Monday, April 25, 2005

Insurgents or Terrorists?

On Saturday, The Yellow Line called the arrest of a number of Iraqi insurgents a good sign and an indication that the insurgency is possibly weakening. Today, in the Fort Worth Star Telegram we hear a different story.

There is now evidence of a rise in large scale attacks, which would indicate the insurgency is regrouping, not weakening. But are these attacks rightfully dubbed insurgent actions or are they large-scale terrorist attacks? As the Star Telegram points out:

Some Pentagon officials say that the bigger-scale attacks reflect the frustration of terrorist commander and al Qaeda ally Abu Musab Zarqawi at the lack of attention that the roadside bombs are receiving at this stage of the war. Zarqawi figured that staging bigger attacks directly on his enemy would get more publicity.

The most optimistic analysis would be that Zarqawi is at the end-game, throwing everything he has left at a last-ditch effort to destabilize Iraq. The most pessimistic analysis would be that Zarqawi has found new, eager Iraqi recruits to carry out his bloodlust. Either way, it seems clear that Zarqawi is orchestrating these attacks—meaning they should be seen more as terrorism than as insurgency.

Every time there is a positive development in Iraq, we hear people say we’ve turned the corner. It is becoming more and more evident that the biggest corner will be the capture or death of Zarqawi. His defeat should be job #1 for American and Iraqi forces.


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