Democrats & Liberals Archives

Baghdad Under Siege

A couple weeks ago, I saw a reporter on CNN International talking about how insurgents had blown up an oil pipeline, “…but we’ve been assured that this attack will not disrupt the flow of oil for sale outside the country. The pipeline only carried oil for the electrical generators in Baghdad.”

US and Iraqi officials have now concluded that attacks on interior pipelines and other infrastructure around Baghdad are part of a carefully orchestrated plan to isolate the city. Baghdad is under siege.

Even the US Congressional delegation that visited Iraq recently was confined to Green Zone. They were flown by military helicopter from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone, and then had to cancel visits to US bases outside the city because of the security situation,

A year and-a-half ago, "we were able to move more freely in Baghdad," Senator Collins (R-Maine) said. "And one impression I have is how much more fortified Baghdad is than it was during that summer."

You really have to wonder what Iraq would be like now had bush made securing the country a priority. What would have happened if President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld had said, "Gee General Shinseki. Three hundred thousand troops sounds like quite a lot. We think the occupation will only require half that amount, but since it's absolutely vital that this endeavor succeed - and since nothing is certain in a war - we'll go ahead and make the extra troops available. It's just common sense."

I saw on the news a few days ago where US and Iraqi troops were stepping up operations around Baghdad and the Sunni areas. That and the extraordinary measures taken during the election got my hopes up that the Bush administration was finally getting serious. The operations were subsequently downplayed to "business as usual." Business as usual is not a good thing in Iraq.

Here's some interesting statistics I saw in my International Herald Tribune this morning. I liked how the timeline put things into perspective:

July 03Jan 04July 04Jan 05
Estimated local insurgents/foreign fighters5,000/3005,000/30020,000/40018,000/600
Necessary oil, fuel & gas available44%78%80%75%
Electricity generated in gigawatts (pre-war - 4.4)
Trained security forces (official estimates)0095,000125,000
Trained security forces (independent estimates)0010,00025,000
Iraqis optimistic about the future67%65%60%50%
Posted by American Pundit at February 22, 2005 9:29 AM