AP has an article entitled “Iraq Insurgency Far Larger Than Thought”.
- this is not a “Jihadist” war
- the folks fighting it are not foreign to Iraq
- the primary objection of these folks is to the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq
- there are a lot more of them (up to 20,000 full and part time fighters) than we’ve been lead to believe
- the fighters consist of a much broader cross-section of Iraqi society than Baathists alone
- the official line from the Bush Administration has nothing to do with reality (but we knew that, didn’t we?)
A few excerpts:
The developing intelligence picture of the insurgency contrasts with the commonly stated view in the Bush administration that the fighting is fueled by foreign warriors intent on creating an Islamic state.
Most of the insurgents are fighting for a bigger role in a secular society, not a Taliban-like Islamic state, the military official said. Almost all the guerrillas are Iraqis, even those launching some of the devastating car bombings normally blamed on foreigners — usually al-Zarqawi.
The official said many car bombings bore the “tradecraft” of Saddam’s former secret police and were aimed at intimidating Iraq’s new security services.
Many in the U.S. intelligence community have been making similar points, but have encountered political opposition from the Bush administration, a State Department official in Washington said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Civilian analysts generally agreed, saying U.S. and Iraqi officials have long overemphasized the roles of foreign fighters and Muslim extremists.
Such positions support the Bush administration’s view that the insurgency is linked to the war on terror. A closer examination paints most insurgents as secular Iraqis angry at the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops.
These is seriously disturbing information. The President and his closest refusing to even acknowledge information provided by the military and intelligence communities about the true nature of the conflict in Iraq, for purely political reasons — the effect of which is to undermine the conduct of the war (or, it could be argued, a peaceful resolution). You might even say that they have effectively provoked elements of the American government to engage in a “rebellion” of their own! What else can you call it when people are forced to resort to anonymous interviews with the press in order to get their point of view heard? Makes me wonder where this could eventually lead…