Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, October 22, 2004

More Stuff About Iraq has a story about the insurgency in Iraq. Military intelligence reports do not paint an optimistic picture.

Here are some highlights:

1) unaccounted for money (half a billion US$) from Saddam's personal account is financing the insurgency. This is interesting because the Bush Administration's justification for the war version 3.2 is that Saddam was financing terrorism and only by removing him from power could we stop that. Well it turns out that we have him in one of our jail cells and his money is still out there. I would guess that he never devoted this much of his money to supporting terrorists while he was out of jail.

2) US forces have killed or arrested more Iraqis than the original estimates of the number of insurgents allowed for (remember Rummy's "dead-enders"?). However, current estimates are that 12,000 insurgents remain at large. And that number reflects only the "core elements." This is interesting because opponents of invading Iraq in the first place argued that it would create hydra like resistance to the US. As we arrest or kill each insurgent there is always another willing to take his/her place. So this is a real "I told you so moment" for the anti-war folks.

3) Despite the first two items in this report, US intelligence sources are still convinced that arresting or killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would significantly slow or even stop the insurgency. Based on the original estimates, we should have wiped out all the insurgents by now. Yet they remain a formidable problem in Iraq. Who was it who said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

Discussion? Comments?


Dr. Strangelove said...

Note from Afghanistan: LA Times reports today that:

With backing from the U.S. and British governments, interim President Hamid Karzai is in the final stages of negotiations with leaders of a "moderate group" who said they were no longer involved in attacking government and foreign troops, said the sources, who included Afghan and Indian intelligence officials.His brother-in-law, Ibrahim, was put in charge of these "very sensitive" negotiations. The LA times claims that:

Ibrahim has recently visited the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to speak with Taliban prisoners and helped organize the release of some, to meet the Taliban faction's key condition for talks, according to the Afghan intelligence source. He spoke on condition of anonymity because his superiors had not authorized the interview. At least 40 Afghan prisoners have been freed from Guantanamo Bay since July 2003. And U.S. military intelligence reportedly has identified eight people, including at least one Taliban commander, who returned to combat.Finally, the LA times then adds that, It is not clear if any Afghan detainees were released recently to meet the Taliban faction's conditions for negotiations...and in an unrelated story (which LA Times nicely put right next to it in this morning's print edition), 17 ex-Taliban prisoners were just released from detention in Afghanistan. The U.S. insists this had to do with the prisoner death scandal in Afghanistan recently.

So much for our ideals. Perhaps al-Zarqawi will be next at the peace table...? Or perhaps we should have tried negotiationg with Saddam and saved ourselves this mess. I think the fact that we are releasing Taliban commanders back into the field because we don't have enough troops in Afghanistan to handle the situation is fairly important, don't you?

"Mission Accomplished"

Raised By Republicans said...

There is no way this makes the Bush Administration look good. On the one hand one could argue that this "Taliban Faction" was really just some local Pushtun fighters who got rounded up along with the Taliban/Al Qaeda guys. So that would make their release less alarming. But if they were not really a threat in the first place, then why were they held so long!?

We are witnessing arbitrary power! Very bad!

Bell Curve said...

Albert Einstein said your quote about insanity.

"Do I know what rhetorical means?" -- Homer Simpson

Raised By Republicans said...

I was actually hoping you would tell me. I thought it was Einstein but I couldn't remember.