IRAQ: WORSE THAN YOU THINK….Newsweek tells us today the Iraq is a really, really big mess:
The truth is, neither [Bush nor Kerry] is fully reckoning with the reality of Iraq ? which is that the insurgents, by most accounts, are winning. Even Secretary of State Colin Powell, a former general who stays in touch with the Joint Chiefs, has acknowledged this privately to friends in recent weeks, Newsweek has learned. The insurgents have effectively created a reign of terror throughout the country, killing thousands, driving Iraqi elites and technocrats into exile and scaring foreigners out. “Things are getting really bad,” a senior Iraqi official in interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s government told Newsweek last week. “The initiative is in [the insurgents’] hands right now. This approach of being lenient and accommodating has really backfired. They see this as weakness.”
….Just as worrisome, the insurgents have managed to infiltrate Iraqi forces, enabling them to gain key intelligence. “The infiltration is all over, from the top to the bottom, from decision making to the lower levels,” says the senior Iraqi official. In the Kirkush incident, the insurgents almost certainly had inside information about the departure time and route of the buses. Iraqi Ministry of Defense sources told Newseeek the Iraqi recruits had not been allowed to leave the base with their weapons because American trainers were worried that some of them might defect.
The rest of the story tells us that Bush is counting on the upcoming assault of Fallujah to contain the insurgency and turn the tide in America’s favor. Unfortunately ? as usual with Bush’s team ? there doesn’t appear to be a Plan B if this fails to pan out.