Mr. Wolfowitz goes to Baghdad

Ironic... Wolfie of Iraq goes to Iraq to demonstrate to all of the suckers that the "new Iraq" is all wonderful and dandy - and almost gets blown up in a rocket attack on the US's occupation center, the Al Rashid hotel.
Wolfowitz, who appeared shaken as he addressed reporters at a convention center across the street where most officials fled, vowed the attack would not deter the United States in its mission to transform Iraq.
Although US officials denied that Wolfie was the target, it is impossible to know for sure. It is true that the attackers, who used a rocket launcher disguised as a generator, probably planned the attack well in advance. But it is entirely possible that after they had planned the attack, the guerillas (and, no, sorry, they aren't "terrorists"), knowing that the Al Rashid hotel is US occupation central and that some high-profile figure would be coming through at some point, waited until they had intelligence that Wolfie was staying there to carry it out.

If this is the case (again, it is entirely possible that the attack's timing was fortuitous), then it shows a number of things. One imortant thing is that the guerillas have good, or workable, intelligence. They are able to observe, plan, and carry out attacks in ways that elude US counterintelligence. This should be obvious - the US had, still has, and will probably continue to have problems circulating agents in Iraqi society - but the reverse is not true. That is, the US occupiers have to work with Iraqis to some degree, which will allow anti-occupation forces to acquire intelligence in a number of ways. The more the US settles in to the occupation, the more the attacks will increase and the deadlier and more high-profile they will become.

In other news, guerillas using a simple hand-held grenade launcher shot down a Blackhawk helicopter near Tikrit. At least one, and maybe as many as 5 US soldiers, were injured.

Anyone remember that propaganda stunt Saddam pulled during the "main combat operations phase" of the war, when Iraqi TV claimed that a farmer had shot down a helicopter using a shotgun? Something similar here - but real.

This operation and the big bloody nose administered to Bush's PR campaign in the form of the Al Rashid attack will also serve as unbeatable recruiting drives for guerilla outfits. They demonstrate that the US military is not invincible, that resistance is not futile, and that it is possible to make the US occupation look bad. Popular support for the guerillas will also increase. As long as they have this, the US will not be able to crush them.

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