Thursday, April 12, 2007

Any Time, Any Place

That's obviously the message in Thursday's attack on the Green Zone. By all accounts the actual parliament building's security is close if not equal to that of the U.S. Embassy. This demonstrates the futility of trying to "secure" an entire city and country when it cannot be done for a single building. But make no mistake: as long as what happened in the Green Zone is happening anywhere in the country, the occupation is "justified" -- just as it will be if the country ever becomes peaceful, so that "the fragile peace is maintained." Heads you win, tails I lose. And at this point was anyone surprised by the President's boilerplate response to the attack?
I also want to comment on today's bombing of the Iraqi parliament. First of all, I strongly condemn the action. It reminds us, though, that there is an enemy willing to bomb innocent people in a symbol of democracy.
Anyone else getting a bit tired of this "you people don't realize how serious this is and you need to be reminded" bit?

By the way, while the Green Zone attack wasn't "massive" in terms of physical destruction (the symbolism and psychological impact will prove far more damaging), I'd say it was pretty prescient of this blogger to write the following just last week:
...or F) a massive attack rocks the Green Zone, resulting in scores or even hundreds of American and coalition deaths? Call me pessimistic, but some combination of the above is where I fear this Presidency is heading.
The full post (along with others worth reading, as always) is here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reporter from the WSJ on PBS NewsHour suggested that the US embassy is significantly better secured than the parliament building. Not that this makes a significant difference in your point, but I think it is important to understand, particularly when contemplating why they would choose the parliament building instead of the US embassy.

"To get to the American embassy, there's a walled-in guard tower next to a walled-in guard booth. Even with a press badge and an American passport, you can't enter the building at all.

Conversely, the parliament building, it's next door to the press building, so any reporter can get in. Most members of the public can get in. It's true that they're searched, but you can get much closer to the building with relatively little I.D. than you can to the American embassy, even with full I.D."

He also made some interesting comments regarding the increase in security on private homes within the green zone suggesting that the zone itself itself is becoming more porous.

4/12/2007 11:35 PM  
Anonymous rapier said...

The Green Zone itself could fall pretty easily if a well organized conventional assault was mounted on it. Right now that would seem to be an impossibility, at least by the Sunnis who surely did this attack and virtually all suicide bombings. They are small groups of muderers and lone bombers for the most part. The Sadrist army probably isn't organized enough to pull it off yet. However given the right circumstances they might do it with sheer numbers. Like if there was a general uprising if a massive bombing campaign was launched against Iran.

That is all highly speculative on my part I admit. However imagine the consequences of all our top civilians killed or kidnapped, the embassy over run, etc. etc.

Which brings to my mind the thought that it is the fear of exactly that, a scene making Saigon's evacuation look like a picnic which is ultimately preventing Bush from making any move to disengage.

As a practical matter once a withdrawal proceeds in earnest there will come a time when we cannot defend ourselves too well. Mostly I suppose we would have to defend against the Shiite forces. In all likelihood we might have to rely on the Sadrists to cover our backs, if they could be persuaded to.

4/14/2007 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I would say that this attack in the most "secure" area of Iraq shows just how effective Bush's Iraq policy is.
It should bring home the message that we should seriously plan for a voluntary pullout now, before we are forced to leave Saigon fashion.

Leave we must.
One way or the other.

4/15/2007 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was on the Charlie Rose show that they described what's happening with the Green Zone. Basically the number of "secured" badges allowing entry has grown to an unmanageable number, in addition there was no central control administrator for handing security badges out. As more people entered the Green Zone, with their very own posse, they demanded badges and no one was checking who these folks were. They are talking in the 1000's. Because of this, they do believe someone from the inside is aiding the those on the outside.

4/17/2007 10:47 PM  

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