October 9, 2004


Iraq PM Moves to Take Over Rebel Areas (HAMZA HENDAWI, October 9, 2004, Associated Press)

Blending diplomacy with American firepower, Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is moving closer to bringing rebel areas under government control before national elections in January.

In just over a week, joint U.S.-Iraqi forces smashed militants in Samarra, forced a truce with Shiite gunmen in Baghdad and pursued insurgents south of the capital.

Fallujah, the biggest headache of all, appears next in line for a political rather than a military solution, which - if all goes according to plan - would bring the rebellious city west of Baghdad under government control. But that is a big ``if.''

In dealing with Fallujah and the Shiite gunmen in the Baghdad district of Sadr City, Allawi used America's military might to pressure his foes while still keeping open lines of communication with insurgents.

For weeks, U.S. warplanes, tanks and helicopter gunships went into action almost daily against Shiite militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad and against Fallujah militants led by Jordanian extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The al-Qaida-linked terrorist has claimed responsibility for a wave of car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq.

In both Sadr City and Fallujah, the airstrikes and the shelling have taken a heavy toll on insurgents as well as civilians, leaving many residents grumbling that the militants should stand down.

Allawi's carrot-and-stick approach seems to be working.

The Left was so eager to declare defeat a week ago that they just ignored the impossibility of the extremists ever holding any territory we choose to contest.


A study by Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group Inc., a private firm that operates in Iraq, said the average number of daily attacks in Iraq has been 80 during September. This marked a decrease of 33 percent since April 2004, when 120 daily attacks were reported.

April marked the peak of violence in Iraq with the U.S.-led coalition fighting both a Sunni and Shi'ite revolt.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2004 6:36 PM

The left, if they ever thought about them at all, probably pulled for the terrorists (a la Michael Moore).

But it is certain that they have not thought about the war at all. Kerry and Edwards surely have not.

Pockets of resistance are almost always going to occur. But it is not like 10 million Iraqis are marching against America - if they were, no amount of infantry would suffice.

The truth for the Democrats is that they will fighting over war again in 2008, except that Iraq will be flourishing and the flashpoints will be Iran, NK, and Syria.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 9, 2004 7:48 PM

" the flashpoints will be Iran, NK, and Syria."

I disagree. All 3 will be dealt with BEFORE 2008.

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at October 9, 2004 10:28 PM

Prez Killer:

That's a mighty tall order, although we can hope.

Syria almost certainly, North Korea probably...
Iran might fold once they see what happens in North Korea.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 10, 2004 2:21 AM

There was an article in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago that had the SOC-SMG data for September and a nice map displaying the distribution of the attacks. It was striking to see just how concentrated they were. Nearly half were in Baghdad, and most of the rest were in cities in the Sunni triangle and along the major highways connecting them. The Times headlined the article, "Iraq Study Sees Rebels' Attacks As Widespread."

Posted by: Tom L at October 10, 2004 9:32 AM
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