Friday, April 30, 2004


The NY Times has an important story on the nature of the insurgency in Iraq:

A Pentagon intelligence report has concluded that many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the guerrilla attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, who planned for the insurgency even before the fall of Baghdad.

The report does not imply that every guerrilla taking up arms against the Americans is under the command of the M-14, nor that every Iraqi who dances atop a charred Humvee is inspired by a former Iraqi intelligence agent. But the assessment helps explain how only a few thousand insurgents, with professional leadership from small numbers of Mr. Hussein's intelligence services and seasoned military officer corps, could prove to be such a challenge to the American occupation. "They carefully laid plans to occupy the occupiers," said one United States government official who has read the report. "They were prepared to try and hijack the country. The goal was to complicate the stabilization mission, and democratization."

Though there is a chance that this document is not completely reputable and might, like the much trumpeted (by the Weekly Standard) Pentagon memo linking Iraq to Al Qeada, really just be a political document produced by Defense Department hawks. As of now, we can't be sure:

The seven-page "Special Analysis" was written under Defense Intelligence Agency guidance by the Joint Intelligence Task Force, which includes officers and analysts from across the civilian and military espionage community. It is not known whether it represents a fully formed consensus or whether there might be dissenting assessments.

If it turns out that this Pentagon report is accurate, though, it is promising in its own grim way. If its true, it suggests that we aren't facing a more broad based anti-American rebellion.


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