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Still a Bumpy Road, Not a Freeway

Another reminder that we should have no illusions that stabalizing Iraq, particularly Baghdad, will be just a matter of routine or a fluid, consistent improvement without spikes and slips:

The U.S. occupation authority evacuated its headquarters after Iraqi insurgents attacked the heavily guarded hotel with a missile barrage that killed an American colonel, wounded 18 people and compelled the visiting U.S. deputy defense secretary to head for safety. The brazen blow at the heart of the U.S. presence here clearly affected U.S. confidence about the rate at which it is defeating Iraq's underground insurgents.

I changed some of the language there, because I found to be suspect reporter Charles Hanley's use of such language as "retreated," "sent [Wolfowitz] scurrying," "bold blow," and "rattled U.S. confidence." It makes a bit of a difference, I'd say.

I also found this interesting:

Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey of the 1st Armored Division said he believed the insurgents timed the attack with the lifting this weekend of an overnight curfew in Baghdad and the reopening of a main city bridge.

"Any time we demonstrate a return to normalcy, there are those who will push back at that," said Dempsey, who is responsible for security in Baghdad.

Or maybe they timed it to correspond with the weekend "peace" rallies.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 11:08 PM EST