Guerrillas killed a U.S. soldier with a roadside bomb in northern Iraq on Sunday, and a U.S. military commander said insurgent attacks might not abate even if American troops kill or capture Saddam Hussein.
The top commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, said attacks could surge ahead of a July 1 deadline for a transfer of authority from the U.S.-led coalition to a transitional Iraqi government.
"We expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of June," Sanchez said. "The killing or capturing of Saddam Hussein will have an impact on the level of violence, but it will not end it," he said. "It won’t be the end-all solution."
"It’s a needle in a haystack," he said of the hunt for the ousted Iraqi leader. "Clearly we haven’t found the right haystack ... We are moving under the assumption that he is still in the country, that he is still operating."
[W]e have three phases of American policy in Iraq and different analogies to other US imperial ventures, based on who was on top:
1. Jay Garner: Was planning to put Iraq on an even keel within 6 months and go home. This plan would have entailed putting Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress in charge of the Iraqi Army and bureaucracy (both would have been retained). It resembled the policy toward France after the US victory in 1945, where the government was handed over to the Free French. This policy was favored by Cheney and Rumsfeld.
2. Paul Bremer, First Phase: Bremer displaces Garner by mid-May. Intends to rule Iraq himself by fiat for two or three years. He disbands the Iraqi army altogether and puts off re-instituting the ministries. This is a Japan sort of plan, with Bremer playing MacArthur. He initially does not plan to have an Interim Governing Council or early elections. This plan was probably favored by Wolfowitz and some other neocons.
(Bremer first phase was modified July 13 when Bremer is forced to appoint an Interim Governing Council, because he simply did not have the legitimacy to rule Iraq by himself).
3. Paul Bremer, Second Phase: The Nov. 15 agreement is hastily hammered out calling for quick elections on a caucus basis, so that Bremer can hand over power to it by July 1, 2004. So, he would depart a year or two before scheduled. This is an Afghanistan model, complete with a US-invented Iraqi analogue to the manipulated Loya Jirga. Again, this model would be supported by Rumsfeld and Cheney and would raise anxieties among the neocons, who are dedicated to a Japan model of completely reshaping Iraq via direct US rule.
So, we've had three different models in less than 8 months, with the Washington infighting reinforced by the problem the US has had in getting control of the security situation.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.