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Flypaper, Indeed

| 5 Comments | 1 TrackBack
Somehow this has been briefly commented on, but not given a lot of play in the blogs I've seen. This story about the suicide bomber who was foiled yesterday is on page A6 of this morning's L.A. Times (requires registration, use 'laexaminer'/'laexaminer') - which itself is positive news. And if true, suggests that the war in Iraq is in fact a lot more complex than those who suggest that it is the "natural resistance" of the Iraqi population to foreign invaders. Here's the story:
The suicide bomber had packed his 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser well in preparation for his journey Monday to martyrdom. He had taken out the back seat and piled explosives and rockets from floor to roof. He lined the door panels with dynamite. Police would later say his lethal load weighed more than 2 tons - enough to blow up the police station, the primary school next door, the crowded outdoor market on the corner and most of the neighborhood as well.
Sounds pretty serious. Now for the money quote.
The driver of the white Land Cruiser was Syrian, Iraqi authorities later said, and at 10:15 a.m. he drove slowly through the police station's back gate. There he was blocked by a barricade of sand-filled barrels and a $120-a-month policeman who ordered him to retreat.
Now, I'm sure that $120 a month is an OK salary in Iraq right now, but what matters here is that the Iraqi police officer did what he was supposed to do. He was attentive, and he reacted - he defended himself and his police station against an attack by a foreigner - not an American military attack, but a terrorist attack by a foreign Arab.
The vehicle hit the outer wall of the police station with a grinding thud. Then there was the briefest moment of silence. No explosion. No gallant martyrdom. The Syrian jumped from the vehicle and hurled a grenade at Arshad as a bullet tore into the would-be bomber's stomach. Before he passed out, he managed to shout: "Arabs are cowards! Iraqis are traitors! I am an Arab, you cowards! Allahu akbar [God is great]!" Police officers said they found a Syrian passport in the pocket of his blue, robe-like dishdasha. On the passenger's seat was a police shirt and police armband that might have enabled him to pass through checkpoints.
I don't know. If Syrian Islamists are the drivers in this round of suicide attacks, and if Iraqis are starting to successfully defend against them, I'll take that as a) some measure of proof that the 'flypaper' theory might not be completely specious, and b) as proof that something significantly good is happening over there. I've said in the past that the two keys to winning this war are an iron butt - the simple willingness to sit it out - and the adaptability to learn from our mistakes and the opponent's tactics. We may be showing both. I'll add Instapundit's great comment here, and second it:
Because if the White House -- by which, in this case, I mean George W. Bush -- decides to drop the ball on this, I'll probably vote Democratic, even if Kucinich is the nominee. A half-hearted war is the very, very worst kind. I think that Bush understands that. He'd better.

1 TrackBack

Tracked: October 29, 2003 3:58 PM
Excerpt: Today's attacks in Baghdad are why I believe terrorists, while extremely dangerous, have absolutely no grand strategy. They're murderers who delight in death for its own sake - this is not a religious or national socialist calling, this is a...

5 Comments

From Rantburg, he was a Yemeni with Syrian papers...

Does anyone seriously believe the resistance in Iraq is not complex? That it is just Bathists, or just 'dead-enders', or just nationalism, or just terrorists, or just ... well, you get the picture.

It is hard to convey that complexity in a sound bite though and that makes it indigestible for the dominant media.

P.J. O'Rourke made a great comment about fascism. He wrote that it is the beauty of a well-designed fascism that it gives every pissant and ant hill to piss from. The Iraqis opposing us are the pissants of Saddam's fascism. The liberation of Iraq threw them off their gravy train, so they can no longer swank and domineer over their neighbors and get wealth through the Ba'ath Party.

Others are the foreign jihadis. They are prosecuting their war against America and the West in Iraq now. To them the Iraqis favorable to us are apostates. Still others are probably agents of the surrounding terrorist-supporting states, Syria, Iran and the Wahhabist Entity. If consensual government takes hold in Iraq they are doomed, and they know it. Even dim-bulb Baby Assad realizes it, from his comment that America was coming to get them all.

Their strategy is to outlast us, since they are convinced the cowardly and decadent Americans will retreat after a few dead, like we did in Lebanon, Somalia and elsewhere. The terrorist attacks on Iraqis are intended to convince them to become neutral or support the terrorists, to intimidate the Iraqis into acceding to a restoration of their oppression by the Ba'athists, or acceptance of a religious tyranny like that which exists in Iran or in the Wahhabist Entity.

The key question is what will the Iraqis do in response? Will they surrender to the terrorists? Or will the murderers targeting them make them so angry that they fight back and destroy the terrorists?

this is why you should think long and hard before deciding to liberate a country. the people there might decide to liberate back.

Olaf,

WTF? We have here a story about an Iraqi in Iraq stopping a foreign (Syrian? Yemeni?) terrorist from killing him and many others.

And you draw from that the lesson that the Iraqi people are "liberating back" against the Great Satan?

Hmmm... maybe you should take off your blinders and READ THE POST!

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