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November 20, 2007

The Coming Tet

The long-anticipated insurgent/jihadi Tet is coming. It must come. Al Qaeda and their bloody-minded "nationalist" allies aren't going to give up the war without a last ditch attempt to break the American spirit.

They know all about Tet. They've attempted Tets in the past. And a Tet is their last remaining hope.

So there will be a Tet. And the media will be filled with stories about it, deeming the new offensive a true "trend" which hardly needs confirmation by repetition and duration, and a complete vindication of Harry Reid's "The war is lost" unilateral declaration of surrender. All of this is as inevitable and predictable as the chiming of Big Ben.

It's the only play that makes sense for them. If they've delayed it this long, it's only because they're having trouble arranging a big coordinated series of bombings with the US military and even Iraqi forces harrying them at every turn, and probably because they want the attack to have maximum impact -- and maximum impact requires maximum disappointment. It requires the US public finally beginning to think that maybe this war can be won, or perhaps even is won -- and for once, perhaps, the MSM is inadvertently thwarting Al Qaeda's propaganda goals by not reporting on the recent turn towards victory in Iraq, thus denying the jihadis the circumstances of hope and optimism which is necessary for their Tet to work.

The question isn't whether there will be a Tet, but what the reaction from the American public -- and supporters of victory in Iraq -- will be, what the cost to an already-degraded Al Qaeda will be, and what the follow-up will be. If this Tet is like the last one, we can guess that the costs will be punnishingly high for Al Qaeda and their dwindling native allies, and they will have very little left in the tank for follow up attacks. What we don't know is how America will react after allowing itself to grow somewhat optimistic about the war again only to see yet another burst of demonic carnage unleashed.

We, the supporters of the victory, can only brace ourselves for it, knowing it is on the way, but taking small consolation in the fact that it will be Al Qaeda's Hail Mary of mass-murder. Every operative and every bomb will be throw into the attack -- perhaps once Iran deems the time right and gives the go-ahead -- but this Tet, like the last one, will be a Pyrrhic victory for the killers: "One more victory such as this and we are done for."

Red Flag: MiR cautions:

I'm as hard right as anyone else, but you guys are really pumping this whole victory thing too hard and too quickly.

Unless there's a serious reconciliation between the Shi'ite and Sunni leadership (beyond form), there's still some serious shit that can go down after the surge trails off. The military itself is hurting to say the least.

That isn't MSM bullshit.

MiR refers to stories like this, in which military officers are indeed warning the Iraqi government and feuding sects to use this hope to finally make a lasting peace that can, finally, end the war... and the Iraqis don't seem to be listening;

As Iraq's government on Monday trumpeted a dramatic decline in violence, describing it as a sign that sectarian warfare is waning, U.S. officials warned that the gains would be short-lived if the nation's leaders did not use the relative calm to advance political reconciliation.

A day after U.S. military officials proclaimed that bombings and other attacks had dropped 55% nationwide since June, the Iraqi government released figures showing steeper declines in the capital and surrounding areas. According to its figures, there were 323 violent attacks in the governorate of Baghdad last month, compared with 1,134 in June.

The violence remains high, but the current level is a vast improvement, one that turned government spokesman Ali Dabbagh nearly giddy as he spoke on Al Arabiya TV on Monday. Dabbagh said Baghdad had "defeated the forces of darkness" and returned to its glory as "the beautiful city of the 'One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.' "

"Certainly we still have more to do, but no one can deny that we have passed the difficult stage in Baghdad, the stage that we all had fears of sliding to a civil war," he said.


But military and government officials warned at the start of the clampdown that it would not have lasting success unless it was matched with political progress. It is a message being repeated with a new sense of urgency, now that Iraqi leaders can no longer blame huge bombs, mass abductions, and street-by-street fighting as an excuse for political paralysis.


Odierno said the government has a window of opportunity, perhaps until next summer, to act before gains begin unraveling. "Security is better, so now is the time to reach out to the other parts of the Iraqi populace," he said. "It's time to really look at delivering services to all Iraqis in Baghdad and around" the country.

U.S. government officials agree.

"This is absolutely the case," said U.S. Embassy spokesman Philip T. Reeker. "This really is the time when they need to take advantage of the window that has been given."

As MiR says, this is not just MSM bullshit. There is a window and it will not be open forever.

And the triumphalism on the right may indeed be premature.

That said, while everything could truly go to hell at any time, one has to imagine that the Iraqis long for normalcy and and have grown to hate death, the same as any other war-ravaged people might. And that stories about mobs besetting those who are (probably wrongly) suspected of breaching the peace seem to suggest that having gotten a taste of peace, they do not long for civil war again.

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posted by Ace at 03:43 PM

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