Monday, November 15, 2004

A week and a half ago, the conservative blogosphere was pissing all over Kofi Annan for his warnings against a full-fledged assault on Fallujah. A good example was this penetrating insight from Little Green Footballs:
At what point does it become clear to all that the UN and Kofi Annan are objectively working on the side of the mujahideen in Iraq?
While the right is crowing over the near-victory of US forces in Fallujah, they seem to be boldly embodying the equally insightful aphorism "penny wise and pound foolish".
The fighting started in Mosul two days after U.S. tanks entered Fallujah. . . .

U.S. tanks and attack helicopters on Sunday swooped into Baiji, the midway point between Mosul and Baghdad, where insurgents destroyed a key highway bridge and claimed the city. Masked men carried guns aloft in a protest Sunday in Baqubah, a chronic trouble spot for U.S. forces just northeast of the capital. U.S. forces also engaged fighters in Tall Afar, a largely Turkmen city west of Mosul, and in Hawija, northwest of Baghdad.

Bands of armed men moved freely at night in several neighborhoods of Baghdad, where the number of attacks on U.S. forces has more than doubled from a week ago. Ramadi, 30 miles west of Fallujah, remains a rebel stronghold.

And U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to fight in Samarra, the city advertised as a model for the assault on Fallujah when 1st Infantry Division tanks rolled in there six weeks ago to reclaim the city from insurgents. Under the curfew again in effect there, Samarra residents are allowed on the street for only four hours each morning, and over the weekend its latest police chief, installed just last month, quit.

"We never believed a fight in Fallujah would mean an end to the insurgency," a U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said. "We've never defined success that way.

"We still have the very difficult problem of a Sunni insurgency."
It seems hardly reasonable to believe that the entire Sunni resistance will be put down militarily within two months. And yet with the Sunni Triangle in outright rebellion, how can the January elections occur? If they go on without meaningful Sunni participation, how can Iraq avoid civil war after Sistani and the Shi'ites take control?

Maybe Allawi is talking as well as fighting, but I haven't seen any news reports to suggest so.


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