“It is impossible to say how many insurgents are in Baquba now. Using a broad definition that comprises not just those who actively fight, but also those who place bombs and others paid by insurgents, some military officials put the number around 2,000. It is a nasty stew that includes former members of the Saddam Hussein army and paramilitary forces, the Fedayeen; angry and impoverished Sunni men; criminal gangs; Wahhabi Islamists; and foreigners. . . . The tactics reflect the skill and resolve of the insurgency here, soldiers say. “To say the guys we are fighting are any less smarter than me, that would be crazy,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion.”

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[These quotes taken from the NY Times article posted below more or less tell the story — who are the terrorists?  Pretty obviously those opposed to U.S. occupations in the Middle East are a mixed bag of constantly shifting groups that form alliances here, there, and elsewhere to harass our overburdened military.  Manifestly this is not a war that can be ‘won’ by conventional troops.  Anyone familiar with military occupations and resistance to same knows that a relatively small number of determined individuals can create mayhem in an occupied territory and inflict incredible damage on the occupiers who are by necessity — with their uniforms and equipment — standing out in the open and providing exposed targets of opportunity on a day by day basis.  One does not ‘win’ such battles against hidden enemies blending in with civilian populations. We taught the British that grim fact back in 1776.  We learned the hard way in Viet Nam.  When will we get it yet once again?  Ed Kent]

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Attacks Surge as Iraq Militants Overshadow City
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
Baquba has emerged as a magnet for insurgents and, perhaps,
the next major headache for the U.S. military.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/world/middleeast/16insurgency.html?th&emc=th


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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