Thursday, March 22, 2007

You know how I'm always saying it's a Bug Hunt?

Insurgents waged a five-hour pitched battle against Iraqi and American forces in al-Anbar province. The fighting started Amiriya, about 11 miles south of Fallouja on Tuesday night with an hour-long barrage of mortar fire directed at an Iraqi police station. The barrage continued until a United States Marines artillery unit fired on the insurgents and disrupted the shelling.

The fighting continued for hours and only ended when U.S. warplanes strafed militant positions, killing six and destroying their vehicles. The number of wounded was not reported.

I find it noteworthy that there seems to be a pattern emerging of insurgent forces fighting effectively enough against the Iraqi security forces that battles only end with U.S. airpower comes into the equation.

Elsewhere in iraq on Wednesday;

Iraqi police destroyed a massive truck bomb in a controlled explosion today that inadvertently killed one person, officials said.

The truck was parked under an overpass just yards from the Ministry of Finance, which was mostly empty because of a national holiday marking the Kurdish and Iranian New Year. A large quantity of explosives was discovered in the vehicle hidden under crates of vegetables, police said.

Explosives experts were brought in and security forces moved the vehicle to an open area. But the blast was so powerful, that it killed one onlooker, injured seven others and crumbled part of the highway, police said. (Really inspires confidence in those we are supposed to turn the reins over too, no?)

But the bomb was only part of the violence that wracked the provinces on Tuesday.

· Earlier, two roadside bombs targeting police patrols exploded in quick succession in east Baghdad. One officer was killed and three were injured along with a civilian, police said.

· Three mortar rounds slammed into homes in the Madain area, on the city's southern outskirts, killing three people and injuring 10, police said.

· U.S. forces killed five suspected insurgents and detained three others during a raid near Taji, north of Baghdad

· South of Baghdad, gunmen burst into the Ali ibn-Moussa Mosque in central Basra shortly after dawn prayers and opened fire, police said. The imam and a guard were killed and a municipal council employee was injured in the attack, police said.

· The body of a kidnapped police officer was found in Diwaniya, a strife-torn town south of Baghdad, police said.

As troops *surge* into Baghdad in an attempt to secure the capital, the violence just relocates, what Secretary Gates called a "squirting effect" - like the insurgency was so much incompressible liquid.

And when I say this is a Bug Hunt? This is what I mean.

[This post was linked at Salon's Blog Report, Blogging From the Left, on Saturday, March 24]


opit said...

I guess I'm too locked down. The link didn't work for me.
Of course the violence relocates : air strikes are something ground forces don't effectively repel so it's time to move off the bullseye. It's rather like hunting rats with cannon and rifle rather than a .22 semiautomatic : blindfolded to boot.

exMI said...

I don't see bug hunt here. I see a fairly standard insurgency campaign. Opit is correct as are you in that violence does relocate. That really seems to me at lesat to be part of the plan. You force the violence out of any area, secure the area, then move on to the next area. Wash, Rinse, repeat. Eventually there is no where left for the isnurgents to go. (except across the border) If you can cut them off from their supprt and then get people to realize that life is better without them around they are done.

Anonymous said...

Exmi: You have been in the military, as have I, ('68 through '70;) One question, sir: as you know, during Vietnam which awol and his following always refer to as "the other war" we had a draft going. 16 young men from my neighborhood enlisted; some are no longer with us. We've been in Iraq longer than we were in WW2 and we don't even have Baghdad secured. Your ideas seem sound, but you have forgotten the most important part of the equation, where in the hell are we going to get the troops? Why is it so hard for you to see the reality of the state this country is in? We're in big trouble, and we can't fix Iraq and more than we did Vietnam.

exMI said...

WE are going to get the troops needed by training the Iraqi Army to do it's job. This will of course take TIME which is what congress seems exceedingly unwilling to grant thus moving us on a path to failure. Now I admit, these are all things that SHOULD have been at least started 3.5 years. But it is too late to cry about missed oportunities now. We have to do the job with what we have.

Anonymous said...

How much time do you think we should take? 58,000 men's worth, with an end result of, maybe, a nice long wall monument in DC?
It. Is. Not. Going. To. Work. Georgie wants to ride this clusterfuck out till his term is up and leave it to whomever takes office to clean up just like he has done with every other godforsaken screw up he's ever made in his life, and that means every action he ever took starting with that first wail right out of the womb.
Mr. mbg says you already told him all he needs to know. He and you will have to agree to disagree. Bush is trying the same corny crap they did in nam and we all saw the outcome of that. Peace with honor. Right?

Anonymous said...

Of course the surge will work. What this is is a shell game where the person rearranging the shells has not bothered to put a pea under any of the shells.

Surge troops into Iraq. Wherever they are deployed, it's like pushing down the corner of a waterbed. The water moves around--that's what the insurgents are doing. They can't operate in Baghdad--they move elsewhere or lay low in cells and wait.

What people DO NOT UNDERSTAND is that the lack of independent verification in Iraq--the lack of any real, substantive press outside of the control of coalition forces--means there is no one to check and see if progress is made. Who reports the attacks? Iraqi and US forces. Who has been caught, repeatedly, understating and lying about the level of violence? You got it. The problem is, you can send troops in and the metrics are useless. They can claim, well, the number of attacks in Baghdad was cut in half once we implemented this strategy.

How would anyone verify that?

Oh, but we should be able to believe the military. We should believe them when they are telling the truth, right?

Pat Tillman.

The war is going along, this guy Tillman gets wasted by his own guys in Afghanistan. Oh, shit! We got ourselves a hero! They trot him out, just like Jessica Lynch, and everyone wrings their hands and says patriotic things.

Two silver stars--one for Tillman, one for Lynch. One for getting shot by his own guys, another for being conked out in a traffic accident.

Now, we're supposed to believe anything these people say? When the PUBLIC AFFAIRS people responsible for Lynch and Tillman are the ones passing on the statistics on violence?

So there's no pea under the shell--you guess and guess and you never win.