Mogadishu and Deja Vu All Over Again
The 7 rocket strikes at the al-Rashid Hotel and the Baghdad Headquarters of the Coalition Provisional authority wounded an American contractor, but otherwise managed to do relatively little damage if the press is to be believed. Some buildings did get set on fire and sent up black towers of smoke. I think the real issue is that the Coalition Provisional Administration’s HQ can apparently be struck at will by the guerrillas. It is a situation familiar to readers of Black Hawk Down, and seeing pictures of Baghdad on cable news Sunday afternoon made me wonder if the whole center-north of Iraq wasn’t just one big Black Hawk Down. I remember one special ops soldier boasting about how smartly the US handled the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He observed that al-Qaeda had wanted to get US boots on the ground in large numbers and “pull a Mogadishu on us.” They failed in Afghanistan. But lots of Mogadishu’s are being pulled on the US and its allies in Iraq these days.