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Re: [casi] '300 US Soldiers' Dying Monthly

I would day that the claim that 300 soldiers die in Iraq every month is an
exaggeration. The website concerned has alot of
interesting stories, but its been common for these virtually unheard of
groups claiming huge casualties that they have inflicted, normally without
any verification, through this outlet. Some press reports have surfaced,
however, that US central command have conceded that over 1,000 US troops
have been wounded in combat since the invasion in March, but this includes
those that are able to return to duty fairly quickly.

Nevertheless, recent claims that the focus of resistance has shifted from
attacks on US troops to softer targets such as UN and embassy buildings
don't seem to hold up. Its just that the media outlets don't report them as
much because of their focus on these recent other attacks which inflict more
casualties at any one time, and involve civilians. 3 US soldiers have been
killed in action since Monday, plus many more wounded in separate attacks.
In fact since the deaths of uday and qusay hussein a month ago, at least 20
US soldiers have died in combat. The wire services often release short
pieces of these attacks, but they normally don't see the light of day in
newspapers if it results in soldiers wounded, not killed.

To me this seems that the attacks on US troops is multifaceted, involving
disparate groups who have different motives for their insurgency, and are
using different methods. I think they can be broadly categorized in to four
different groups 1)supporters of the Baathist regime still willing to fight
on 2) newly formed, or rejuvenated Sunni Iraqi Islamist groups who disliked
the former regime but also dislike being under occupation 3) nationalist
sentiment among some Iraqis, not necesaarily pro-Baathist, and acts of
revenge against deaths or humiliation or damage to property caused by US
troops, and 4) Foreign Islamists who have entered Iraq to fight American
troops, the same way that many Arabs flooded in to Afghanistan in the 1980s
to fight the Russians.

As far as the latter group is concerned, the recent calls for alarm about
"infiltration" into Iraq by Al Qaeda and/or its sympathisers is indeed
ironic, given that it was the invasion of Iraq that has set this trajectory
in motion. The elimination of Saddam Hussein's regime was supposed to have
dealt a knockout blow to Al Qaeda -- because it was said that Saddam and Bin
Laden were clearly linked -- and made the world safer from terrorism. In
fact the opposite has happenned, and now we should all be terribly worried.
Its a bit like deliberately knocking over a pot plant on the floor and then
complaining about the mess it makes.

Peter Kiernan

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