'Better Than You Probably Think'

Thats what Bush says. He also says "Americans are not the running kind." Sorry to burst your bubble, Bushie, but apparently, these Americans soldiers are exactly that! This is the problem with living in a country (the US) where people are so comfortable that military service represents a real dramatic drop in quality of life for them. The analysis of Osama and Saddam (a rare point of agreement) -- that decadent, spoiled, soft Americans are wieners when it comes to the will power to suffer their way through a war -- is ringing quite true.

Um, so with American soldiers safely sequestered in their bases begging the sattelite phone hotlines to bring them home, Iraqi resistance fighters of different colors went about taking care of some more of their "business."

Poor Shia Religious Fighters:
A suicide bomber took out a bunch of Iraqi cops. One wonders why bother with a suicide bombing, given that Iraqi police are such soft targets, but apparently some people really like to put on a show. My take is this demonstrates that the resistance movements (this one probably having some religious element to it) are having a very easy time recruiting volunteers and so those volunteers are quite expendable. In this case the incident took place in Shia territory, adding more credence to the theory that it was the work of a religious group and the bomber was a poor Sadr city dude. The US now has its hands full with the Shias too, whose militias have begun shooting small arms at the Americans while their clerics continue to excercise restraint, except that "restraint" has come to mean "please refrain from shooting down helicopters with your RPGs". update (10/10/03):
turns out that shooting was something of an ambush, in either case, it left 2 US soldiers dead, 4 wounded, and the military tight-lipped about exactly what went down. We do know that the Shia cleric Sadr was involved, which speaks to an important breach (which we knew was coming) between the Shia and the Americans.

Rich Sunni Secular Assassins:
Wonder about the Spaniard they killed? Guess where it happened? In the upscale Mansur neighboorhood. Where a US raid this past summer butchered several Iraqi families. Who was the victim? A Spanish spy, apparently, which is why the mainstream press will refer to him as a "diplomat". This hit represents a high level of sophistication and a high value target, and the guy (a trained soldier and spy) let the assassins into his home (he wasnt leaving his home as some people reported, he let the assassins in and then ran out of it and was shot down in the street). He was wearing nothing but boxers. This would generally indicate that resistance networks are highly confident, and have good intelligence (the hit occured shortly after the spaniards bodyguard had left). You also might wonder if there is any connection to this other handgun attack, only a week ago, that one happened in Mansur too! Watch for more handgun assasinations. They are brazen actions which indicate a high degree of political sophistication (and possibly some appreciation of the effect and design of other historically significant assassinations), and their propaganda effect is quite sensational. Thus the credit probably belongs to organizations of a secular nationalist type, possibly a small cell (or cells) of well-to-do students (the Baath party was built in universities).

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