NOIA hit the Palestine Hotel

Well, accounts are now out of the insurgent attack on the Palestine Hotel. Apparently, there were three suicide car bombers…stop-groups in the streets around…and a storming party in the wings to take advantage of the car explosions. It sounds very much like the big assault on Abu Ghraibh that I blogged up in June. This time, according to Robbo, the assault was called off because the third suicide car got entangled in a barbed-wire entanglement and some nameless commander decided to cut their losses and withdraw.

It’s especially worrying not just that, as I said in June, they seem to integrate both suicide bombers and break-contact drills. It’s also worrying how many of these attacks have been near-thing survivals on our side. The first was in the spring of 2004, in Fallujah, where the Iraqi police were wiped out while the ICDC (now National Guard) were pinned down in their base – without suffering a single casualty. That was a total success. The next widely publicised ones were Abu Ghraibh, then a major police fort in west Baghdad, followed by a break, and then first the Interior Ministry and now this. Those last four all seem to have been cut off short – the Ministry attack went only as far as a shoot-out with the guards, without a suicide bomb being employed.

Now, either they are not capable of learning that these tactics aren’t quite getting there, which would be surprising because they are still alive, or something is not obvious. What is it?

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