/*PenDragn: Happy News From Iraq Dept. Today: Trench Warfare for Baghdad*/


Happy News From Iraq Dept. Today: Trench Warfare for Baghdad

Actually it's not so much real trench warfare as building a barrier around the city, using trenches, berms and other barriers.

Hey, it works for zoos!

The fervor with which the president has announced a new operation to control violence in Baghdad makes us wonder what he is up to. We can, of course, assume that Karl Rove has some plan up his sleeves. If nothing else, it's only about 6-7 weeks until the election. So it would be hard put for the news media to show Americans what a fiasco this turned out to be.

I'm thinking that, though insurgents are denied Baghdad targets they will just go somewhere else and kill. But then it's probably too dangerous for reporters to go outside Baghdad and get news, and Don Rumsfeld has promised us he will have progams in place to control the news within Iraqi media through planted propaganda. With the insurgents focusing outside Baghdad it will be more suicidal than ever to venture out. So Viola'! Happy news from Iraq and suicide bombings in Baghdad where all the reporters are hiding as if under seige will finally be reduced. At least until the election day with any luck. All the Bush people ask for is 6 weeks.

Now if they can get Kristol and Lowry to STFU until mid November about needing more troops, Iraq problems could disappear while the president purrs to the American people about how he and his Republicans are keeping our families safe from terrorism.

Excerpts following from Washington Post article (linked above under green print) on the subject:
A few dozen checkpoints will be placed along key arteries in and out of Baghdad to ensure that people move through "predictable paths" that can be controlled, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman, said late Friday night. Iraqi forces will man the checkpoints and patrol the terrain, with support from U.S. troops.

I'm betting 30 Americans with their mega lethal weapons supporting 5 Iraqis, but it's all good.
"We know there's a flow in and out of the city of those who are responsible for the violence," Johnson said. "The intent is to control Baghdad city."

President Bush immediately seized on the news to declare victory:"
The enemy is changing tactics, and we're adapting," President Bush said Friday in Washington. "The enemy moves, and we will help the Iraqis move. And so they're building a berm around the city to make it harder for people to come in with explosive devices, for example. . . . They got a clear-build-and-hold strategy."

Hmm, I suppose that when the president says that the enemy has changed tactics that he means tactics changed 7 months ago with the rise of sectarian bloodshed. And indeed General Chiarelli *** describes *** the new insurgent tactics as death squads and we first started hearing about "death squads" in the late winter after the bombing of the revered Shiite Golden Mosque. Well that wasn't the quickest adaptation, guys, but at least you're doing it now.

The Post article linked above notes that similar movement control schemes have been used in Fallujah and Samarra. (Last I heard Fallujah and Samarra didn't work out so well, and in fact, the Fallujah actions were both considered massacres with ten of thousands of civilians killed, but I'll check around other reports and see if anyone brings that up) And the Post questions if the tactic will work in the massive mixed city of Baghdad and notes that though blocking movement in and out is part of recommended counterinsurgency tactics, but the US is apparently leaving out the required tactics of a census and requiring id cards carried at all times.

Post also questions if the city of Baghdad isn't to big and complex for just trenches to work, and notes that Ramadan begins next month in a city already in gridlock.

And it goes without saying the subject of an AP report at the WP: Anbar Called Secondary to U.S. Efforts in Baghdad And I've explained above why I think that Baghdad is more important to the Bush administration than the terrorist training fields of Anbar.

Noteable in the report about Anbar is Bush using his Jedi Knight voice to tell us:
"This business about . . . 'Anbar is lost' is just not the case,"

Of course, if you've paid attention to what Mr. Bush has been saying about the insurgency allowing the US to kill terrorists (read anyone who might object to being the footstool for American empire) from many countries. You wonder how much success they even want. It's a even better platform for wailing about terrorist coming to get us if we don't "win in Iraq" (well, until it's time to rush the troops into Iran and do regime change there at which time those old do nothing terrorists in Iraq will be forgotten like the ones hiding in the the border mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan).

Again, as I said above I'll check other mainstream sources that often have details that the Bush administration would rather not be revealed, and some analysis sites to find out what they are saying (this is early in the news cycle for this sudden announcement)so check back later because this is ...developing....