Pretty pictures 2
It's kinda nice when an Iraqi resistance conference provides some confirmation for the pictures I've been drawing. Iraq the Model's latest posts throws more light on the relationship of the "political struggle" in Iraq to the insurgency.
These days in Beirut, the fourth conference for supporting the "Iraqi resistance" is being held. It came only less than a year after their grand failure 3rd conference which we wrote about back in August.
The most notable statement given during this conference was made by Hasan Nesrallah of the Lebanese terror organization Hizbullah. The turbaned warlord explicitly said he and his party support the "Iraqi resistance" yet he called upon Iraqis to avoid falling into a Sunni-Shia or Muslim-Christian strife. If you're not familiar with this conference, it's basically a gathering of all kinds of thugs you can think of; pan-Arab racists, Ba'athists from Iraq and Syria, Sadrists, Islamists (including Khalid Mish'al of Hamas this time).
Nesrallah was not specific on which kind of "resistance" he supports except for putting it clear that he means the armed one by saying "I respect those who chose the political way but I urge them to respect the resistance and not to interrupt its work". You know that there is more than one kind of "resistance" over here; one represented by Zarqawi and his ilk, one by Saddamists, another by Islamist Sunnis backed by Syria and another by radical Shias like Sadr's thugs who are backed by Iran.
Iraq the Model characterized the conference held among Ba'athist and Sadrists back in August in the following words.
A group of those who still long for the "good old" past have arranged for a meeting for the different factions of the "Iraqi resistance" whether that resistance was Ba'athist, Salafi, She'at or pan-nationalist doesn't really matter as long as they share the same dream of bringing Iraq back to the dark ages of tyranny and repression.
To continue his latest post, Iraq the Model says:
The truth is over there, just open your eyes and you will see it shining like the sun in a July afternoon. And do not forger that Nesrallah and his party are the pets raised equally by Damascus and Tehran. To me it is clear that NesrAllah supports both sides of the "resistance" and his advice not to be dragged to a civil war is pure bull^%$#, he wants Iraqis to kill each other because that's what his masters want and remember that he is the one who advised you 4 years ago when you were the resistance back then to "go to Saddam and negotiate with him and spare us the trouble of letting America in"…he and his masters wouldn't mind seeing you all murdered by Saddam if that could've stopped America from coming in and liberating Iraq.
There are a number of things to note about this political conference of the "resistance". The first is that its participants consists of Baa'thists and Sadrists with a lot of coverage by Arabic media networks like Al Jazeera. Second, it's principle spokesman is Hasan Nesrallah, of Hizbullah who is described by Iraq the Model as being a pet "raised equally by Damascus and Teheran". Third, the conference is advocating a "two-track" approach. Track one is the armed resistance. Trace two is insurgency via the "political way". Says Nasrallah: "I respect those who chose the political way but I urge them to respect the resistance and not to interrupt its work". Iraq the Model does not seem to believe that Nasrallah genuinely wants to avert a civil war because he sees the Nasrallah's people as being behind many of the outrages of recent days.
One of the interesting things about this information is that while it validates the existence of "insurgency track" and the "political track", Nesrallah hopes to see them operating in parallel.
Although Iraq the Model doesn't seem to think much of the insurgent's conference characterizing it as a collection of losers, it's noteworthy that they are belatedly trying to create the classic national liberation model, which always had three pillars: a national united front guided by a core ideological cadre with an insurgent army under its control with a cross border sanctuary. The Sunni insurgency of 2004 was a failed attempt to defeat America using only one leg; the military leg. Zarqawi saw this was a forlorn hope especially after the new Iraqi Army came on line and, as pointed out elsewhere, began a shift towards the notion of political warfare in early 2004. I think that the insurgent conference is an indication that this strategy is going mainstream. The new theory is that the key to defeating America is a coordinated politico-military campaign. Unfortunately, the US arrived at this conclusion somewhat before Zarqawi and has been waging a politico-military campaign of its own since the beginning. Haltingly perhaps, and with many mistakes, but basically pursuing the correct strategy. Let's draw the politico-military campaign from the US perspective.
The insurgent's conference also provides a glimpse of how the struggle in Iraq is fully international. Elements in Syria and Iran are probably fully behind the politico-military campaign. It is not a case of Iraqi "Minutemen" struggling against the new Redcoats. Rather, Iraq is a central front of the War on Terror. Now putting both pictures together may give us some insight into how both sides are conducting their campaign. You can see both teams playing on the field and keep score, to use a sports analogy.
It's a little better, I think than this not too descriptive picture which is peddled fairly constantly over the airwaves.
Bill Roggio has more in his latest post The Battle for Baghdad
Baghdad has yet again become the center of gravity for the insurgency. For three years the insurgency attempted to establish its dominance in outlying cities such as Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, Ramadi, Husaybah, Haditha, Samarra, Balad, Taji, Najaf and elsewhere, and failed. Baghdad is now the center of power, the seat and symbol of legitimacy of the new Iraqi government. ...
Major General Rick Lynch, the spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, aptly explains why the insurgency is focusing on the city, and reports on Coalition and Iraqi efforts to reduce the violence in the capitol under Operation Scales of Justice during his March 30 briefing. ... Soldier's Dad provides a briefing slide of the distribution of attacks in Baghdad, and notes the high violence in the Mansur District. (then Roggio provides a map)
However, the level of violence, or more accurately the perception of the level of violence in Baghdad, is rising. ... the media, being concentrated in Baghdad, reports this, and the perception is the security situation in Baghdad represents the security situation in the rest of Iraq. ...
The Iraqi government and Coalition are making an effort to secure Baghdad, as Operation Scales of Justice demonstrates, however the question that remains is this effort good enough to get a handle on the problems with the insurgency, militias, and gang violence. The Iraqi government and Coalition need to increase security in the capitol and deal with the problems in the police force immediately before confidence in the police is completely eroded. Corrupt police units must be disbanded. The creation of the equivalent of Military Transition Teams for the police is already in the works, but needs to be accelerated. Until then, pair police units with Iraqi Army and U.S. military units. The "call forward" brigade, consisting of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, is currently sitting in Kuwait. One battalion was recently moved forward to the Baghdad area to provide additional security for the Muslim holiday of Arba’een. Move the rest of the brigade to Baghdad. Consider the possibility of establishing curfews, closing off roads, placing 'battle positions' in the more problematic neighborhoods.
This actions may be viewed in some quarters as desperation, but they are prudent moves to get a handle on the security situation and change the perception among the residents of Baghdad that something is being done about the security situation. The real solution is the creation of a unity government, with serious and secular ministers in the portfolios of Defense and the Interior, who have the ability to purge the police of militias and take Sadr head on.
With the assistance of some of graphics on this post, the action is easier to follow.