More on the fenced-off Iraqi town

The Independent looks at the situation in Awla, the Iraqi town near Tikrit that the US military fenced off a few weeks ago.

The US military's rationale at the time was that Awla was a major center of the resistance. Since then (30 October), Iraqi guerillas have shot down 4 helicopters and killed more US soldiers than they did in the entire month of October. It seems fair to say that fencing off one town did nothing to stop the attacks and, thus, that the move was entirely pointless from a tactical point of view.

On the other hand, it has made at least some people there angry:
"Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn't it?" a fiery-eyed young Iraqi policeman shouted at us from behind the chest-high, three-layer wire coils which separate his home from the rest of the surrounding dead-flat Iraqi landscape, Sunni Triangle heartland. "We're not happy. Not happy!"

Residents seem to think the approach is doomed to fail. A young policeman said over the wire barricade: "It will make the resistance stronger. Even those who did not fight when the Americans came to Iraq are being pushed to join the resistance."
As I pointed out at the time, the fact that the US is increasingly adopting Israeli-style measures will strengthen the US-Iraq:Israel-Palestine link and make the US's occupation much more difficult and deadly by further reducing the number of people who will "colloborate" with the Americans. A string of counterproductive tactical moves, like cutting off Awla or blowing up random buildings, is leading to a deteriorated strategic situation that will make any kind of productive move much harder to carry out.

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