Sunday, June 26, 2005

Last Throe Update


Four suicide bomb attacks struck the Iraqi police and an Iraqi Army base in a 16-hour wave of insurgent violence that swept the northern city of Mosul on Saturday night and Sunday morning, leaving at least 37 people dead and scores more wounded.

One U.S. commander said the violence was the latest sign that insurgents in northern Iraq were increasingly focusing coordinated attacks on the growing ranks of Iraqi security forces.

The focus of the insurgency's tactics has shifted, obviously, from American troops to the Iraqi forces. Because the Iraqi forces are considered somewhat unreliable and prone to corruption and desertion in the first place, it can be safely assumed that the insurgents are pushing for all-out civil war, starting with the collapse of civil authority.

The people who are prodding Bush for a timetable are wasting everyone's time. Bush couldn't give a timetable even if he wanted to, because while we'll probably start doing a drop-down in troop levels pretty soon, civil war or no, there will be US forces stationed here for the next generation. Count on it. We didn't build 14 bases there for nothing.

In other throe-related news, it seems that Rumsfeld has some splainin' to do. Not only has he stated the obvious -- that the insurgency can and probably will go on for some years (Rummy says "as long as 12 years"), but that American military officials have been making diplomatic overtures to terrorist groups.

The US government has come under increasing pressure at home over the continuing violence, and yesterday saw Mr Rumsfeld confirm what appeared to be a significant shift in policy, from the aggression of the assault on the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah in November last year, to diplomatic overtures to four terrorist groups.

However, he appeared to suggest little progress had been made when he warned that the insurgency could last for as long as 12 years and one of the militant groups yesterday denied it was involved in the meetings.

According to reports, four American officials "came face to face" with militant commanders from Ansar al-Sunna, which has carried out numerous suicide bombings, and several less well-known groups, such as Mohammed's Army, the Islamic Army in Iraq and Jaish Mohammed, during the talks held on 3 and 13 June at a summer villa near Balad, about 40 miles north of Baghdad.

I sure wish these people could get their story straight just once. If something is in its "last throes", you shouldn't have to negotiate with it, nor should you be openly predicting its survival for more than another decade. But this is par for the course for these liars and fools.

Oil is about to break $60 per barrel. Anyone want to take a shot at what it'll be in 2017? Keep driving those Hummers, folks!


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