web counter Media Lies: The Iraqi "insurgency"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

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The Iraqi "insurgency"

I must confess, I've been angered by the use of the word "insurgents" to describe what I believed were almost certainly terrorists. I'm still certain that there are quite a few terrorists involved in the Iraqi "insurgency". The presence of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is dispositive of that view, as well as a number of Kuwaitis and Jordanians (as well as Syrians and Iranians) who are in Iraq.

However, my recent reading has led me to the conclusion that a great deal of the people involved in the "insurgency" are Ba'athists. Historically terrorists have been fond of vehicle and suicide bombings. They like to take out large numbers of the targeted victims because that draws media like moths to a flame, and the bombings can instill a sense of aimless fear in that they can happen at any time, anywhere, without warning.

What terrorists don't have a long history of is beheadings, certainly not kidnappings and beatings or summary executions by a bullet in the back of the head and mutilations. Yet all of these things, and much more, are typical behavior of the Ba'athists under Sadaam.

Under Sadaam, literally thousands of people where shot in the head. People were fed into wood chippers, castrated live, had their fingers surgically removed, were beaten unmercifully, and much, much more. These acts were done to instill a very real and specific fear in Iraqis. Unlike the terrorists, who could strike at any time anywhere, Ba'athists knew exactly where you lived and you knew exactly what they would do to you if you got out of line.

Reports of "an underground bunker and steel-enforced tunnels connecting a ring of houses filled with weapons, medical supplies and bunk beds" indicate a level of planning and construction that almost certainly requires that it be done before the war began. The behavior of the "insurgents" in Fallujah and the fact that many Ba'athists come from there implies that much planning and preparation was behind this "insurgency".

Until the "insurgency" is quelled sufficiently to obtain some semblance of normalcy across Iraq, many Iraqis will remain wary. Sadaam may be in prison, but his henchmen are still signaling the Iraqi people that they are not safe. The next few weeks will be critical. The Iraqi and coalition forces need to reduce the "insurgents" number to a "nuisance" before the January elections or the Iraqis may be too afraid to come to the polls.