Desperate Measures

Howard Fineman hacked for Kerry when he said, in October, that President Bush sounded desperate. One can fairly say, though, that the insurgency in Iraq shows signs of desperation.

Having lost a significant portion of its armaments in our attack on Fallujah and the corollary fight in Mosul, the terrorists sense an end game. They are going down in a blaze of glory.

From the Associate Press via MSNBC:

Brazen gunmen firing automatic weapons roamed Baghdad’s streets Monday within blocks of the country’s most fortified facilities, including the U.S. Embassy and the headquarters of Iraq’s interim government. Five more American troops were killed in volatile Anbar province.

Not long ago, such bold, daylight, Baghdadi operations were unthinkable. With a main stronghold in Fallujah and satellite safe areas throughout the Sunni Triangle, the enemy could pick and choose targets carefully. Strike, retreat, blend in. Strike again.

With Fallujah gone, and having lost in Mosul, the only option left is taking the fight directly to the Allies.

Taking their fight to Baghdad on Monday, militants strolled the capital’s streets, saying they were hunting for Iraqis working for U.S.-led forces.

Believing that America and her allies would turn and flee as casualties mounted from cowardly, sideways attacks, the insurgents hoped to have secured at least large portions of Iraq by now. Instead, America is sending in more troops. Desperate, the terrorists now target Iraqis directly, hoping to drive a wedge between the populace and its protectors.

The strategy is doomed. While some Iraqis—though few—have turned against America, the blatant targeting of innocent Iraqis will create a backlash against the insurgents. Remember that last spring, Iraqis blamed every terrorist attack on the US and claimed only innocents died. At the time, many Iraqis allowed themselves to believe the terrorist propaganda. During the siege of Fallujah and the clean-up in Mosul, the people made no such claims. They may not have delighted at the attacks, but they knew who to blame.

When military historians chronicle this war, the Siege of Fallujah will go down as the turning point in the war. We owe tho