Friday, June 17, 2005

The Exception Should Be The Rule

The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
Dick Cheney spouted this latest of his numerous wrongheaded optimistic projections about Iraq on Larry King two weeks ago. Since then the violence in Iraq has continued unabated and we've even begun a new counterinsurgency attack, project Spear, after insurgents captured Ramadi...a freakin' city.

ABC correspondent Terry Moran called the administration out on the dissonance between the reality on the ground and the Vice President's rhetoric in the daily press briefing yesterday. Poor poor Scotty McClellan.

Q Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its 'last throes'?
McCLELLAN: Terry, you have a desperate group of terrorists in Iraq that are doing everything they can to try to derail the transition to democracy. The Iraqi people have made it clear that they want a free and democratic and peaceful future. And that's why we're doing everything we can, along with other countries, to support the Iraqi people as they move forward….
Q But the insurgency is in its last throes?
McCLELLAN: The Vice President talked about that the other day -- you have a desperate group of terrorists who recognize how high the stakes are in Iraq. A free Iraq will be a significant blow to their ambitions.
Q But they're killing more Americans, they're killing more Iraqis. That's the last throes?
McCLELLAN: Innocent -- I say innocent civilians. And it doesn't take a lot of people to cause mass damage when you're willing to strap a bomb onto yourself, get in a car and go and attack innocent civilians. That's the kind of people that we're dealing with. That's what I say when we're talking about a determined enemy.
Q Right. What is the evidence that the insurgency is in its last throes?
McCLELLAN: I think I just explained to you the desperation of terrorists and their tactics.
Q What's the evidence on the ground that it's being extinguished?
McCLELLAN: Terry, we're making great progress to defeat the terrorist and regime elements. You're seeing Iraqis now playing more of a role in addressing the security threats that they face. They're working side by side with our coalition forces. They're working on their own. There are a lot of special forces in Iraq that are taking the battle to the enemy in Iraq. And so this is a period when they are in a desperate mode.
Q Well, I'm just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency.
McCLELLAN: Well, you can go back and look at the Vice President's remarks. I think he talked about it.
Q Yes. Is there any idea how long a 'last throe' lasts for?
McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve....

Thank you, Terry Moran. This shit should be the rule, not the exception. It's their fucking job.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone should call poor, poor Terry Moran out on the dissonance between his actual knowledge (or lack there of) of insurgent tactics and capabilities, and they way he puts together questions designed to make the masses THINK he actually knows what he's talking about.

(Not to excuse Scott McClellan, who should have responded with a curt "the evidence is there that the insurgency is losing, Terry, and the Vice President was citing that evidence. If you would like specificexamples and a detailed explanation you should take your questions over to the press office at the Pentagon).

In recent weeks and months changes in insurgent operations give the clear indication that they are running out of steam. These changes include:

First, an increase in the crudity of the weapons and tactics. This lack of sophistication indicates that the insurgency has both lost knowledge-holders of technical skills and information (including bomb-making and small-unit ambush skills) and no longer has the time, facilities or equipment necessary to maintain their previous level of sophistication(IOW, they are having to improvise while on the run).

Second, an increase in the use of certain desperation tactics, including planting bombs in the trunks of unsuspecting taxi drivers and the use of extortion tactics to force otherwise law-abiding citizens to take part in attacks (be a suicide bomber for us or your entire family wil have their throats slashed). This indicates a dwindling supply of willing manpower with an apparent emphasis on preserving, rather than sacrificing, their leadership cadre.

Third, an increased willingness by the Iraqi populace at-large to assist Coalition and Iraqi forces in identifying and capturing members of the insurgency. The key to winning an insurgency is to win the "hearts and minds" of the population, so they will help you find and remove the insurgents. As the Iraqi population has become more trusting of Coalition forces (after 30 years of Ba'athist oppression they were understandibly cynical at first), as the Iraqi population became more aware that the insurgency is being conducted mostly by foreign nationals, as the Iraqi elements within the coalition forces have grown and engaged in closer coordination with the US-led forces and as the Sunni minority has been included in the political process, the willingness of the average Iraqi to assist with putting down the insurgency has grown.

Of course, all the above are things well known to us who get our news from legitimate defense/national security press outlets (Janes, Defense News, etc) instead of from McNews sources like ABC and the other broadcast networks ... but it does serve to highlight the problem of ignorant bloggers who lack the willingness to actually dig into a story before they go off parroting the first thing they hear that happens to agree with their own preconceptions and biases.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, the "increase on the crudity of the weapons and tactics"?

Check out some of the comments recently about how shaped charges and IEDs.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, "increase in the crudity of weapons" you say?

7:54 AM  

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