Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Karbala Post Mortem

Five American soldiers were kidnapped and murdered in the Iraqi town of Karbala. Some died in Karbala while others were bound and executed in a town closer to the Iranian border.

The attackers were dressed as American personnel. Drove American SUVs of the type commonly seen in Iraq. They seemed to be American but were not.

Speculation is naturally centering on Iranian involvement. The attack was too well supplied and executed to be something AQ-Iraq or Sadr's Merry Mahdi Army would do. But if it was the Iranians as operators of this mission one has to wonder why this target?

To develop a Kommando that acted like Americans, looked like Americans, and equipped like Americans takes time, money, and a secure sanctuary to prevent premature discovery. Such a Kommando is only effective when it is a surprise. Ask the Kommados trained by Otto Skorenzy when they captured vital crossroads during the Battle of the Bulge, secrecy of their existence was the biggest factor to their success. Once it became known Germans were operating in the Allied rear dressed in Allied uniforms, Skorenzy's Kommandos lost effectiveness and were eliminated.

And Karbala seems to be a gross squandering of this valuable resource if indeed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was the sponsor of this Kommando. Yes Karbala and Tampa are still hot with Sunni milling about in revolt. But was it important enough to send this Kommando? To send five SUVs full of phony Americans in an attempt to kidnap eight American soldiers out from under Iraqi Police noses? That is the question that needs an answer.

The only way it seems to make sense is if this raid was a test run that got foiled. If it was a success then more of these special Kommandos would fan out and attack more isolated American forces, thereby forcing the Americans to pull back without revealing who did it. But lets go back to those Iraqi Police, none were harmed in the raid and were witnesses to the action. So there goes the idea of this being a secret test run. To prove Americans are targets no matter where they are? That does not wash since there is violence in the 'protected' Green Zone in Baghdad. So what is left to explain this?

I am, in my un-expert opinion, starting to lean towards the idea Karbala was a response for the Americans rounding up those Iranian diplomats in Irbil and the earlier incident. If this was just simple tit for tat for those incidents, then the Iraqis and the Coalition must thank the idiot who ordered this ill thought out raid. Instead of harboring such a force until such a time the Kommado is able to go after a VIP like the Iraqi Prime Minister or perhaps visiting American Senators or a Secretary of Defense with total surprise. Just think of the horrible political fall-out if it was filmed by the media of 'Americans' kidnapping Maliki or even worse these 'Americans' are filmed killing Al-Sistani. Or Al-Jazeera showing footage of Secretary Gates bound and forced to admit guilt for horrible crimes before being beheaded. That could still be in the future, but the full effectiveness of this Kommoando has been blunted by their use at Karbala in a sloppy manner. Those five Americans did not die in vain, instead they will have given their lives so their brethern in arms are warned.

This is all speculation based on a lot of guessing along with delving into a bit of history. Reality maybe far different or far grimmer than what I describe.

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