[Marxism] "They are effective"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jun 26 07:57:27 MDT 2004


LA Times, June 26, 2004
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ
Iraq Insurgency Showing Signs of Momentum
Analysts and some U.S. commanders say it could be too late to reverse 
the wave of violence. Sunnis are seen as the stronger, long-term threat.

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — As this week's coordinated violence demonstrates, Iraq's 
insurgent movement is increasingly potent, riding a wave of anti-U.S. 
nationalism and religious extremism. Just days before an Iraqi 
government takes control of the country, experts and some commanders 
fear it may be too late to turn back the militant tide.

The much-anticipated wave of strikes preceding Wednesday's scheduled 
hand-over could intensify under the new interim government as Sunni 
Muslim insurgents seek to undermine it, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.

"I think we're going to continue to see sensational attacks," said Army 
Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the 101st Airborne Division commander who 
will oversee the reshaping of Iraq's fledgling security forces.

Long gone are the days when the insurgents were dismissed as a finite 
force ticketed for high-tech annihilation by superior U.S. firepower.

Wreaking havoc and derailing plans for reconstruction of this battered 
nation, the dominant guerrilla movement — an unlikely Sunni alliance of 
hard-liners from the former regime, Islamic militants and anti-U.S. 
nationalists — has taken over towns, blocked highways, bombed police 
stations, assassinated lawmakers and other "collaborators," and abducted 
civilians.

Although Shiite Muslim fighters took U.S. forces by surprise in an April 
uprising, the Sunni insurgents represent a stronger, long-term threat, 
experts agree. The fighters, commanders say, are overwhelmingly Iraqis, 
with a small but important contingent of foreign fighters who specialize 
in carrying out suicide bombings and other spectacular attacks, possibly 
including this week's coordinated strikes that killed more than 100 people.

"They are effective," said Army Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, operational 
commander of U.S. troops here.

full: 
<http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-fg-insurgency26jun26,1,7240371.story?coll=la-home-headlines>

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