Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I don't like to pretend I know a whole lot about military matters, but what is going on here?
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 10 - Insurgent leaders in Falluja probably fled before the American-led offensive and may be coordinating attacks in Iraq that have left scores dead over the past few days, according to American military officials here. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant who is the most wanted man in Iraq, has almost certainly fled, military officials believe. Americans say his group is responsible for attacks, kidnappings and beheadings that have killed hundreds in more than a year. Before the offensive began, some military officials said Mr. Zarqawi could be operating out of Falluja, but his precise whereabouts have not been known. "I personally believe some of the senior leaders probably have fled," Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, said in a video conference with reporters on Tuesday. "I would hope not, but I've got to assume that those kinds of leaders understand the combat power we can bring."

I know it can be hard to find one specific person(or 2) in a heavily populated area, but that's our job over there-get Zarqawi and other insurgent leaders, before they do more damage. I've read reports leading up to the current battle in Fallujah, which said that many or most of the insurgents have fled Fallujah, to fight elsewhere. How can we let that happen? Wasn't the city surrounded, if not, why not? So now we're attacking Fallujah (which I know we have to do), and are killing many bad guys, but once again the big fish have fled. It's a viscous circle-clean Fallujah up, go fight in another city, causing the insurgents there to go back to Fallujah, only to force us to fight there again, which will then lead to more civilians getting killed in the crossfire, which will then create more insurgents. Great.

Update (12:42PM EST):
Well, perhaps 50% stuck around.

Khalid said insurgent leaders had debated how many men to leave in the city. "They discussed percentages like 20 per cent inside the city and 80 per cent outside - to save as many fighters as possible for future operations," he said.

"In the end they settled on a 50-50 split. We told the fighters that those who want to stay alive and fight should leave, and those who want to become martyrs in this battle should stay."


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