30 Iraqis, 12 US Troops Killed over Deadly Weekend
5 US troops were killed Sunday in fighting near the Syrian border at Husayba, but various other incidents on Saturday brought the weeked total to 12 killed. About 30 Iraqis were killed in clashes. The Husaybah fight appears to be an extension of Fallujah, with some fighters from that city having moved over to Husaybah and having ambushed the Marines. This narrative contradicts the impression given by Gen. Myers that the problem is infiltration of foreign fighters from Syria. Rather, looks like infiltration of Iraqi fighters from Fallujah.
Despite the constant drumbeat about alleged Syrian complicity in infiltration of foreign fighers into Iraq, there is not any good proof of it. The fighters that have been captured are mostly Iraqi (some 10,000, I think), with only a few foreigners among them. And, Syria is lambasted for having massacred the Sunni Arab radical fundamentalists, so it is a little unlikely to be supplying them deliberately to Fallujah, which has lots of its own. Rather, if there is infiltration, it is mostly because Syria has a long desert border that can’t be controlled (the US should talk–look at its border with Mexico, which is like a sieve). I think this ritual invocation of Syria in connection with infiltration is just a way of attempting to intimidate and bully Syria, which some in the Bush administration would like to topple. If they think Iraqi instability is bad, wait until they see Syria without a proper government in Damascus. It won’t be pretty; and remember, as Colin says, if you break it, you own it. Doesn’t the US have enough responsibilities right now? Anyway, remember that the most powerful policy makers in Washington right now are warmongers. They don’t think Iraq is a catastrophe, and they have several further wars they want to fight before they sleep. The rest of us should try to make sure they don’t pull the country down into a further quagmire or two.