Now, with Saturday's constitutional referendum appearing more likely to divide than unify the country, some within the administration have concluded that the quest for democracy in Iraq, at least in its current form, could actually strengthen the insurgency.
Despite what Bush on Thursday called "incredible political progress" in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's fall 2 1/2 years ago, the Iraqi insurgency has grown in strength and sophistication. From about 5,000 Hussein loyalists using leftover Iraqi army equipment, it has mushroomed into a disparate yet potent force of up to 20,000 equipped with explosives capable of knocking out even heavily armored military vehicles.
"The surface political process has stumbled forward, but the insurgency came up and kind of stayed that way," said a U.S. government analyst with access to classified intelligence. Several analysts, who spoke on condition of anonymity while discussing intelligence, indicated that initial evidence of the disconnect began to surface in the spring — after Iraq's first national elections on Jan. 30 — and it has gradually become clearer since.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Rethink those assumptions
From the LA Times, via Common Dreams: