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Thread: Whose Insurgency?

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Whose Insurgency?

    WHOSE INSURGENCY?

    By MARK GOLDBLATT

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    June 7, 2005 -- ACCORDING to the SITE Institute, a respected counter-terrorism organization, only 9 percent of suicide bombings sponsored in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are conducted by native Iraqis.

    Analyzing data from a "martyrs" list posted on a Zarqawi Web site, SITE found that 42 percent of the killers hailed from Saudi Arabia, 12 percent from Syria, 11 percent from Kuwait, with the rest from an assortment of Asian and European nations.

    Why does it matter?

    Because it gives lie to the suggestion, often heard on the left, that the struggle in Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror. The antiwar crowd insists that American soldiers are now engaged in a guerilla war with militant Iraqis — Michael Moore has compared them to the Minutemen of our own Revolutionary War. Except now it turns out that fully 91 percent of suicide bombers are foreigners crossing into Iraq with the purpose of killing civilians.

    In short, terrorists.

    American soldiers are not fighting an Iraqi insurgency. They're fighting a terrorist insurgency. If not for jihadi nutcases pouring across its borders, Iraq would be well on its way to a stable and peaceful democracy.

    It's high time that truth sunk in.
    I told you so.
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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Whose Insurgency?

    an invading army yelling foul play because part of the resistance is not indigenous to the invaded country.....


    the irony is so tick one could cut it with a knife....
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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    an invading army yelling foul play because part of the resistance is not indigenous to the invaded country.....
    Part? Where do all the casualties and attacks come from? How many die as a result of fighting with real Iraqi insurgents?
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    Member Member Skomatth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    No Iranian percentage? I think that's odd because I just heard an author on Jon Stewart the other day who said there were terrorists from Iran operating in Iraq.
    Take off your pants, baby. -Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    No Iranian percentage? I think that's odd because I just heard an author on Jon Stewart the other day who said there were terrorists from Iran operating in Iraq.
    Add up the stats they only list 65% of the terroists that still leaves 26% for Iran and the other 20 countries.
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    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin
    an invading army yelling foul play because part of the resistance is not indigenous to the invaded country.....


    the irony is so tick one could cut it with a knife....
    Your forgeting one thing from article that Gawain posted its not the army that has done the study. And the data was taken from a site that seems to be listing the names of the individuals doing the bombings.

    http://www.siteinstitute.org/
    Last edited by Redleg; 07-01-2005 at 18:17.
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

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    Member Member Skomatth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    It just seems that if there was an appreciable percantage of Iranians it would have been listed.
    Take off your pants, baby. -Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Part? Where do all the casualties and attacks come from? How many die as a result of fighting with real Iraqi insurgents?
    Ask your government , suicide bombings make up only a minute proportion of attacks in Iraq .
    Listen to your governmnet Gawain , it doesn't know much , but it probably knows a hell of a lot more about Iraq than a Proffesor of Fashion .

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Ask your government , suicide bombings make up only a minute proportion of attacks in Iraq .
    Well the media is sure missing something them becaue all I ever here is so mnay (fill in the #) people were killed by a suicide attack today. I never here of many battles between us and the insurgents. Maybe you could provide some stats to back up your position.
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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    But what % of suicide bombings in Iraq are sponsored by Al-Zarqawi? I thought it was known that he, a Jordanian, heads up mainly foreigners? And isn't he a Bin Laden type Sunni, so any Iranian Shiites would not be fighting under him. My understanding was that Al-Zarqawi leads the most extreme and headline grabbing of the insurgent groups, but I'd be surprised if his people account for the majority of the attacks.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Ser Clegane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Wow - I wonder how long it took them to figure out that the suicide bombers who work for AQ are terrorists

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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Maybe you could provide some stats to back up your position.
    Are you serious Gawain ??????

    Here chew on this , Sept 2004 ;
    Terrorist attacks in Iraq that month 2,429
    Suicide attacks 8
    Which is a big increase in the monthly figure , as there were only 9 suicide attacks during the first 3 months of that year .
    So it is getting more common , but still not as common as the everyday slaughter that is going on .

    Well the media is sure missing something them becaue all I ever here is so mnay (fill in the #) people were killed by a suicide attack today.
    Well everyday killings and abductions are just such old news Gawain , move on to the next headline grabber .

    I never here of many battles between us and the insurgents.
    Thats because they are insurgents , they plant their bombs , launch their rockets , and then go back to being everyday civilians .
    Well you did have several big battles , but they didn't really achieve much did they . They pretty much flattened Fallujah , and US troops are still getting blown up there .
    Last edited by Tribesman; 07-01-2005 at 19:29.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Why care who they are, they present themselve in nice ordered lines to be shot to pieces. As long as they are willing to do that fine with me.

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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Why care who they are, they present themselve in nice ordered lines to be shot to pieces. As long as they are willing to do that fine with me.
    You wish. I don't think the insurgents line up in nice ordered lines. In fact, I am sad to say some of the most terrible casualties in post-invasion Iraq seem to have been when ordinary Iraqis lined up in nice ordered lines whether it was to get jobs as policemen and soldiers, or to pray in Shiite mosques. I share your sentiment towards the butchers in the insurgency, but right now can't be so upbeat about the fight against them.

    I should also say, I wish Gawain was right. If the insurgents were overwhelmingly foreign, they would easily be defeated (in fact, would have been already?). I take the view that the Iraqis will have to ultimately have to sort out the mess in their own country. The reason the mess is so hard to sort out is because they are fighting each other.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Here chew on this , Sept 2004 ;
    Terrorist attacks in Iraq that month 2,429
    Suicide attacks 8
    Which is a big increase in the monthly figure , as there were only 9 suicide attacks during the first 3 months of that year .
    So it is getting more common , but still not as common as the everyday slaughter that is going on .
    Kinda old isnt it and it doesnt include the casulties caused by these attacks. Tell me how many people have died as a result of being shot by real insurgents.

    Well everyday killings and abductions are just such old news Gawain , move on to the next headline grabber .
    Are they? I dont even here of US troops killed in missions almost all are a result of suicide bombings. Again dig up some casualty figures.

    I should also say, I wish Gawain was right. If the insurgents were overwhelmingly foreign, they would easily be defeated (in fact, would have been already?). I take the view that the Iraqis will have to ultimately have to sort out the mess in their own country. The reason the mess is so hard to sort out is because they are fighting each other.
    Whats the upper estimate on the number of insurgents 10000? That hardly any kind of sup[port from the Iraqi peole. Its only a small frction of the population. The reason the whole mess is so hard to sort out is they keep importing more foriegners and theres still some bathists running around. Again tell me what do these people fight for and hope to acomplish. They target mostly Iraqis?
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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Well I imagine a good amount of the not suicide attackers are Iraqi...

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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Whats the upper estimate on the number of insurgents 10000? That hardly any kind of sup[port from the Iraqi peole. Its only a small frction of the population. The reason the whole mess is so hard to sort out is they keep importing more foriegners and theres still some bathists running around. Again tell me what do these people fight for and hope to acomplish. They target mostly Iraqis?
    My hunch is that the insurgency is driven by discontent among the Sunni Iraqis, not foreigners. Whether AQ type religious fanatics, ex-Baathists or merely "patriots", they are against the occupation and the Iraqi regime that it has set up. The foreign fighters might provide a hard edge to the insurgency, but I suspect they are a minority. What kind of support does the insurgency have among Iraqis? Very little among Shiites and Kurds, but it seems able to operate among the Sunnis. The best indicator might be the turnout by region in the elections. Take a look at the map at:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/4262557.stm

    It's pretty striking how high turnout (60%+) was in the Shiite south and the Kurdish north, but very (2-30%) in the Sunni triangle. Whether the Sunnis did not vote because they did not want to or because of intimidation is almost besides the point - either way, it shows anti-government forces seem to have pervasive control over them. I seem to recall the new regime has been having trouble co-opting individual Sunnis into the the government as ministers because the Sunnis are so alienated.

    What do the Sunni insurgents want? The US out; ideally the Sunnis back in control. From the point of view of their leaders, they may calculate that the more trouble they cause, the stronger bargaining position they will be in to broker some kind of division of the spoils when the Coaltion finally withdraws.

    That's my interpretation from what I see and read in the British media. It might be wrong, but I've not heard much to contradict it.

    EDIT: It seems the US military estimate Iraqis make up 80-90% of the insurgents:
    http://www.forward.com/articles/3335
    But, as I said before, the apparent increase in the role of foreigners sounds like a good thing for the Coalition. My reading is that this increase is as much (more?) about Iraqis reducing their involvement in the insurgency as it is about more foreigners coming in.
    Last edited by econ21; 07-02-2005 at 00:17.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    The best indicator might be the turnout by region in the elections. Take a look at the map at:
    Well ther goes your theory. Maybe the fact that it they were told that any of them who went to vote would be killed and thats where most of the terroists live so it was far more dangerous there. Plus the fact that they knew they were now a minority party. Also ani Sunni who now tries to join the government is liable 4 assisination. They even kill their own if they dont tow the radical line. Do any of you believe the Iraqi people would rather have these people in charge than who they have now? Would you see them be the legal government of Iraq. Are you all so blind and hateful of US policy to see the truth in front of your faces? Were still the good guys in this no matter hat your opinion is. Are we perfect ? No, but at least were trying to give people freedom even if it was only a secondary reason we shouldnt abandon them The US cannot afford to back out now. This is total war aganst these guys. I dont care how many they recruit. We can fight them now or wait for them to grow stronger and be in even worse shape. Thats what happened under Carter and Clinton. Next time it wil be worse. Far far worse Im afraid.
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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    I've done a little digging on opinion poll evidence from Iraq. From what I can make out, about half the Sunnis polled were sad to see Saddam go, wanted Coalition troops to leave immediately and supported insurgent attacks on Coalition troops. These results are from various polls by a variety of reputable organisations (Gallup, Zogby, internal Coalition polling etc) at a variety of times.

    I don't think it's a matter of being "blind" and "hateful of US policy", Gawain, so far, I'm just a matter of trying to establish the facts on the ground.

    What the facts imply for policy is a matter for debate. If you think 90% of the insurgents are foreigners, then I can perhaps understand your call for "total war". I'm more inclined to believe the US military estimate that 80-90% of the insurgents are Iraqis and that's one reason I support their apparent recent moves to negotiate with Sunni leaders, including the insurgent leaders.

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    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Makes me think of a song I heard during the first Gulf War.....

    Bomb, bomb, bomb Iraq..........

    I think we can with large certainty say that all hawks, terrorists, mercenaries and predators are gathering in Iraq at the moment. I run out of opinions on Iraq. Even though I really feel for the poor civilians that can't leave the place.......

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    I believe Gawain is saying that the bulk of the fighters are foreigners, and that the Iraqis themselves are a negligible part of the insurgency. Not sure if the numbers back that up.

    Problem #1 with G's theory: T. E. Lawrence concluded that insurgents needed only 2 percent active support from the population, and 98 percent passive support. Of course, he had the luxury of working from the other end of the equation, playing offense rather than defense. If his numbers were in the right ballpark (and he's as good an authority on running a violent rebellion in the mideast as anyone) then it's unsafe to conclude that the majority Sunnis are innocent bystanders; turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to activities counts as practical support for the insurgency.

    Problem #2: Gawain's theory relies on the idea that the suicide bombers account for a majority of combat deaths in Iraq. I can't find any reputable source to back that up. Here's a breakdown from a relatively non-partisan military news site:
    While roadside bombs and suicide car bombers get most of the media attention in Iraq, they are not the main cause of combat fatalities. Gunfire is still the most deadly cause of death, accounting for 25 percent of them. Next come roadside bombs (IEDs), at 20 percent, and moving IEDs (non suicide car bombs) at five percent. RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) account for four percent. Mortar fire, usually at bases, accounted for four percent of deaths. Helicopter crashes, caused by enemy fire, was three percent of deaths. Vehicle accident deaths, caused by enemy fire, were two percent, as were sniper fire and suicide bombers on foot. A long list of other battlefield dangers accounted for the remaining 31 percent.
    So Gawain is certainly encouraged to find more evidence to back up his central thesis, i.e., we're mostly facing foreign fighters, and the Iraqis are not central to the insurgency. But the idea can't stand on its own with the evidence given so far.
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    What the article is proving if correct Gawain - presumably you accept it as you have posted it - is EXACTLY what that 'anti war crowd' stated BEFORE the invasion would happen.

    Iraq in chaos, fighting on the streets, terrorists moving into the country where none before, great new opportunities not only to train terrorists but recruit new terrorists and a complete and utter mess.

    Well done, very well done.
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    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    an invading army yelling foul play because part of the resistance is not indigenous to the invaded country.....

    This is the mentality we have to deal with in many circles in Europe. He didnt even read the article, he simply assumed the evil invading army was trying to cover its tracks. They can twist anything into anti-american rhetoric.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    I don't think it's a matter of being "blind" and "hateful of US policy", Gawain, so far, I'm just a matter of trying to establish the facts on the ground.
    That was not directed at you. I understand where your coming from. You are always a reasonable person. Sorry if I came off that way. It was to those to whom it applies.

    I believe Gawain is saying that the bulk of the fighters are foreigners, and that the Iraqis themselves are a negligible part of the insurgency.
    Thas not what Im saying at all. I fully realise that the majority are from Iraq but they are trained and sponsored by outside influences and none of them represent the will of the Iraqi people. There the sore losers from Saddams regime hoping to get back in power.

    Gawain's theory relies on the idea that the suicide bombers account for a majority of combat deaths in Iraq. I can't find any reputable source to back that up. Here's a breakdown from a relatively non-partisan military news site:
    I stand corrected but they still are the ones who grab all the headlines. These other deaths are treated more like traffic accidents it seems. Also thats combat deaths and dosent include the civilian deaths from these bombs does it?

    Iraq in chaos, fighting on the streets, terrorists moving into the country where none before, great new opportunities not only to train terrorists but recruit new terrorists and a complete and utter mess.
    Ask the Iraqi people if we should leave Jag or if they wish we never came?
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Thas not what Im saying at all. I fully realise that the majority are from Iraq but they are trained and sponsored by outside influences and none of them represent the will of the Iraqi people.
    Well, that seems to be out of sync with the un-linked article you quoted at the top of the thread:
    American soldiers are not fighting an Iraqi insurgency. They're fighting a terrorist insurgency. If not for jihadi nutcases pouring across its borders, Iraq would be well on its way to a stable and peaceful democracy.
    And while we're at it, this Mark Goldblatt guy seems to have a fairly partisan writing schtick. Works great if you're feeding red meat to the faithful, but it's not much help if you're trying to understand the situation in our war.

    I guess I'm not clear on what point you're trying to make, G. You seem to believe that the root of what's going wrong lies outside Iraq, that even if the majority of insurgents are Iraqis, the money and motivation are coming from elsewhere. It would be nice if you could back that up, but it's late here on the East Coast.

    Are you suggesting any course of action? Is there a tactic that you think we should be using? Did you start this thread with any particular discussion in mind?

    Here, I'll get the ball rolling:

    If the suspiciously fashion-savvy Mark Goldblatt is right, and everything bad in Iraq is coming from Syria, Joran and Iran, then it follows that it all comes down to border control. Or invading more countries, but nobody thinks that's realistic right now.

    So do you agree with him? Would border control snuff out the insurgency? If so, do you have any links to any reporting/research that backs this theory up?

    Please clarify.
    Last edited by Lemur; 07-02-2005 at 06:54.
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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    If the suspiciously fashion-savvy Mark Goldblatt is right, and everything bad in Iraq is coming from Syria, Joran and Iran, then it follows that it all comes down to border control. Or invading more countries, but nobody thinks that's realistic right now.

    So do you agree with him? Would border control snuff out the insurgency?.
    Yes I pretty much agree with him but I dont think that alone would rid us completely of the problem as for links heres another article on this.

    Car Bombs Becoming Signature Weapon of Iraq Insurgency
    By Alisha Ryu
    Baghdad
    30 June 2005

    Ryu report - Download 459k
    Listen to Ryu report

    A car burns in the street in Kirkuk, Iraq Tuesday, June 28, 2005 after a suicide car bomber slammed into a convoy carrying Kirkuk traffic police chief Brig. Gen. Salar Ahmed
    Car burns in street in Kirkukq after suicide car bomber slammed into a convoy carrying Kirkuk traffic police chief Brig. Gen. Salar Ahmed
    In the past three months, Iraq has witnessed some of the worst violence since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in April, 2003. Car bombings have killed nearly 600 people and wounded 1,700 more. Some U.S. and Iraqi officials believe Iraqi Sunni extremists may be joining foreign fighters in adopting suicide car bombings as their primary weapon in the insurgency.

    According to U.S. military statistics, Iraq suffered through a staggering number of car bombings in the past three months.

    A report shown to reporters indicates that at least 232 suicide car bombings, some remotely detonated, occurred between April and June, and that number does not include the nearly 50 car bombs that were discovered and defused.

    U.S. officials say they believe the majority of suicide bombings are being carried out by foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq's porous borders. But some intelligence analysts are expressing alarm about finding Iraqi extremists behind some of the recent car bombings.

    Last month, media reports quoted senior American military officials who said that Iraq's most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, met several times with the leaders of various Iraqi insurgent groups in neighboring Syria and western Iraq sometime before April.

    The officials said that a flurry of suicide car bombings followed the meetings, suggesting that Iraqi insurgent factions, including al-Qaida-inspired militants, former Saddam loyalists, Sunni Arab radicals, and common criminals, may have agreed to shift strategy and coordinate their efforts to achieve more deadly results.

    A spokesman for the multi-national forces in Iraq, Brigadier General Donald Alston, notes that between April and June, other types of attacks, especially against infrastructure such as power stations and pipelines, declined sharply.

    "They have gone to more spectacular systems that can inflict more casualties per attack, likely because they cannot sustain high-volume attacks," he said. "So, that shift to the car bomb is certainly a distinctive shift. And he does not have to have success 100 percent of the time. If he fails four out of five times, but the one time is in a market place where a hundred people are killed, he has achieved a great deal of what he is trying to achieve."

    General Alston and Iraqi leaders say recent military sweeps in Baghdad and western Anbar province have led to the arrests of numerous insurgents, including at least 20 of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's top lieutenants.

    Tips from residents have led to the discovery of sophisticated car bomb factories in the Iraqi capital, where insurgents could rig a car with explosives in less than an hour.

    But General Alston acknowledges that suicide car bombings are likely to remain a favorite weapon of insurgents determined to frighten the Iraqi people into submission and undermine progress toward democracy.

    "The enemy gets to pick the time and the place in order to achieve the effect that they are trying to achieve," he said. "That is a challenging problem to solve. Our ability to adapt and challenge him with the Iraqi security forces has continued to improve and we are seeing some success. But I think the problem will continue in Iraq for a period of time."

    The commanding general of U.S. forces in the Middle East, General John Abizaid, says that he cannot confirm or deny that meetings between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Iraqi insurgent leaders took place in Syria. But he has urged the Syrian government to do more to secure its borders to keep violence from migrating into Iraq.
    Look at these people

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, met several times with the leaders of various Iraqi insurgent groups in neighboring Syria and western Iraq sometime before April.

    The officials said that a flurry of suicide car bombings followed the meetings, suggesting that Iraqi insurgent factions, including al-Qaida-inspired militants, former Saddam loyalists, Sunni Arab radicals, and common criminals, may have agreed to shift strategy and coordinate their efforts to achieve more deadly results.
    Im sure if there are terroists willing to come from other countries there are also losers among the Iraqis themselves that would go the same. All it does is make them terrosits also instead of freedom fighters. Again do you think these people have any legitimate claim to ruling Iraq?
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Kinda old isnt it and it doesnt include the casulties caused by these attacks. Tell me how many people have died as a result of being shot by real insurgents.
    Whats up Gawain ? tired of sticking your head in the sand ?......read on.....Oh dear they is dead
    Last edited by Ser Clegane; 07-03-2005 at 18:51.

  28. #28
    Could be your God Member Abokasee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    this thread reminds me of this game
    Now with transparent layers!

    Lost on the Internet? Go back to start.

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    dictator by the people Member caesar44's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    This is the mentality we have to deal with in many circles in Europe. He didnt even read the article, he simply assumed the evil invading army was trying to cover its tracks. They can twist anything into anti-american rhetoric.
    To the Europeans , one thing - you were probably speaking German or Russian without the Americans , ha ? yes , it is hard to absorb's , but it is the truth
    "The essence of philosophy is to ask the eternal question that has no answer" (Aristotel) . "Yes !!!" (me) .

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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whose Insurgency?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Ask the Iraqi people if we should leave Jag or if they wish we never came?
    They've been asked related questions in various opinion polls. Here's a synopsis of some:

    http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/0501br17append.pdf

    One of the most widely cited is the Gallup poll from May 2004:

    http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-18-04.html

    My reading of the results is that a majority of the Iraqi people want the Coalition to leave immediately or very soon, even though one of the polls which said that also reported a majority of them thinking this would worsen security.

    On the issue of whether they wish the Coalition never came, most (ie the non-Sunnis) are glad to see Saddam gone:

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article....ticle_id=15179

    However, a majority in the Gallup poll a year ago thought the invasion was morally wrong:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...ll-cover_x.htm


    My overall impression is that the Iraqi people are split on both your questions, Gawain, and I suspect individuals are also conflicted on them. They want Coalition troops out, but fear for their security. They did not like the invasion, but are glad to be rid of Saddam.

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