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[casi] Fw: AFP-MAIL : US-Iraq-analysis,sched

Dear Casi

<<Seventy-nine percent of 3,244 Iraqis polled by British firm Oxford
International had no confidence in US-led forces occupying Iraq, despite
satisfaction at the ouster of Saddam Hussein.>>

Best regards
Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Baghdad, occupied Iraq

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 1:12 AM
Subject: AFP-MAIL : US-Iraq-analysis,sched

> US-Iraq-analysis,sched
>    Bloodshed, religous politics put US Iraq policy on spot
>    by Stephen Collinson
>    WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (AFP) - Despite vows of no surrender in Iraq, the
> States has been thrust into a painful military dilemma by a swelling
> insurgency, days after a top Shiite cleric ambushed its new political
>    Analysts here say the Bush administration faces a "no-win" decision on
> whether to turn up the heat on insurgents which have turned their fury on
> foreign and Iraqi allies.
>    But more robust military operations risk catching civilians in the
> crossfire and further souring the populace's view of the occupation.
>    Intense pressure is also weighing on US political strategy in Iraq,
> the religious leader of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority demanded immediate
> elections -- in a direct challenge to US plans for an accelerated transfer
> power.
>    Bush aides vow they will not be bullied into retreat after a weekend
> stained by bloody firefights between rebels and US forces and the killings
> seven Spaniards, two South Koreans, two Japanese, and a Colombian linked
> the reconstruction effort.
>    But Simon Serfaty, of the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in
> Washington said US forces were in a "lose-lose" situation as battles with
> insurgents heat up.
>    "You cannot afford to remain passive in the face of a growing number of
> attacks against coalition forces, so you have got to rattle them a bit.
>    "At the same time, inevitably, you inflict some civilian casualties ...
> that creates bad will on the part of the populace."
>    The choice was laid bare in the Iraqi city of Samarra, after US forces
> unleashed a ferocious counterattack after an attempted ambush, killing at
> least 54 people, eight of whom were said to be civilians.
>    "We are going to continue to take the fight to this enemy," said
> Frederick Rudesheim, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team involved in
> combat.
>    There is no other choice, said Dana Dillon, of the conservative
> Foundation.
>    "It is always a risk when you are taking the fight to an insurgency
> you are going to overstep a boundary somewhere if not by policy, at least
> accident.
>    "But the danger of not doing something is greater."
>    Anecdotal evidence challenges American rhetoric that insurgent "thugs"
> don't speak for a majority supportive of the US effort.
>    Seventy-nine percent of 3,244 Iraqis polled by British firm Oxford
> International had no confidence in US-led forces occupying Iraq, despite
> satisfaction at the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
>    Unease among US allies may also be growing, after attacks on
> police, soldiers and diplomats linked to the occupation after previous
> on the United Nations and Iraqis cooperating with the Americans.
>    The deaths come with the Bush administration still resisting the
> international dimension needed to legitimize reconstruction in Iraq,
> said.
>    "The problem is they are trying to internationalize it on US terms,"
> Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies.
>    "They are not internationalizing the power, all they are
> is the color of the corpses."
>    US plans to speed up a transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis may also be in
> trouble.
>    A top Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, last week
> immediate elections at all levels of the Iraqi administration, rejecting
> arguments that polls were impossible before 2005.
>    "The reality is one person, one vote does mean a Shia majority in
Iraq --
> that is the nature of the country," said Bennis.
>    US policy could then be "caught in a bind between wanting to have
> that they can call democracy and wanting to be sure that it is a
> result," she said.
>    "They may be forced to chose one or the other."
>    But the State Department insisted Monday there would be no change to
the US
> plan to hand power to a government designated by a transitional authority,
> chosen by caucuses of selected notables.
>    "The plan of November 15th, the agreement that we and the governing
> reached remains in place," said spokesman Richard Boucher.
>    Vibrancy in the insurgency has reverberated around Washington's
> echo-chamber, less than a year after President George W. Bush faces
>    Senator Hillary Clinton, just back from a trip to Iraq overshadowed by
> Bush's own Thanksgiving Day flight into Baghdad, suggested the
> had more than one eye on domestic politics.
>    "The administration is intent upon some kind of exit strategy, some
kind of
> transition before our elections."
>    col/ceh/

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