Monday, July 12, 2004

"We're Not At The Forefront Of A Jihadist War Here"

American military officials have told the Associated Press that the insurgency in Iraq is backed primarily by Sunni revanchists, not foreign jihadists.

The Bush administration has long argued that the insurgency is primarily jihadist in nature, and that the jihadists have joined cause with a relatively small cadre of former Baathists. It has been known for some time that the Deserter and his flying monkeys were lying about the influence of the foreign jihadists and that the insurgency was primarily nationalist in nature. What was less clear was whether the nationlist insurgency was popular and broad based, or populated largely with Baathist recidivists. The Bush administration predictably argued that the indigenous insurgents were comprised of a fairly small number of Baathists. However, the military officials who spoke to the Associated Press had a quite different view, a view shared by many of the most informed observers of the Iraq situation.

Civilian analysts generally agreed, saying U.S. and Iraqi officials have long overemphasized the roles of foreign fighters and Muslim extremists.

Such positions support the Bush administration's view that the insurgency is linked to the war on terror. A closer examination paints most insurgents as secular Iraqis angry at the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops.

"Too much U.S. analysis is fixated on terms like 'jihadist,' just as it almost mindlessly tries to tie everything to (Osama) bin Laden," Cordesman said. "Every public opinion poll in Iraq ... supports the nationalist character of what is happening."
The Associated Press report cites estimates of the size of the insurgent forces of 20,000 or more, and notes that administration estimates of 5,000 insurgents are extremely questionable in light of claims by the U.S. military that 4,000 insurgents were killed in April alone.

This is the worst possible scenario for our nation and for our troops. A popular insurgency cannot be defeated without resorting to extreme brutality, an option that should be rejected by the American people on the grounds of both morality and the extremely high toll in U.S. casualties that such a policy would exact. The tragedy is that the insurgency will continue as long as we remain in Iraq, and the Deserter and his neocon coconspirators will cite the insurgency to justify an indefinite occupation of Iraq. Thus do we sink into the insanity of tautological war in which the product of the war, the insurgency, becomes the premise for continuing the war.

It is now plain that the sole remaining justification for our continued presence in Iraq - the war against radical Islam - is a fraud, just as the WMD justification was a fraud, and just as the Saddam/Al Qaeda link was a fraud. Our troops in Iraq are fighting Sunni nationalists, not radical Islam, and they will likely continue to die in large numbers until we leave.

The media no longer seem interested in casualty counts, as evidenced by the fact that levels of U.S. casualties are again threatening to return to the levels seen in April and yet the U.S. media that rightly publicized the April carnage now barely mentions the daily death toll. Check out Juan Cole's Informed Comment if you want to know the price our troops are paying every day for the criminality of the Deserter and his fellow war criminals. In the last week we've lost 24 coalition troops, as compared to 50 coalition troops in the entire month of June.

The Deserter would love for us to become innured to the death, and numb to the daily casualty reports. For the sake of our own souls we cannot permit this to happen. These deaths are as senseless as drive-by shootings in our inner cities. They serve no purpose but to feed the bloodlust of the warmongers. We are not safer as a result. We are not freeing Iraqis. We must leave Iraq now.


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