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Friday, November 14, 2003

Scott Ritter
On the nature of the Iraqi resistance.

Though the Bush administration consistently characterizes the nature of the enemy in Iraq as "terrorist," and identifies the leading culprits as "foreign fighters," the notion of Al Qaeda or Al Ansar al Islam using Baghdad (or any urban area in Iraq) as an independent base of operations is far-fetched. To the extent that foreigners appear at all in Baghdad, it is likely only under the careful control of the pro-Hussein resistance, and even then, only to be used as an expendable weapon in the same way one would use a rocket-propelled grenade or IED.
For political reasons, the Bush administration and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) haven't honestly confronted this reality for fear of admitting that they totally bungled their prewar assessments about what conditions they would face in postwar occupied Iraq.

The failure to realistically assess the anti-American resistance in Iraq means that "solutions" the US and CPA develop have minimal chance of success because they're derived from an inaccurate identification of the problem.