Not Good Tactics

Amir Taheri, an Iranian commentator on middle-east affairs, gives his assessment of the identity and nature of the people carrying out the bombings and shootings in Iraq.

Their instigators — the Fedayin, guerrilla fighters loyal to Saddam’s old regime — do not present any political demands. The choice of targets shows that there is no coherent political strategy behind the attacks.

Similarly, the attacks cannot be understood in military terms. The instigators are not trying to capture territory or deny territory to the coalition. Neither are they seeking to destroy the coalition’s major assets, disrupt their logistics or seize control of vital resources.

I have to agree that there is little evidence of any coherant politics or military strategy being followed by the remnants of the regime or their Islamist allies and this is one reason why they are unlikely to win in the long term or attract much support in the West beyond the more fanatical Stop the War drones. Taheri sums up with this observation

Though the fallen despot may not be personally in charge, the attacks bear the hallmark of Saddam’s leadership. As always, he has embarked on a course that looks tactically promising but is bound to be ruinous for him at the long-term strategic level.

Thinking about it he’s right. Saddam Hussein has consistently shown that he is incapable of choosing the sensible option especially vis a vis the West. He thought he could get away with invading Kuwait without sanction in 1990, he failed to fully co-operate with UN inspectors thus giving the coalition a pretext for the invasion and now he’s reminding Iraqi citizens why the occupation is infinitely preferable to his regime.

Doh !