Donald Rumsfeld, it turns out, was right. In his now famous memo, which came to light a week ago, he pointed out to his Defense Department aides that the war on terrorism wasn't going as well as it might be. This had not been the line of the Bush administration, which at the time was busily trying to sell the idea that conditions in Iraq were just getting better and better, despite what you might read in the papers or see on television. ...
A new wave of attacks began yesterday morning, and by the time they were through 34 people had been killed. ...
President Bush said yesterday that the attacks were a measure of the desperation of those opposed to the U.S. occupation of the country. That's probably true, in a sense, but you could argue that Sept. 11 was a measure of the desperation of al-Qaida. What's more important is that these attacks are a measure of the expertise of those inflicting them.
It would seem that the best way to combat this sort of guerrilla warfare, which threatens to turn ordinary people against the occupiers, would not be to send out patrols kicking down doors, especially during Ramadan. Gathering sound intelligence doing good police work, in other words would seem like a much better option. ...
The (Baltimore) Sun -Oct. 28
George Bush has repeated what the military in Baghdad told him: that Islamic extremists and Saddam nostalgics are behind the attacks in Iraq. But the truth is, as officers in the field acknowledge, they don't know who their enemy is.
The Americans have not yet succeeded in responding to a fundamental question: Are the cells operating independently or is there some kind of control?
The key, as always, is intelligence.
The guerrillas have good intelligence, since they are on home ground. The Americans had to start from scratch.
To respond to the threat the Pentagon could be tempted by the Israeli model: intelligence ... suppression, incursions, punishments for those who harbor rebels. You take the initiative, but you risk alienating further a population that is tired of death.
If you adopt a wait-and-see policy you inevitably favor those who attack you.
The best answer would be to guarantee calm, but this is impossible, because Saddam's partisans and the terrorists will do everything to avoid it.
Corriere della Sera, Milan, Italy- Oct. 29
From the beginning it has been said that the United States must use a broad arsenal in which diplomatic, police, political and military efforts work together.
However, one problem from an American viewpoint is that the humility and willingness to cooperate that existed immediately after the terror attacks in New York and Washington was conspicuous by its absence during the diplomatic prelude to the Iraq war. Then the tone was significantly more self-confident than it is today.
It does not do any good, however, to dwell on all that has happened.
The outside world including the United States must act according to the reality which exists. And the reality is that an Iraq where terror is allowed to win becomes a bigger threat against international peace and security than Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime was.
Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden - Oct. 28
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