Iraq: Gotterdammerung

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January 11, 2008: U.S. and Iraqi forces have recently launched several major operations against new terrorist bases (established by those fleeing last year's "Surge Offensive" in and around Baghdad.) These attacks come in different forms. In a rural areas south of Baghdad, 25 tons of smart bombs went off within a few minutes of each area, as a farming compound full of terrorists was destroyed. Troops and police then went in to collect evidence. Paper documents often survive such attacks, and al Qaeda continues to generate a lot of paper records, despite the increased use of laptop computers.

North of Baghdad, Operation Phantom Phoenix sent several brigades of U.S. and Iraqi troops after specific terrorist targets. Using speed, surprise and, often, precise information about terrorist locations and personnel, the raids and searches sought to prevent the rebel groups from regaining the organizational strength is had a year ago. The terrorists have taken major leadership losses, but there are still thousand true believers (of Islamic terror) left. These are the hard core; either men who know the Americans have a file on them (detailing their crimes), or former Saddam henchmen who know that other Iraqis can identify, and convict (or assassinate) them. It's like the end of World War II, when many of the men of Hitler's secret police and SS combat troops fought to the death, knowing surrender was a death sentence. It's another Götterdämmerung like performance by another bunch of murderous maniacs.

The maniacs are now concentrating on killing as many of their former Sunni Arab allies as they can. The leadership is the main target, but this just makes the Sunni Arab tribes angrier. Tribes have a pecking order, so there is an endless supply of replacements for dead leaders. And the replacements are eager to show they are worthy, by embracing the tribal custom of blood feud. The killers must suffer retaliation, and each successful al Qaeda assassination creates more hatred of al Qaeda.

 

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