Insurgents launch a dozen attacks across Iraq

A personal friend posted this on her Facebook wall (via Barack Obama, no less):

U.S. Troops in Iraq Fall Below 50,000
The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has fallen below 50,000—the lowest level since the U.S-led invasion in 2003.

But all the news ain’t good, which is par for the course in so many of the dusty sandboxes of the world. So I responded with

Bombings come one day after U.S. troop level in Iraq dips below 50,000
BAGHDAD — Bombers and gunmen launched an apparently coordinated string of at least a dozen attacks against Iraqi government forces on Wednesday, killing at least 50 people just one day after the number of U.S. troops fell below 50,000 for the first time since the start of the war.

Obviously, a rise in violence is to be expected. First, the Iraqi security forces are simply not as good as the US troops. Period. Even if political corruption and tribal issues didn’t hamper things too much of the time, the skill level and the tools for the job just aren’t equal to what the US military brings to the fight.

Secondly, despite nearly eight years of negative reports about the US military results in Iraq, Americans have been mind-bogglingly, stunningly, successful. They’ve exceeded expectations, and expectations were sky high to begin with. The surviving insurgents and terrorists had a lot of justification to lie a bit lower and wait for “the last US combat brigade to leave Iraq.” Now that the press has played this up, they probably sense that the time is right to come out of their rat holes for a bit, shake things up, and see what happens.

Hopefully, what happens is that the Iraqi forces, with American advisors and assisters backing them up, drives them back into their holes. Well, the ones they don’t kill, anyway.

This is yet another crucial phase in the campaign.


  1. What makes you think it was “insurgents”, or “terrorists” and not just fun loving members of various Iraqi Political factions? Settling scores, or trying to destabilise the “other guys” so power can be grabbed? There is a lot of underlying hostility and intolerance towards anyone who’s not part of “your group” in Iraq; they usually don’t make much of it in front of “us”, so you really have to listen to them talk amongst themselves, and read between the lines when they are talking to you.

    Oh………..and it may have been insurgents or terrorists too. It’s hard to tell the players without a score card over there.

    Final thought? Sounds like job security for over paid trigger happy thugs like us! LOL!

  2. What makes you think it was “insurgents”, or “terrorists” and not just fun loving members of various Iraqi Political factions?

    Good point.

  3. A good title would have been “ Iraq is still Iraq”.

    It’s a different fricken world over there. Even a major success on our part (which Iraq certainly is), will still have regular suicide bombers, IED’s, rockets, etc.

    Just look at Israel. It’s been a “success” for 60+ years. And it’s still constantly on the eve of destruction.

  4. Obviously, a rise in violence is to be expected.

    Because we removed the one guy with the stones to control the population.

  5. Bravo makes a good point; that is very relevant to the current socio political situation in Iraq. The disparate groups with LONG standing grievances, combined with a pronounced tendancy to settle things “vigorously” almost necessitated a strongman figure to hold things togather. Think Tito in post WW II Yugoslavia, without most of the tribalistic inter group cannibalisation that’s afflicted post WW II Iraq.

    In the end, both “leaders” engaged in a fair amount of head banging on recalcitrant groups and individuals to keep them in line. The big difference between them being Tito was more nationalist in outlook, and Saddam was much more tribalistic in using the Sunnis to not only keep Iraq unified but to suppress the Shias and Kurds at the same time.

    If any kind of democracy in Iraq lasts……..I suspect it will end up being a lip service democracy like Egypt. With a president for life (in all but name) running things like an autocrat with the connivance of allied political parties and security services. And good luck getting to that benign (relatively) state of dictatorship. The surrouding Sunni Arab states will never buy into a Shia dominated Iraq, especially if they think Iran has too much influence.

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