Being a bad guy in Iraq

Strategy Page has an entry on why it is getting to be tough to be a bad guy in Iraq. You may have heard about the mid September mahem. There is a suggestion that this might be something other than a lead to terrorizing October’s election.

Apparently it was a case of “use it or lose it,” with al Qaeda fearing that the continuing operations along the Syrian border and in western Iraq, would lead to more bomb workshops, and completed car bombs, being captured.

The violence does not appear to have generated its desired outcomes.

Even though the intended targets are Shia Arabs, and government employees, many Sunni Arabs are getting hurt, and al Qaeda has become the most hated organization in the country. Even Sunni Arabs are now reporting terrorist operations to the police. … There is growing fear in many Sunni Arab neighborhoods, as they see the Iraqi police grow more competent, and numerous. … While the illusion of Sunni Arab superiority, and right-to-rule, dies hard, the fear of revenge attacks against the Sunni Arabs grows daily. Many Sunni Arabs have blood on their hands, Shia, Kurdish, and now American blood. Worse, many of these Sunni Arabs are known by name to their victims families. …

the government is using a similar tactic that is weakening the terrorist organizations. Thousands of local civilians are being hired for reconstruction jobs … Workers are paid daily, and given one more reason to stay away from the terrorist organizations …

The Americans have those damn little planes in the sky, the ones with cameras, making it difficult for attackers to hide or get away. It’s much easier to attack Iraqi police or soldiers. But these guys are now wearing body armor, and will counter-attack as well. Worse, the Iraqi police will start questioning people in the area, put up roadblocks, and hunt you down. It’s getting so hard to be a bad guy in Iraq.

There are, of course, those who dispute these observations. O’Reilly on Fox comes to mind when he claims that Iraq is a chaotic mess and a failure. But those on the ground, those with first hand experience seem to corroborate these views that “It’s getting so hard to be a bad guy in Iraq.”

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