Americans agreed to a deal (in falluja) nonetheless
July 2, 2004 9:11 AM   Subscribe

"The men who killed the contractors were not turned in,
and very few weapons were surrendered, but the Americans agreed to a deal nonetheless."

A letter from Falluja, and a forshadow of US approach to iraq in the months and years to come? One wonders about about the potential blowback ...
posted by specialk420 (9 comments total)
If the US decides to avenge and defeat every last militia or random group that kills Americans in Iraq, the army will end up getting bogged down in major mission creep. The occupation will become an end in and of itself, rather than a means to establishing a stable Iraq.

It strikes me that the US deal in Fallujah is the best way to prevent future blowback.
posted by deanc at 10:03 AM on July 2, 2004

Right now Fallujah seems to be a haven for potential terrorists. I doubt it would have been such a sanctuary for them under Saddam.
posted by caddis at 10:21 AM on July 2, 2004

yeah but deanc, can you have a stable iraq when you have pockets that are not under central control, and harbor those who want to bring down the government?
posted by chaz at 10:41 AM on July 2, 2004

Every minute that Iraq remains united puts pressure on these groups to cut it out or be surpressed. With the US taking a progressively lower profile in country, the victims will increasingly be only Iraqis. The Iraqi people will not appreciate this.
Since the handover, BTW, insurgents are no longer military prisoners, they are "criminals", according to Iraqi law, and the new government is making it a point to police up *all* criminals--a big part of the "security" the typical Iraqi wants. Against armed robbers, kidnappers, and other what we would call street criminals, too. Law and order.
posted by kablam at 12:15 PM on July 2, 2004

More than a year of intensive efforts by the American military and the Central Intelligence Agency to destroy the insurgency in Iraq has failed to reduce the number of ''hard-core Saddamists'' seeking to destroy the interim Iraqi government, a former senior official of the just-dissolved American-led occupation authority said in an interview on Thursday.

The senior official, speaking with a small group of reporters near the White House, said he was repeatedly ''disappointed we haven't had better insight into the command and control of the insurgents.''

The official was touching on one of the continuing mysteries of the insurgency: how has a relatively small rebel force organized, and how can it be broken? In recent days, other officials have offered varying assessments on this question. Last Friday, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, speaking at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: ''Someone's giving general orders, and other people are following them. I think that's clear.''

But Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a few minutes later that ''whether it's a central nervous system or some other form of coordination'' was an open question and that ''the intelligence community, as far as I know, will not tell you, will not give you an answer, because they can't give me an answer.''

On Thursday, the former senior occupation official estimated that the number of insurgents had stayed constant at 4,000 to 5,000, suggesting that as soon as they are killed or captured, they have been replaced.

''I have seen no evidence that the number has changed,'' he said, adding that ''the intelligence on this stuff is not as good as it should be.''

Moreover, said the former senior official, who has spent more than a year in Iraq and had access to the highest-level intelligence, American officials had found it ''almost impossible to penetrate'' the network organized by the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is believed responsible for many of the suicide bombings that have killed both American troops and Iraqis.

...He appeared less concerned about the appeal of the Zarqawi fighters, who he said were reviled in much of Iraq. The Hussein insurgents are a more significant threat, he said, in part because they are supported by an outer ring of ''less hard-core'' supporters, including teenagers and others paid to shoot rocket-propelled grenades at passing American troops.

Ex-Occupation Aide Sees No Dent in 'Saddamists'
posted by y2karl at 12:27 PM on July 2, 2004

at the end of the day - by going after saddam basically unilaterally as gwb did, the US will be blamed for everything that happens in iraq that is bad for the foreseeable future, it looks like the place is going to crumble into civil war with fundamentalism gaining strength in places like fallujah as described in this article. will the 12 year old sniper mentioned be the next osama bin laden? who can say ... it sounds like he and many like him now hate america with a passion - and thats not good.
posted by specialk420 at 12:57 PM on July 2, 2004

fortunately unlike the the people who taught the young 12 year old in question how to shoot, we are giving our kids here at home the right messages
posted by specialk420 at 1:11 PM on July 2, 2004

...I've been tracking the insurgency for over a year now. I've been joining their groups, visiting then in their safe houses, their villages, I've been travelling with them, I've seen their weapons caches, I've been trying to keep as close tabs as possible over the last 12 months.

I've seen the shift.

Men I know, professional military officers from the Republican Guards, the secret police, these men are in the military for a career. They fought for their nation. Two years ago they were out drinking and whoring under the regime, a year ago they're out defending their homes.

Now, they're talking about how they want an Islamic state for Iraq. They didn't dream of that six months ago. Sharia law, they want a pan-Islamic Khilafati, they now adhere to the extremist teachings in Saudi Arabia, they didn't care about anything beyond their borders before now...

Osama, after September 11, he must have known he would not be able to exercise command and control any more. He is in hiding, he doesn't direct Al Qaeda any more, if it indeed exists as we once knew it.

Now, we see franchised Al Qaeda, the McDonald's brand of Al Qaeda, lots of different groups popping up, inspired by Osama's example. Osama opened the Pandora's box of jihad. Zarqawi, thanks to the Americans giving him the platform, has peeled that box open.

Now we have the jihad that we say we came here to prevent.

Journalist spends time with Iraqi insurgents
posted by y2karl at 1:42 PM on July 2, 2004

Can we just stop saying 'civilian contractors' and start saying 'mercenaries'? The whole civilian contractor thing makes them sound like they were building schools for Iraqi orphans or something.
posted by carter at 2:31 PM on July 2, 2004

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