Friday, October 08, 2004

Al-Zarqawi gaining support in Iraq?

This, from Knight Ridder:

First, I'd like to commend the reporter, Hannah Allam for actually getting out into Baghdad and talking to people. It's not a safe place for anyone, let alone foreign reporters (I'm assuming foreign, although she might not be). Second of all, I think all of this raises an incredibly important point: Cracking down on guerrillas that are this embedded with the population with air strikes, pitched gun battles in city streets, and firing into crowds (as an American helicopter did when a group of Iraqis were celebrating around a burning tank) will inevitably drive people into the hands of the opposition.

Right now it seems that the process has made anti-American Iraqis into pro-Zarqawi fighters. At the point that it begins to make moderates anti-American fighters, then the war is lost for the Americans. The moderates in the population are really the critical group. In the face of a violent and brutal opposition that is blowing themselves up in crowded Baghdad neighborhoods, the moderates should always be on the side of those working to destroy the resistance. If we manage to alienate them, through civilian casualties and negligent tactics, then we have no way of maintaining a presence in the country. Anyway. Maybe I'm being too utterly obvious, so I'll stop. Just read the article.

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