Update to The Saudis

James Rummel at Hell in a Handbasket (which has been one of MO’s biggest supporters by the way) linked to my earlier post about desperate terrorists and called it “a different take on the situation.” Although I don’t agree 100% with the point that the terrorists are getting desperate, I felt that I should clarify my position a bit.

I wrote in his comments

Let’s just say I’m cautious. Born a skeptic, and all. Thanks for your support. It’s appreciated.


Actually, I think ALL of the terrorist attacks have a certain desperation about them. Suicide bombing a checkpoint or attacking a tank with a machine gun and a pick-up truck certainly has an air of desperation about it, doesn’t it? Regular guys, or even regular Iraq Army types, don’t attack United States soldiers if they aren’t desperate.

However, I’m hesitant to think the recent bombings are any more desperate than previous attacks. I’m just not quite ready to figure that we’ve turned some sort of corner here. That’s all.

As a matter of fact, a corner may have been turned a while back when more and more foreign terrorists began entering Iraq to attack our troops. Attacks on UN and Red Cross facilities aren’t carried out by warriors who think they’re doing well.

What I’m not ready to accept, though, is that we should claim we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe we think we can, but at this point we shouldn’t be making a big deal out of it. If we’re close to pacifying the country, that’s great. When the attacks slow to a trickle, everyone will know. But what if attackers keep up their current pace, or even increase? Then we’ll just look back at any proclamations of victory as errors, or worse, as lies.

How many times has the media announced some statistic measured in reference to when Bush landed on that carrier and announced the end of major combat? We don’t really need another event like that at this point, do we?

I think, overall, that we’re continuing to make headway in Iraq. And few have mentioned that, in some areas at least, patrols and security were relaxed a little due to Ramadan. This could explain at least some of the increased bravery of our enemies. Still, our adversaries remain tenacious, cunning, and well-armed. I’d rather we announce things are going to get worse and be mistaken than announce they’re about to improve a week before everything goes to hell in a, um, handbasket. (Sorry, James. Couldn’t resist.)

And as for the Saudis, who were the original subject of my original post, I remain convinced that Mr. Rummel is 100% dead on target when he says “Until the money is shut off there won’t be any real change.”