Tales of a Failing Regime

From Missing Links

Three stories, one theme ?

Al-Hayat this morning brings together three big Iraq stories: (1) Problems with the new security plan showing up before it even starts; (2) followup to the Syria-immigration story; and (3) the Najaf-Zarka debacle. Although the reporter doesn’t make the point in any explicit way, I think in conjunction with other recent events, these can be seen as signs of the end-times, if not for the world as a whole, at least for the Maliki administration.

(1) Security. The Al-Hayat reporter writes:

Iraqi security officials say the armed groups are changing strategy with each government announcement about the “new plan”. Interior Ministry spokesman…said “The terrorists’ strategy changes as the government’s strategy changes.” And he added: “It is the takfiiri groups that are primarily responsible for the collapse of security, and the Sadriya calamity is proof positive that these groups have very strong intelligence that lets them know about each change and alteration that the government makes together with its security ministries”.
What did he mean about “proof positive”? The following may or may not be relevant. The self-styled “Iraqi resistance reports” posted in English on Albasrah.net include this for last Saturday, after reporting on the truck-bombing at the Sadriya market:
Two days before Saturday’s truck bombing, the same building was raided by US occupation troops who arrested nine people and found and took away the bodies of two Sunni youths who had been detained on the second floor of the building, which served as a Shi‘i sectarian slaughter house for Sunnis.

Local witnesses said that the Americans also found Sunni prisoners being detained in the building. The Americans set the prisoners free and tuned the bodies of the two dead victims over to al-Yarmuk Hospital but made no further investigation or announcement about the Jaysh al-Mahdi death squad stronghold.

Of course it is possible that the government spokeman only meant that the truckbombers knew of the absence of checkpoints and so on. But that wouldn’t be “strong intelligence”.

Still on the security theme, the Al-Hayat reporter adds this:

Another military leader, insisting on anonymity, expressed skepticism about the possibilities for success of the new plan. He told Al-Hayat that terrorist operations are esclating ahead of implementation of the plan, and that in itself represents a setback, because the plan calls for eradication of these gangs.

And that reallly dovetails nicely [the reporter notes in conclusion] with what observers say about the latest US intelligence report [referring to the NIE] where it talks about the dangers of civil war, namely that it is an attempt to provide cover for the failure of the announced new security plan, at a time when there is this domestic American debate about the next strategy and the need to send more troops.

So the gist of this, on the security theme, is that the new plan has basic defects including the apparent fact that armed groups can learn of, and adapt to, each change in government strategy. Moreover, observers in the US think the NIE remarks on civil war in Iraq are an attempt to provide cover for likely failure of the new plan.

Read the rest here.

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