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September 22, 2004

Here's some stuff with meat in it.

Austin Bay (of Strategy Page and currently serving in Iraq, and general defense intellectual) regarding the latest product from the intelligence community (which still needs some fixin' there, boss).

Wake up the Beltway bureaucrats: The Iraqi civil war started in summer 2003, when a group hard-core Baath (and Sunni-dominated) holdouts decided their route to personal survival -- and possible track back to power in Baghdad -- was relentlessly savage violence.

Savage violence is the daily routine of the criminal gangs who run dictatorships large and small, so virtually everyone expected some degree of post-Saddam thug resistance. However, no one knew the Baath hardcore had so much money.

The biggest mistake the Iraq coalition made, however, was underestimating the power of criminal arrogance. That's a mistake we Americans make repeatedly -- whether the thug is Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam, Osama bin Laden or one of our own mob chieftains like John Gotti.

Good stuff for some navel-gazing here. Go read the rest. Remember - this is written by someone serving on the ground in Iraq now.