anti-government forces continue to concentrate their attacks and terror activities on Iraqi police and security forces. It is the Iraqi police who will make it more difficult for the gangs to stay hidden. The gangs cannot survive encounters with coalition combat troops, so the destruction of the Iraqi police force is a matter of life and death for them. 

The Sunni Arab anti-government groups continue to get themselves portrayed as brave freedom fighters in the Moslem, and European press. In an amazing case of collective delusion, all those journalists ignore Iraqi history and the current efforts of these Sunni Arab groups to reinstate a Sunni dictatorship (secular or religious, depending on who would win the next round of that civil war, the Baath party or al Qaeda.)

The Baath Party and al Qaeda have both found that terror works, in the short run. Terrorizing Sunni Arab  families has made it possible to get "volunteers" for the fighting, or discouraging men from joining the government security forces (or turning traitor if they had already joined.) However, the fact that most Sunni Arabs would rather have a democratic government, and have their sons join the police or army, is working against Baath and al Qaeda. The Baath Party had over forty years to make their mark, and all they did was bring ruin, and Saddam, to the country. This has not gone unnoticed, even by Sunni Arabs.  Al Qaeda is mainly killing Iraqis with their suicide bombings, and using mainly foreigners to do it. In most of Iraq, the coalition forces are welcome and safe from attack. But that isn't news. Neither is the true composition of the "Iraqi resistance."


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