Fallouja lies in ruins

In order to track down a few thousand insurgents, the US has found it necessary to destroy a city of 1.7 million. Madness. Hundreds of thousands of insurgents will now rise up.

Reconstruction, could cost the U.S. tens of millions of dollars.

The project seems likely to dwarf the large-scale rebuilding scheme in the southern city of Najaf, where damage was estimated at $500 million after a Marine offensive in August ousted Shiite Muslim militiamen.

The L.A. Times needs to make up their mind. The headline to the story puts the cost at tens of millions  but deep in the story says it’s hundreds of millions. The sense of unreality in the official reports from Mosul is pervasive. As if the cost won’t be billions. As if more Iraqis now won’t want to kill every American they see. As if the rest of the Middle East won’t be boiling with rage. The blowback from this racist, wanton destruction of a city will be monumental and last for years.

Elsewhere in Iraq on Sunday, insurgents destroyed the highway bridge in Baiji, forcing the closure of the main road from the northern city of Mosul to Baghdad.

However, despite the heavy-handed lunacy of the US troops, the insurgency continues to spread.

New rebel onslaught in Mosul

In addition, hard-core elements loyal to terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be gathering in Baquba and Latifiya in the Sunni Triangle, according to U.S. intelligence officers.

“People think there are roughly 10,000 armed combatants, and there could have been 50 strong in Mosul,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, an Alexandria, Va., think-tank.

“If you do the arithmetic, you see there could be 200 Mosuls. We could have a Mosul every day up to the January elections.”

Whatever tenuous control the US has on Iraq is vanishing.

And about those elections

Iraq’s deputy prime minister has indicated for the first time that the much-heralded elections due in January could be derailed by the country’s violent insurgency.

Unlike Vietnam where the US could leave, the decades-long US policy goal – followed by presidents of both parties – for control of the MIddle East and the oil, precludes the US leaving under any condition except a complete defeat. Which may well happen.


Fighting sweeps Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland as U.S. offensive in Fallujah winds down.