Friday, November 12, 2004
The guerillas have already left Fallujah - the fighting actually seems to be more intense elsewhere in Iraq.
[A]t least one resident who drove around several districts of the city [Mosul] on Friday said he saw no presence whatsoever of Iraqi police or other security forces, and saw only one convoy of U.S. troops, moving rapidly through a northern area. He said insurgents remained in charge of at least one of the nine police stations attacked and set ablaze on Wednesday and Thursday. Some residents suggested that many police had taken off their uniforms and decided to join the insurgents.
Mosul's governor imposed an immediate curfew on Wednesday as the northern city of three million people exploded in violence. Anyone attempting to cross any of the city's five bridges over the Tigris river during curfew was to be shot on sight.
Free fire zones? So much for keeping civilian casualties low.
Decades? 20 years X 365 days per year X 2 dead soldiers per day = 14,600 dead soldiers
While President Bush has frequently described the prospect of free elections
as a boon to the people of Iraq, many in the minority Sunni population see
elections as a threat. Sunnis dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but the
long-oppressed Shiite majority could gain control in elections. That calculus
has made Sunni cities such as Fallujah hospitable to insurgents.
"The only choice is to attack other places sequentially," said Marine Col.
T.X. Hammes, an expert in insurgency warfare at Washington's National Defense
University. "Insurgencies are political and last decades. Do not think
that one single battle is decisive."
Retired Army general Montgomery Meigs saw firsthand the labor-intensive and
time-consuming work of establishing calm in a violence-riven country during his
tenure as commander of U.S. and allied troops in Bosnia. The Fallujah battle, he
said, has denied insurgents the ability to use a key population center as a base
for operations. "But the larger and more difficult problem will involve denying
to the insurgents the ability to select and attack targets at will," Meigs said.
"It's going to be a hard winter."