General John Abizaid said today that attacks by Iraqi insurgents on American forces have declined by about 50% over the last two weeks. He and Paul Bremer attributed the decline to a combination of pre-emptive raids by American forces and the Baathists’ recognition that their attacks were having no impact on American policy. As long as President Bush remains in office, that will remain a rational calculation.
To some degree, the Baathists’ efforts have been re-directed toward attacks on Iraqi civilians, designed to deter cooperation with the coalition. Bremer says he doubts the attacks will be effective: “If Saddam taught the Iraqis nothing else it was how to endure the depredations of thugs.” The same thugs, apparently; Bremer and Abizaid say that the insurgent forces are basically former members of Saddam’s regime, with only a handful of foreign terrorists mixed in.
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