Iraq: April 23, 2005

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The Sunni Arab and foreign terrorists are resorting more to attacks on civilians. The security around government officials, as well as their homes and workplaces, has increased to the point where attackers are discouraged. These failed attacks are often not reported in the media, but these failures are frequent. Interrogations of captured terrorists indicate that many more attacks are called off when it is obvious that the attack would be futile, and just get terrorists killed, and valuable equipment (a vehicle and weapons) lost. 

Attacks are still staged, but often they are situations where it amounts to the attackers being ambushed. Such is the case in western Iraq, where American troops set up small bases in areas known to be full of anti-government forces. Soon, the local terrorists will stage attacks, which inevitably fail, with heavy terrorist casualties. The terrorists never seem to catch on to how many disadvantages they have. The Americans have extensive intelligence resources (especially electronic eavesdropping), night vision equipment and disciplined troops manning camp defenses. 

Attacks on civilians are still attempts to discourage people from cooperating with the government, or to encourage support for the terrorists. But once you do a lot of this, you are tagged a loser. Such terror only works if you can do it on a large enough scale to control the entire population. But the terrorists are almost entirely Sunni Arabs, and more and more of their terror is being directed against other Sunni Arabs. This isn't working, with Islamic terrorist becoming more and more unpopular among Sunni Arabs. This has not changed the attitudes of Sunni Arabs, who are not happy with being out of power, and reduced to the status of a minority (about 20 percent of the population.) But the Sunni Arabs have concluded that terrorism won't get them back in power quickly. So the plan now is to take the long way around, cooperate, and stage a coup down the road, when conditions are right. That's worked in the past. 

Meanwhile, the Sunni Arabs are leaving it to the government to deal with the terrorists. Aside from individual Sunni Arabs joining the police, the Sunni Arab leadership is not sticking its neck out to oppose the terrorists. All this passes for progress in Iraq. 

 

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